Friday, July 31, 2009

July Fermentation Friday - CopyCat (Clone) Brewing

Hi All,

Welcome to the July Fermentation Friday. I would like to start off by thanking Rob over at pfiff! for hosting July's copycat stole a rat put it in her Sunday hat Fermentation Friday. Once I got through the title and article from my favorite wordsmith I think it came down to cloning your favorite commercial beer. Did I get that right Rob? Well if its not that is what I am writing about anyway.

This months topic on brewing clones isn't one that I am that familiar with. I personally just brew what I like and don't really try to brew what I can get commercially. I actually always find it a little strange that a homebrewer would waste their time brewing what is already available. Homebrewing to me is a creative hobby and outlet and I feel cloning recipes takes that away. I do admit I am still learning so I have brewed mostly kits (which is someone elses recipe but since I don't know what that beer was supposed to taste like I can't try and clone it) but I have started to formulate my own recipies. When I formulate recipes I start with a style and build from there using some ideas from commercial brews that I have tried but I don't try to clone them. For example the local brewpub makes a Raspberry Wheat. My Mother-in-Law really enjoyed it so I tried brewing a version of it. I started with a really good hefeweizen recipe and then added some raspberry extract and it turned out amazing. It was similar to the local brewpub but it wasn't a clone and I actually prefered it becasue I was going for more fruit flavor then the local version and thats what I got.

I know some homebrewers use clones as a way to test their skill but I feel you can do that with your own recipe. If you brew a recipe and take good notes then you should be able to make that same recipe again and have it come out exactly the same. That's where the skill comes in. In my opinion. Getting the the same thing over and over again is what the commercial brewers strive for and that is what homebrewers should strive for if they find that perfect recipe.

The only thing I may try to clone someday is techniques. I love the 120 minute IPA from Dogfish Head. It would be awesome to continuously hop a beer for 120 minutes and then dry hop to finish it. I haven't looked on the net but I would probably try and use the process using the hops I can get the best deal on. It won't be a clone but it will be the GISBREWMASTER 120 min IPA.

I have no problem if someone wants to clone because part of homebrewing is doing what you want. I feel that there are so many beers and beer styles out there that I don't feel I need to make a beer that someone already has. I will keep trying as many commercial beers that I can and then take some parts for each. I may possibly make a Frankenstein beer. Maybe my clone will be the "120 min Rasputin Berliner Weisse Lambic Stout". Sounds good doesn't it?

Thanks again to Rob for hosting this month. I am looking forward to reading everyone elses opinion on this. Also as alwasys thanks to Adam at Beer Bits 2 for starting this fun event!!

Matt C.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Beer Review #41 - Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale

Hi All,

After a big gap between #40 and #41 here is my review of Dogfish Head Indian Brown ale. I finally remembered that I have 2 or 3 reviews on my phone so I will probably be sending them off in the next few day.

Appearance - The DFH IBA pours a nice brown with a nice almond long lasting head with great lacing.

Aroma - The DFH IBA has a really nice aroma with hints of coffee and chocolate. This a very malt forward beer but the earthiness of the hops comes.

Taste - The DFH IBA has a nice full flavor with hints of bitter chocolate and coffee. The hops do a good job with bittering but they see very happy to be the supporting cast in this beer.

Mouthfeel - The DFH IBA is light to medium bodied and has a good carbonation that carries the flavor throughout the mouth.

Overall - The DFH IBA is a very nice brown ale I would even lean it towards a light porter. Drink it if you can get it.

Have a great day until next time!

Matt C.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

This video explains why we do it, Homebrew that is!!

Hi all,

I saw this video this morning and thought all my readers would enjoy it. Like the title says. This is why "I am a home brewer!"

Matt C.

I have been slacking!

Sorry all my readers out there I have been slacking the last few weeks. I have had some good beers but I haven't written about them. Don't worry I will be back soon. I plan to do at least 1 beer review this week and hopefully a recap of my trip to San Diego for a conference.

Talk to you all soon!

Matt C.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Session #29 - Will Travel For Beer

Hi All,

Welcome to my post for this months session. This months topic "Will Travel For Beer" is hosted by the folks over at Beer by Bart. This months topic is very easy for me. Normally I have to really think about what I am going to write but not this time.

The hosts what to know:
"If you see the words “travel” and “beer” and instead of your best tourist sagas you think of work or logistics, we want to know your tips and strategies on the road. (Perhaps for getting prized bottles home.)"

I happen to feel I am very knowledgeable in this area. There are very few trips where I don't hit at least one local brewery/brewpub, beer bar or local beer store. The first thing I do when going on a trip for either business or pleasure is visit This is one of my favorite beer sites. You enter a city or address and it will show all the beer based locations around. You also have the option of picking a regional map of all the breweries and brewpubs in the region. I also use the mobile version of when I get to a location. It makes it very easy to get the address of the beer location and directions to it.

So once you get to the destination and fall for a beer how do you get it home. I have 2 options for you. One is pack it in your suit case and 2 which is send yourself some yeast samples just don't use the USPS. If you pack it in your suit case make sure your wrap it really well in your clothes and put it in a large freezer bag just in case. I have brought beer home from all over the country and even from Europe with this method and have never had an issue.

So now that I have got you there and got you home. Here are some suggestions of place you should go so that you can bring great beer back. First my favorite beer trip to date is Portland, Oregon. There are many great breweries and brewpubs all over Portland. Second San Diego and the Bay Area are 2 great beer destinations on opposite sides of state that know there beer. Finally I would say hit any place you are going to be. There is great beer all over this great country and world. Get out, travel and try it!!

Thanks again to Gail and Steve at Beer By Bart for hosting this month. I am looking forward to reading all the other tips out there. Anything I can do to try great beer and get home safely I want to know!

See you next month,

Matt C.