Friday, January 30, 2009

January Fermentation Friday - Brew Year Resolutions!

Hi all,

Welcome to this months Fermentation Friday hosted by lootcorp. This months topic is about Brew Years Resolutions. I was not very excited about this topic as its the end of the month and its time to start breaking resolutions not making them. Then I thought this is about beer and home brewing and the only resolution over the last 2 years that I haven't broken is the drinking them less. Mmmmm Beer!

Well this year I have a lot of home brewing plans. The first is to brew at least 8 - 10 batches. Ideally it will be once a month but I like to make sure the I can meet my goals. I really haven't though about what I want to brew this year but. There are 4 I will definitely make. First a true full flavored session beer with an ABV under 3.5% - 4%. This will allow me to have more then one beer during the week and still make me feel like I am getting a real beer. Second I want to make an American Barleywine. I love Barleywines and that is actually the reason I wanted to get into home brewing was becasue I don't get to try many of them. I plan to brew this the first quarter of this year so that I can have it ready by late fall. Third I will be brewing a Graduation Ale for my friend Misty. As of today I am leaning towards an Apple Ale or other light friut beer. Finally I want to make a Stout or a Porter. I am leaning towards trying a Chocolate Milk Stout but I am not quite sure yet. I am also thinking about seeing if I can make this a session beer if possible. Other then that everything is up in the air in terms in what I am planning on brewing.

Other then that I am thinking about looking into all grain brewing. I don't have a huge amount of time and I am really happy with what I have brewed extract but all the talk about how much better you beer can be is very intriguing. That may or may not happen this year we will see. Also I will be attending the National Homebrewers Conference in Oakland in June. I am really looking forward to this conference. There aren't many homebrewers that I know of here in Bakersfield so I haven't had much of a chance to try home brews other then my own and at this conference I will be able to do that. It should be a blast!! Beer and learning about creating it. Doesn't get much better!!

This should be a good second year to my homebrewing hobby and my only real resolution is to keep having fun and keep learning in the best hobby I have ever had. HAPPY BREW YEAR EVERYONE!!! I am hosting next month so I hope to see all of you back!!

Matt C.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Beer Review # 7 - 21st Amendment Hell or High Watermelon Wheat

Hi all,

The beer I am reviewing today is Hell or High Watermelon Wheat form 21st Amendment in San Fransisco, CA.

Appearance -This beer pours a very light straw color with a quick disappearing head and little tiny bubbles of carbonation. If i didn't know that this was a wheat beer I would have thought it was a lager.

Smell - This beer smells light and fresh with a good amount of watermelon in the nose. Makes me think of a summer day in the middle of winter. It is 65 here so it not the wintery.

Taste - The taste of this beer is very crisp and flavorful with a good amount of watermelon flavor. I still don't get the wheat characteristics but this would be a really nice come in from the hot sun and refresh beer.

Mouthfeel - I feel this beer has a nice light mouthfeel and goes down crisps, dry and smooth. Unlike most wheat beers I have had there is no chewiness(?) from the yeast in the brew. Again I would think this was a lager rather then an ale.

Drinkability - This beer is very drinkable and at 5.5% ABV you can have a few and still feel ok afterwords.

I feel that this is one of the most interesting beers I have had to date. Who would have thunk it watermelon in beer. Also this may be a beer a person getting in to craft brews might try as a stepping stone from yellow fizzy water. It not to heave but it shows that light beers can have taste.

On a side note I wonder if they have a non-filtered version. I would like to try it with the yeastiness of yeast still in the beer. Maybe next time I get to the bay area I will head over to there brewery and find out.

Talk to you later!!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Beer Review #6 - St. Pauli Girl Lager

Hi all,

I am caught up so far after this post. 3 weeks in 2009 6 beers. Yeah for me!!

Appearance -This beer pours a very light yellow with a quick disapearing head and little tiny bubbles of carbonation.

Smell - This beer smells a little skunky but that may be due to being left in the garage for a few weeks with vastly changing temperatures. Other then that it smells like a German lager.

Taste - The taste of this beer is very crisp and flavorful but like the scent I can taste a little skunk, not to much but its there. I am not a huge fan of light lagers but this is a decent beer if you want something crisp and refreshing.

Mouthfeel - I feel this beer's mouthfeel is typical of a light lager. It is very light and refreshing and goes down smooth.

Drinkability - This beer is very drinkable and you can drink more then one. I personally won't buy the American yellow fizzy water but I would by this for people coming to my house who normally do. This is a very nice drinkable beer if you want something nice and crisp.

