Beerhind the Music: The Hopp Mobb

April 24th, 2011

Beerhind the Music: The Hopp Mobb

This is our short film entry to the 2011 Dogfish Head Off-Centered Film Fest. We came in Second Place this year.

Here’s a segment of a review from Austin 360, which I believe is associated with the newspaper in Austin:

“But there were a lot of laughs on the stage Saturday night and, got to say it, the films have never been better. “Beerhind the Music: The Hopp Mobb” nailed the VH1 schtick brutally and featured an interview with a music journalist named, if I’ve got the spelling correctly, “Kurt Lautertun.” (That’s a reference to both Kurt Loder and a piece of brewing equipment. Everybody there was geeky enough to get it.) That film, by returning champ Erik Mitchell from Delaware, placed second. The filmmakers secret: They drank nine bottles of Bitches Brew the night before they made it.” Austin 360 link

Sour Beers and the POPE

January 16th, 2011

Couple nice little beer side trips this weekend; an excessive amount of sour beers and a visit with the POPE.

On Friday Guy had invited a nice group of people, maybe 10 people, over to his house for a sour beer tasting. Now many moons ago Guy used to be a BMC kind of person, now he’s probably on of the biggest beer geeks in the area with a cellar and beer trading reputation that will put most peoples to shame. So when I got the invite I knew there was going to be a lot of gems available that night, very generous indeed. To contribute I brought a Bottleworks Deviation IX and an original batch or ’07 Ommegang Ommegeddon. On top of that, there were 30 other sour beers, 32 total, most in 750ml bottles. I’m still waiting for an official list from Guy, but just from the one picture above you can see what kind of stuff we were getting into: Mikkeller, ’03 Festina Lente, multiple Russian Rivers, ’07 Riserva … many a sick beers. I think overall my favorites were brewer by The Lost Abbey and Russian River, these guys crush some sour beer love. I didn’t take any notes because I just wanted to enjoy myself, and after I receive the official list from Guy I may add some mental notes on specific beers, but as of now hear are some of the comments I can remember (paraphrased): Smells like stinky feet, tastes like grand-mom, smells like olive brine, now this one is funky like Herbie Hancock funky, needs more barnyard to be rounded out, definite baby diaper in this beer, like chocolate soaked in sick, balls deep in this beer, it smells like fruity pussy (said by a female), I think this beer was strained through a used sweat sock … And yes, we liked all of these beers, even with those kind of descriptions. Big thanks to Guy for the generosity and hospitality!

Edit – Here’s the list of sour beers Guy sent over, very nice:

  • Temptation
    Sinner’s Blend
    Cuvee de Tomme
    Red Poppy
    Bullfrog Liquid Sunshine  Reserva
    Weyerbacher Riserva
    La Folie
    Mikkeller It’s Alive
    Panil Barriquee
    Upland Peach
    Ithaca Brute
    Bruery Oude Tart
    Avery Sui Generis
    DFH Festina Lente
    Drie Fonteinen Hommage
    Portsmouth Flanders Red
    Captain Lawrence Rosso e Marrone
    Captain Lawrence Cuvee de Castleton
    Cascade The Vine
    Cascade Kriek
    Iron Hill Frambroise de Hill
    New Belgium Lips of Faith Kriek

On Saturday I decided to drive up to Philly to pick up some concert tickets to avoid the wonderful Ticket Master / Live Nation “convenience” charges. So since I was in Philly I wanted to see if there was anything easy and cheap beer-centric going on so I could make the most of my time. I poked around quickly on line and saw the POPE (Pub On Passyunk East) was having their annual chili cook-off event. I have never been to the POPE before but they have a reputation of being a comfortable beer forward corner bar, plus a bunch of different chilies to taste, sign me up! So essentially it was $5 to sample twelve different chilies and then vote on your favorite. The chili was served in small sample cups, probably between two to four ounces each, so after all twelve it was a ton of chili. Most of the chilies were made in the traditional tomato base with beef, but there were of course a few twists. There was one chili that was a huge hit that was made with lamb that kicked very early in the tasting, there was another chili with breakfast sausage in it which was a really neat variation, some with more expensive cuts of meat like buffalo and pork loin, a south Philly pork variant with pork, broccoli rabe, and sharp provolone, and one veggie chili made with 60 Minute IPA. Overall I would say none of the chilies were duds, and a couple were exceptional. I did not stay long enough to see who won and I am not even sure if there was a criteria or not, but my two favorites were the breakfast sausage chili and the south Philly pork chili, both stood out above the others and were worth the risk of stepping outside of the chili box, good job. Along with the chili I enjoyed a Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA and a 21st Amendment Back in Black IPA. Overall it was a nice little pit stop in Philly and I would totally go back to the POPE again to check it out.