My only question is are the German beer makers afraid of brown bottles. It seems a majority of available european beers come in green bottles. I am not a big fan of skunk and long term storage in green bottles isn't the greatest idea. Just my thoughts!!

Talk to you later!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Beer Review #5 - Allagash Tripel Reserve

Hi all,

Here is my 5th and most special review of the year!! This time I am drinking with my mother in law and coworker the Allagash Tripel Reserve Batch #115 in celebration of bringing my first child home from the hospital. Little Catherine Grace is 7lb 9oz!!

Appearance -This beer pours a beautiful clear blond with a long lasting lacy head. You can see a nice effervescence floating through the glass.

Smell - This beer has a nice sweet estery fruity scent. This is a very good example, in my opinion, of a tripel.

Taste - The sweetness of the malt and the warmness of the alcohol really come through in the taste. I also really like the fruity easters. I kind of taste a little banana and citrus. Which either means I am not rally good at describing what I am tasting or Allagash did there own interpretation on a Tripel. Either way I really like it.

Mouthfeel - I feel this beers mouthfeel is really nice. It has some substance yet is smooth going down the throat.

Drinkability - This beer is very drinkable with a few friends. At 9% ABV drinking one of these over a few hours would be perfect. If you get a chance I highly reccomend you try this beer of you are ever in Portland, Maine or if you see it at the local beer store. You won't be dissapointed.

Talk to you later!!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Beer Review #4 - Lengthwise Double ZZ Razzberry Ale

Hi all,

Here is my 4th review of the year!! This time I am drinking one of my favorite local beers Lenghtwise Raspberry Wheat. Let me tell you this stuff is really good. So my review is probably slightly biased.

Appearance -This beer pours a nice cloudy blond with with a nice lasting head. I personally think its beautiful.(See Biased)

Smell - This beer has a nice fresh smell with hints of banana and cloves but the predominant scent is a light raspberry.

Taste - This is a very fresh beer beer and everything that comes through on the nose you can taste. The raspberry and light banana and clove make this very refreshing.

Mouthfeel - I feel this beer has a great mouthfeel. The yeast left in the beer gives it a soft chewiness that lets you know its there but it is still light and refreshing.

Drinkability - Like I stated before this is one of my favorite local beers and I can definatly drink more then one. If you are not a big fruit beer fan I feel that this may change your mind.

Talk to you later!!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Beer Review #3 - Hoptown Paint the Town Red Amber Ale

Hi All,

Here is my 3rd review of the year. I hope you are reading these and getting something out of them. Also please leave comments and let me know what i can improve on. I am always looking to improve how I describe beers.

Appearance - It is pours a nice amber color with a good long lasting head. But due to it being unfiltered it was very hazy

Smell - This beer had i nice crisp hop scent. I felt nose gave off floral and grassy notes. The scent made me really want to try it.

Taste - This beer tastes a lot like it smells, fresh and crisp. I also felt that it was sweet yet hoppy at the same time. Its kind of like you wanted a malty sweet beer you could reach for this or if you wanted a hoppy beer you could also reach for this.

Mouthfeel - I think that since it isn't filtered it gave it a very nice mouth feel. I think if it was filtered it may have been a thin beer but by leaving in the yeast it gave it a little bit of chewiness.

This was a very enjoyable beer and if you get a chance to try it I would recommend it.

Talk to you later!!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Beer Review #2 - Sierra Nevada 12th Harvest Ale

Hi All,

Here is my 2nd review of the year. So far I am on slightly behind schedule but I had a cold and didn't feel I could get a good review. Don't worry there is alot or year left and I plan to catch up.

Color - The color of this beer is a perfect golden amber.

Smell (nose) - This beer as a great fresh smell. You can smell the hops, grassiness and some nice citrus tones.

Taste - This beer has a very fresh taste. It has good bitterness but it is not overly so. The citrus and grassy notes come through very nicely.

Body - This beer has a good mouth feel but isn't overly heavy. Since they only come in 22oz one bottle would probably satisfy you very nicely for an evening.

Drinkability - This beer is very drinkable. Its fresh citrusy tastes makes you want more. Its middle of the road bitterness would go well with a lot of different foods and also by itself. I would highly recommend trying this beer. With hops that are used within 24 hours of being picked you can't get much fresher beer.

Well I hope you enjoyed the 2nd review of my 2009 reviewing goal. Please feel free to let me know if I am doing something worng or should cover and area better.

Talk to you later!!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Beer Review #1 - Sam Adams Cranberry Lambic

Hi All,

This is my first review of a proposed 104. Thats right my goal for this year is to rate 2 beers a week. I think that that is a good number and it will allow me to learn more about beer and hopefully help me understand what is going into a beer so that I can better understand what will happen to a beer i brew if I use similar ingredients.