So, what’s on tap?

January 11th, 2011

That’s pretty much the question whenever I have people over: So, what’s on tap?

Right now there is a nice variety on tap, the California Red, Chocolate American Brown Ale, and the Pepper Sage Saison. All three are pretty good to good, so I can live with that. Sometimes we need to take risks to find out where the world of good taste ends the world of homebrew adventure begins. I’ll go through each briefly.

The CA Red is a big hoppy yet malty beer. It is probably one of my top three favorite types of beers, the over the top hoppy IPAs that are dripping with malty stickiness. Arrogant Bastard from Stone Brewery is a prime example and Racer 5 from Bear Republic, a bomber of either of them and I am a happy guy. So this IPA is brewed in that style, an excessive amount of hops, but still plenty of Crystal malts that add that non-fermentable caramel sugar love to the brew. It’s like candied hops, similar to candied orange rind, but not really, know what I mean? You think it isn’t going to be good, but instead it is delicious. When this beer was fresh this summer it was spot on. This is the second keg with a good six months on it, the hops have definitely faded. The beer is still good, just not as good as it was fresh.

The Chocolate American Brown Ale was the second keg of two. The first I left traditional style and is a beer I have brewed before, it turned out great, nice and malty yet hop forward enough to be balanced, and more flavorful than your typical american brown. This batch I added a pound (if I remember correctly) of powdered straight cocoa. It’s an OK way to add chocolate to your beer. This is the third variant of chocolate I have tried and I’d put it in the middle. The best was straight cocao nibs, though if I used them again I may grind them finer, straight cocoa powder being second, and chocolate syrup being third (not recommended). This beer is nice for one or two, but after that it seems to be a bit too much for real drinkability for my palate.

The Pepper Sage Saison was probably the most anticipated out of the three beers currently on tap and probably the one that fell the flattest. It’s OK, don’t get me wrong, just a little under-attenuated. It’s too sweet for a Saison which then masks too many of the other flavors. Saisons are suppose to be dry, crisp, kind of like a ray of sunshine, mine was definitely sweet, a little heavy, and more like a gray cloud. I think the peppercorn and sage is a GREAT idea for a Saison, but it was just to masked by the sweetness to really tell. The sage was more of an overall flavor, kind of the same from front to back, but the peppercorn had an initial taste on the front of the tongue, than gone, than a soft burn in the back of the throat. I think I used twice the amount of black peppercorn from the original time I used it and honestly I would double that again. Makes me wonder what a black peppercorn and rose petal Saison would taste like … hhmmm.

So anyway, that’s what’s on tap, hit me up if you want to try anything, the bar is always open :). Next lined up are a bunch of hoppy beers (yeah!), there is a simple pale ale brewed with Saison yeast, the SAW Pale ale, the January IPA (Sticky Jr), and I think maybe something else … can’t remember, 10 gallons of each, so plenty to go around. Until next time.

January IPA

January 2nd, 2011

It’s been a while, how have you been? Great, I’m glad you’re still thirsty for more homebrew.

Today I brewed what was originally labeled as FC Hoppy IPA, which I later mentally dubbed the Hailstorm IPA, but in all honesty it’s the Son of the Stick-Icky IPA. I had written this recipe back in May when I had ordered a bunch of ingredients. I like to write maybe six recipes at a time and then order ingredients accordingly versus ordering a bunch of random stuff and basing my recipes from what’s available. So, this one was just labeled as FC Hoppy IPA, it was roughly based off of the Fool Circle 10th Anniversary Ale Sticky-Icky DIPA. I say roughly because the base malt is slightly different and the hop additions are slightly different, same volume of base malt, and almost the same volume of hops, but with half the dry hops, which is still a half pound.

Anyway, the brew day went alright. It started a little slow, I had run out of coffee! So after a coffee run, I had to run back out to the grocery store to pick an additional ingredient up for the brew day. After the running around and getting the brew area cleaned up I probably started about 11:30AM. No major mishaps, which is great. It was the first brew day with the new basement door installed, which was nice, no more annoying screen door in the way. I did blow a hose on my water filter which was kind of crazy. In the middle of the hose it just blew apart, where there appeared to be no stress, no wear, no nothing, but the tubing was about twice as thin as it should have been, weird. It wasn’t a big deal, I had some extra tubing available and replaced it. About halfway through the brew day the sky started to get much darker, and knowing there was a 50% chance of rain I decided to put up my rain fly, which is essentially a blue tarp held up by bungee cords. It actually worked really well this time; no gaps, no puddles, no billowing. Though, it wasn’t just rain. Where I was we received rain, hail, and ice, it was quite loud but nice and dry and pretty warm from all the additional heat from the steam.

I also, finally worked on the SAW Pale Ale some. It really should have been transferred to kegs like, oh, say, a month or so ago. But, I’ve been slacking hard on the homebrew front, and today I actually transferred it to a third carboy. I was originally going to keg it today,  but forgot I wanted to try and fine the beer with gelatin which takes a couple days. I’ve never used it before, but it is what was available on the fly, so we’ll see. I followed some of the basic techniques on line: boil a cup of water, cool close to room temp, add a TBSP of gelatin, let it bloom, shake/stir, add to carboy, add beer, wait a few days to clear. Hopefully it’ll work. The beer was “clear enough”, but I was hoping it’d be clearer, plus I wanted to experiment with the technique anyway. If it really drops it clear I may use it more often, especially with heavily dry hopped beers which almost always seem to have more haze. After all the brew day action, and transfer fun, and clean up what nots the brew day wrapped a little after 8:00PM, a little long, but not too bad.

So as of now there is ten gallons of Sticky Jr waiting to begin fermentation in my upstairs, too cold during this time of the year in the basement. Hopefully by tomorrow morning it’ll be bubbling away and then ready to transfer in about two weeks, drop a quarter pound of dry hops in each carboy, and then keg (or possibly gelatin and then keg) shortly after. It really shouldn’t be up in the rotation to be put on tap, but I’m a sucker for fresh hoppy beers, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see this beer sooner than later. On tap now is the second keg of CA Red from this summer, mellowed out some in the hop realm but still tasty taste, the Chocolate American Brown, good but I now believe I’ll stick with Cocoa Nibs, and the Sage and Black Peppercorn Saison, tasty but sweeter than it should be. Theoretically more on those three later this week.

S.A.W. Pale Ale

October 18th, 2010

Today was the first time I brewed since Labor Day weekend and brewed a beer I haven’t brewed since 2007, the S.A.W. Pale Ale.

The S.A.W. Pale Ale is a pale ale brewed with a combination of Simcoe, Amarillo, and Warrior hops, thus the S.A.W. abbreviation. I also use the Dogfish Head continuous hopping method for this beer where the hops are added at the same rate throughout the brew. So for this beer it has a 2 to 1 ration of Amarillo to the other two hops, I then mixed the hops all together so the three hops are indistinguishable, and then measure out a consistent amount, half an ounce for this batch, and add it continuously at at a set rate, every eight minutes for this batch. Also, I suppose I should mention that I wasn’t able to find whole leaf Warrior hops so I substituted with whole leaf Zeus hops, so I suppose this is really the S.A.Z. Pale Ale, but whatever.

The brew day went well enough, I went into it already exhausted which means I am really beat right now. There was no major mishaps that went down only a couple little hiccups. Didn’t realize I was out of Whirlfloc so there is a higher potential for a not as clear beer. I forgot to oxygenate my wort until after I added my yeast, really not a big deal at all just a little out of sequence then normal. I ran out of propane while heating the mash out water, really not a big deal either since I had a back up ready to go. And I’m a little nervous about my yeast starter, 1000ml of WLP001 that was a month out of date. Theoretically it should be fine, but, I dunno, it didn’t seem “right”. Other than that I got four carboys cleaned, two kegs cleaned, two beers transferred and dry hopped, and wrapped the brew day in less than seven hours. So, though I am exhausted, and there was a couple hoops to jump through, the day went well.

I transfered the APA with Saison Yeast, which of course meant that I sampled it. It was interesting, the final gravity was nice and low (unlike the Saison itself … hmmm), the american hops stood out brightly and the Saison yeast gave it an interesting twist though I would have preferred a more peppery contribution. We’ll see, should be in kegs soon, and then who knows when it will go on tap. Speaking of which, I just put two new beers on tap, the American Brown I brewed with Heather and Robert back in August and the plain Saision. I still have the Perle American Wheat on tap too. I’ll try to write a review of the two new beers this week. Lined up to be tapped next is the Chocolate Brown and the Sage and Peppercorn Saison, both of those should be interesting!