Color - The color of this beer is a very light amber. It kind of reminds me of a rose wine. The beer is also very clear with little head formation.

Smell (nose) - This beer smells fruity with cranberry being the defining scent. Makes sense since it is a cranberry lambic.

Taste - This beer has has a light sour taste and you can taste the tartness of the cranberries. I feel there could be a little more carbonation to help bring out the flavors. Also this beer isn't as sour as most lambic beers I have tried in the past.

Body - This is a rather thin beer but it isn't too thin. It has a decent mouth feel. I hate keep having to go to other beverages but it has the mouth feel of a white zin or a wine cooler. I don't feel that is bad for this beer but its the easiest way to describe it. I am glad it isn't really heavy and sugary as other lambics.

Drinkability - This beer is very drinkable. It is nice and light and you could have more than one and still feel good. Like I stated before a little more carbonation would really increase the flavor and drinkability of this beer. If you ever get an opertunity to try this beer I would. I don't feel it is true to style but it would be a good precurser to a true lambic. Also this would be a better beer with dessert then with dinner in my opinion.

Well I hope you enjoyed the first review of my 2009 reviewing goal. Please feel free to let me know if I am doing something worng or should cover and area better.

Talk to you later!!

Friday, January 2, 2009

The Session #23 Miss about '08 Excited about '09

Hi all,

Welcome to this months the session. This month is hosted by the folks over at Beer and Firkins. I really like this months topic. I didn't really think about 2008 that much, but it probably has been the best year of my beer life.

First I started homebrewing, or should I say actually succeeded in homebrewing. I brewed 10 batches everyone different and everyone tasted good. Only 3 where what i was expecting but they were all really nice drinkable beers. Who would have thunk it I could make beer? I has been a great hobby and I can't wait to see what 2009 holds in my home brewing hobby. I already know what 2 of them will be. One will be my biggest beer to date a 9.5% ABV American Style Imeperial IPA using a British Ale yeast cake from my last brew of 2008 an ESB. The other will be the exact opposite a real small beer a mid 3% ABV blonde. I like having a beer with dinner but I don't always want a lot or alcohol(or calories for that matter) and there isn't much of a selection in the market to meet my needs so i'll do it myself. My only other plans for 2009 in terms of homebrewing is I would like to go all grain and I want to brew 10 batches again. I think I can make both happen.

Second I went on 2 great beer related trips. For my birthday my wife took me to Portland Oregon. Let me tell you they know beer. I must have tried 50 different beers. I will admit I don't remember most of them but my goal for this trip was to try and taste as many portland brewed beers as I could. I had a blast and I would highly recommend portland if you want to take a beer trip or even a family trip. Portland is a great destination. My next beer trip was to the GABF. I wasn't supposed to attend this event becasue we were supposed to go on a family cruise but my wife got pregnant with our first child and you can't cruise after so many weeks. So I tossed out the idea of GABF and my wife said yes. You know when you about to defend the expected no answer and you realize the other person said yes. Thats what happened here. I had a blast again I have no idea how many i tasted but lets just say I was beer'ed out by the end of the 3 days. GABF really is beer mecca. My only complaint is that none of my friends or family were able to attend so if I can get back in 2009 I want to bring a few people. 2009 won't be quite as exciting in terms of travel but I do have plans to attend the Nation Homebrewers Conference in Oakland and I am going to Asheville, NC for the holidays next years so I will be trying as many of there brewpubs as I can. I also hope to go to the GABF again if possible but I am guessing it may not happen this year. So it does look like 2009 will be a good year of beer travel.

I have a lot to look forward to in 2009 interms of beer but I also will be having my first child in less then 2 weeks. 2009 is going to keep me real busy and I can't wait to see how it goes. I am pretty sure 2009 will be better then 2008 both in terms of beer and life.

I would like to again thank the folks over at Beer and Firkins for hosting this month session and I am looking forward to what the session will bring and what I can learn about beer and life in 2009. Talk to you next month!


Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New (Brew) Year!!

Hi All,

I hope everyone had a great new years!! I personally didn't I was sick in bed but its all good. I hope everyone had a good beer to celebrate the new year. I also hope that the coming year is better then this year. Finally I also hope that all you beer lovers out there are able to try more beers (notice I didn't say drink more beers) or if your a brewer brew more beers or try new techniques. Also please don't forgot to check back for my proposed 104 beer reviews,12 session posts,12 Fermentation Friday posts, and various other beer related post through out this year.

Happy New Year All,
Matt C.