2010 Dogfish Head Bocce Tournament

September 15th, 2010

This past weekend, 09.10/11.10, was the 6th Annual Dogfish Head Intergalactic Bocce Tournament in Milton, DE and it was once again absolutely ri-dic-u-lous!

Click HERE to check out all the photos from this event

Click HERE to check out the ridiculous setlist from this event

This was my fifth year attending the Bocce Tournament and the Erik Mitchell Band’s (EMB) fourth year attending. In my opinion, the EMB is the unofficial 17th team of the tournament, I feel as if they are embraced overall by the majority of teams, it’s a real personal and interesting relationship between the musicians and the teams. This year was a little different from the bands perspective, a few things that were different including heading to Milton during the first day of the tournament. Typically we would be behind schedule leaving and not make it down in time, so this year there was more of a conscious effort to get there early, so we were probably able to enjoy the festivities from about 7 to 9 on Friday. Additionally, there was a new musician playing with the band, Jimmy, a second guitar player who sort of took the lead guitar role on some songs and sort of took a background role on others, in all he was a fun addition. And finally, which kind of came down on me, there was no BandVanMan to tote the equipment around in, so unfortunately we got stuck using four cars instead, I think it still worked out OK but felt a little more cumbersome and I’m sure cost a few more bucks between gas and tolls.

Per usual the event itself was crazy stoopid dumb, it had all the dope moves Chucky! Honestly, I feel every year the event takes place it generally gets a little bit more nutty and a little bit more put together, things just really felt like they flowed this year from the interaction of the teams, the schedule of events, the catering, the timing of the games, and the flow of the band. Actually, this may be the first time I can remember things kind of ending on time. Oh yeah, did I forget to mention the Discovery Channel was there filming the whole thing? Yup, take the insanity up another notch. If you haven’t heard yet, Sam Calagione the president of Dogfish Head will be hosting a new Discovery Channel show called “Brewed” which will cover different aspects of the modern beer culture and the history of beer, partially with Dr. Pat McGovern and Sam hopping around the globe to explore different ales, sounds pretty awesome to me. Well, one of the events they covered was the Bocce Tournament; two days of the most loyal Off-Centered People drinking the best Off-Centered Ales playing mainly Off-Centered Bocce while rockin the most excellent Off-Centered threads around. Or, you could say a bunch of really cool goof-balls drinking a metric ass-ton of beer while pretending to play die-hard bocce in the most ridiculous costumes around.

From what I could tell all of the teams returned again, which is really great. Let’s see how good my memory is … not very, but we’ll try … there was Punkin Drublic rockin out a “cowboy label” theme, so like the figures from the Burton Baton and Black and Blue labels and Johnny Cask. They actually re-wrote the lyrics to “Ring of Fire” and performed it with the band, pretty cool. The Alpha Males, or Micro Brewsters, or whatever their name is now (Nacho’s team) were kickin a “blind guy” kind of theme, the Pallino Pimps went all Intergalactic and were intergalactic “super heroes” including Miss Piggy from Pigs in Space, Marvin the Martian, Space Ghost on vacation, and Barbarella … let’s see here … Um, Mama’s Roast Beef was back with sort of a “jungle-tiki” theme, and they had real fake tits once again, and sweet Pumas, the Holy Rollers were back, I think they may have been trying for a “Hare Krishna” type thing or something, not sure, barely recognized Jebus with no hair or beard, Knights of the Malted Balls were sportin the same OG “knights” gear … aahhh … Midas Touch My Balls were back again as the cast of the “Jersey Shore”, The Situation, Ronny, DJ Paulie D, and Snookie were all in effect, and Snookie had one foul mouth! The Chicken-Fuckers/Cat Bird Ass whatever they are now were back, honestly can’t remember their theme this year, Beer Junta was re-invented as the “Insane Clown Bocce” and I know the one dude (old school bocce Kid Rock) was hot as balls in full face make-up, coveralls, and boots, Bonsai Bocce was all ramped up in a new “Rocky” theme, and the Bocce Beer Monks were representing their consistent style with the monk robes, … hhmmm … there was also Sam’s Team “Grape Scott” with some stylish kilts and purple tops, the Engineers from last year were back with an throwback type basketball theme, the “bocce ballers” maybe, not sure, there was also a team with Chiefs gear on hittin a “Slap Shot / Hanson Bros” type theme … oh jeez, and I almost forgot Motley Brue was in the house again, rockin the “eighties hairband” action AND winning the tournament, geez, and I almost forgot them, third time they have won, amazing. And there was one more DFH team Audrey’s Team representing a “bosses” theme where each employee was poking fun at their own bosses, haha. I think that’s 16 teams, so please let me know if I forgot anyone.

In addition to all the greatness that is bocce in Milton I also got to visit the pub in Rehoboth three times over the weekend. On Friday there was a band the Bullbuckers that played, sort of a Ska-Funk band, they had horns and were a ton of fun, though Erik’s camera got accidentally broken at the pub, so that sucked, but I may be able to add those pictures eventually too. Then on Saturday we went after bocce and there was a band 28 North playing that was pretty good too. And then when I sent back late Sunday afternoon it was lazy Sunday style with some billiards to wrap up the good times - fun times indeed. Additionally they had three brew pub exclusives on tap we got to try; the DFH Ale, Chicha, and Bam Bam Baji. The DFH Ale is a Double IPA that was described as having the body of a 60 Minute, the alcohol of a 90 Minute, and the hops of a 120 Minute IPA, it was a delicious beer. The Chicha is based on an old school South American style of fermented beverage where corn is chewed and spit into the mash and the saliva from the spit actually contribute to the break down of the starches in the mash process. The beer is boiled after the fact so it is completely sterile, but to some it is still a very unique idea. Finally the Bam Bam Baji is an English-style bitter and nitrogenated, it was very smooth and easy to drink. All three beers were VERY different than each other and it was a pleasure to have the opportunity to try so many special beers at one time, especially after the mass consumption of 60 Minute IPAs that weekend.

Since I already rambled on a ton and pretty much said nothing I’ll wrap this up. It was an amazing weekend that I highly anticipate each year and feel very fortunate to have the pleasure to be able to contribute how ever I can. Now, sit back, go check out the pictures and some of the older bocce posts, and try to wrap your head around the awesomeness that is the Dogfish Head Intergalactic Bocce Tournament!

APA with Saison Yeast

September 10th, 2010

On Labor Day, 09.06.10, I had the opportunity to brew a batch of beer, this time it was an American Pale Ale with Saison Yeast, should be interesting.

The brew day got started a little later than I had wanted, close to 12:30-1:00, but that’s OK because I didn’t really have anything else to do that day. The brew day went relatively well, I did run out of gas so there was a propane run to the store, but that’s no big deal. Also I am using some simple sugars in this recipe, so I pulled 2 Qts of wort and mixed it with 2 lbs of sugar. I reserved these to add towards the end of active fermentation, about day 5. This way the yeast will gobble up the more complex sugars from the barley first. These simple sugars will hopefully help lower the final gravity, which I have been having some issues of too high FGs, I think (hope) it’s my current base malt, Crisp from England. I used Saison yeast with this APA, kind of an American-Belgian fusion. At the 24hr point the wort hadn’t really kicked off into active fermentation, which was weird because it was second generation yeast, so as a safety measure I added a dry pack of US-05 American yeast to each, it’ll be interesting to see how this turns out.

I also had an opportunity to keg the Saison and Pepper Sage Saison, so these will be on tap soon too. I still have the Perle American Wheat and the Grilled Pineapple Wheat on tap, I think the Pineapple will kick first. Then I’ll be putting two new beers on tap, definitely the American Brown and probably one of the Saisons. Then there is still a keg of the CA Red left, the Chocolate Am Brown, the other Saison, and then two APAs. I believe I still have ingredients lined up for two more batches, another PA and an IPA, hophead say what!? Additionally, there has been some minor talk of Garrett and myself revisiting brewing a barleywine together, ala the 2006 Gnarleywine, so I’ll keep you all posted as that develops too.

Pepper Sage Saison

August 25th, 2010

So I finally got around to transferring the Saison to secondaries and I also committed to the spice addition.

So as the title suggests I decided on Black Pepper and Fresh Sage for the spice additions to half of the Saison, thus a Pepper Sage Saison. I went with a quarter of an ounce of pepper and a half ounce of sage. Hopefully neither will be totally overwhelming more so than too discrete. Last time I used black pepper I used an eighth of an ounce and I could barely tell it was there. And this was in five gallons of beer. The base beer tasted pretty good, a little sweet (kind of high final gravity), but it should be OK. So in about two weeks or so these will be kegged and ready to go. It’ll be cool if I have a bunch of wacky beers on tap at once, like the Grilled Pineapple Wheat, the Chocolate American Brown, and the Pepper Sage Saison, nice! So, we’ll see how this turns out, could be a pile of shit, could be exceptional. Would love to hear your thoughts after it’s ready. So far, it’s still more fun to take a couple of risks.

Saison and BCTC ’10

August 10th, 2010

A little over a week ago was this years Ommegang’s Belgium Comes to Cooperstown (BCTC) and I also had an opportunity to brew a beer inspired from the event.

So upon the return from BCTC I had an extra day off from work, and as long as nothing came up I was going to brew. Inspired by all of the lovely Belgian-style beers from the festival I decided it was time to brew a Saison, even though my house is desperately in need of some hoppy-goodness. The brew-day and the recipe were both pretty straight forward and everything generally seemed to go fine, besides cooling which took WAY to long. In between the brew steps I was also able to clean six carboys and two kegs plus keg the American Brown and the Chocolate Brown. So whatever kicks first will get replaced by the American Brown. Originally I had thought about spicing the Saison but decided against it to see what profile the yeast contribute on there own. It was a Saison yeast and fermented a little on the warmer side so hopefully they’ll get nice and peppery/flowery/spicy on their own with out going overboard and throwing of headachey fusel alcohols. We’ll see. But, as a compromise, I think I am going to dry-spice five gallons of the batch. Right now I am leaning towards black pepper and sage, could be good, could be really interesting, could make a great marinade.

I’m not going to say too much about BCTC because there is already so much you can find on the internets, but I will say it is definetily my favorite beer fest of the year.

That’s probably the most non-representable picture from the even, but it was at out neighbors camp and struck me for some reason, I think I like the contrast between the construction/motorcycle boots and the 750 bottles and glass, dunno. Anyway, this was a great year once again. A weekend of like minded people camping out at a brewery in Cooperstown, NY enjoying themselves and each other and as much dank beer as you could ever possibly want. We arrived Friday and our volunteer shift wasn’t until 5PM on Saturday, so we had tons of time to relax and enjoy ourselves. Friday was a lot of wondering around visiting different people and shooting the shit while enjoying great beer. We actually missed our Axis Mundi crew who were MIA this year, so, sorry not to see you Rob, Kasey, Natalie, and Rick. We actually rocked out Sly Fox 113 IPA cans all weekend. It’s a great beer, in cans, and the hops are a nice contract to all the Belgian love that’s floating around. Saturday was more of a chill out at the camp site kind of day, which is great too. We acquired a shade tent this year which was a huge benefit, and we camped in a great area with great neighbors. The actual tasting started at 3PM, so we were able to taste for two hours then volunteer for four hours. Lots of great beers per usual at the tasting. Our shift this year was ice/water duty, it was pretty easy. We honestly tried to help and fill as much as possible, but in the big picture most of the breweries were good at this point so instead it was more like (us) ‘do you need any ice or anything?’ (them) ‘no, we’re good, do you need a beer?’ So there was a lot of getting to know the people you were trying to assist involved, pretty cool. Saturday night came quick for me and I was in bed early, but it sounds like the Saturday camp ground was great again, and Ommegang showed Caddy Shack on the big screen in the field, nice. Sunday came and went before we knew it and we were on the road making it home in just over five hours with no traffic and minimal rain, which I think is a record. Regardless, once again BCTC was a success and I would imagine I’ll be there again next year.

American Brown Update

July 21st, 2010

Not to much new going on, but I figured I’d drop as much of a load on you as I could.

So this is a follow up to the American Brown Ale I brewed over Fourth of July weekend. I finally got a chance to transfer tonight. This was originally a 10 gallon batch, for the transfer I left 5 gallons traditional and 5 gallons I added chocolate to it. This is the third time I  have used chocolate. The first was way back in March of 2000 when I brewed a Chocolate Stout with Hershey’s syrup, didn’t turn out so hot. Second was June of 2008 with the Chocolate Porter where I used Cacao Nibs (raw chocolate), turned out great but I actually desired more of a chocolate punch. And this time July of 2010 with the American Brown Chocolate using powdered cocoa from Ghirardelli’s. Hopefully I just didn’t brew five gallons of a hot mess of a drain pour, but we’ll see, that’s what it’s all about sometimes.

Other than that I’ve got three beers on tap for the first time in a long time, the American Wheat (good but with a lot of diacetyl), the Grilled Pineapple Wheat (good but with less specialty characteristics than desired), and the California Red (yummy!). I’ll try to put a proper review of those three beers up soon, it’s been a while.

I’ve got ingredients and recipes lined up for two pale ales, an IPA, and a Saison. Almost brewed on Sunday but forgot to make a starter, next tentative brew date is the first Monday in August – too long of a wait sometimes. Oh well, until then …