Archive for August, 2009

R3, on tap NOW

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

Sorry about the delay in recent posts, I guess I’ve just gotten caught up in other things. Anyway, Roby’s Red Rye (R3) is now on tap, so if you want to give it a shot, now’s your chance.


On tap with the R3 right now is the Cluster Wheat which is about to kick and the Sum Bra Pale Ale. The Cluster Wheat I actually stopped drinking for a while because I wanted to make sure there was enough left to reserve a couple bottles. Fortunately I got around to bottling on Saturday so everything is OK there. Have I tried to briefly describe the R3 yet, … I don’t think I have … Any way, in brief, the R3 is slightly darker than anticipated, thus skewing the true desired ‘red’ nature, though I have to admit that is a hard color to nail (for me anyway), it is also more hop forward and less malt forward than we had originally planned. Originally we really wanted to showcase the rye (50% of the base malt) but as time went on more and more hops were being added to the recipe. Honestly, it is pretty balanced, it’s just not what we had originally discussed. The rye is more subtle than I had anticipated, there is a slight spice note, a slight bread note, and a slight licorice note, but other than that nothing too dramatic. Some people say rye contributes a slickness on the palate, I did not detect that. It’d be interesting to see what some others say, I may have become a little jaded with it by now. BUT, after what sounds like a bunch of criticism, the beer turned out great and is a full flavored easy drinking brew. Above in the picture is “Aye”, he is the tap handle for the R3, pretty funny.

Today I brewed one of two batches to use up the ends of a bunch of older grains. Today’s was dubbed the Kitchen Sink Amber and the other is the Kitchen Sink Dark. I know they’re both real descriptive, yeah right. Today’s brew day was a little late start, not until almost 1PM, but other than that things went pretty good. It was beautiful weather, nothing tragic happened, and I was able to clean up and organize the brew area for the first time in a while, thanks to Karen for scoring me a nice shelving unit that I was desperately in need of. I did over heat my water for the HLT to so I had to let that cool some, and I couldn’t get my wort below 80’F after an hour and fifteen minutes of cooling. So right now I’m doing the carboy in a tub with some water and a wet towel and fan method to help cool it down via evaporation. Last time it helped almost 10 degrees in like 12 hours, so by tomorrow morning I should see some changes. I honestly don’t know if that’s just the surface area of the carboy that gets cooled that well, but it least it’s doing something. I’m thinking for the KS Dark about adding some Chinese 5 Spice Powder too it, sounds interesting to me. I was eating some stir fry the other day that had some in it and I thought it be good in a beer, first thoughts were a stout, a dubbel, or a saison.

Finally, looks like there is an interesting little web site that could be fun to watch on a weekly basis. Myself and two friends have a year long bet going and we decided to document it with a web site. So if you have any interest in checking it out or following along for the next year, check out this web site and bookmark it: Roby vs. The Razor. Basically it is a dollar a day bet with my friend Robert that he can’t go an entire year with out shaving. Too funny, go check out the website.

Ommegang – Ft. Kent – Keller

Saturday, August 8th, 2009

So, I just got back from a great week long vacation, and I was all over the place!

Brewery Ommegang

See the rest of the pictures from Ommegang HERE.

The trip was kind of a three part trip, first to Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, NY, second to Ft. Kent, ME, and third to the Bottle and Cork in Dewey Beach, DE to see Keller Williams. It was both a long week and a fast week if that makes any kind of sense. It started last Friday July 31st with Erik, Robert, and myself going up to Brewery Ommegang to volunteer for their Belgium Comes to Cooperstown (BCTC) event. This is the third year Robert and I have done it and the first Erik has joined us. It was very similar to the last two, but with a couple legal changes. It seems Ommegang ran into some issues with the State of New York and beer festivals in between last years and this. For my volunteer shift I was pouring beer for a brewery from CT called Olde Burnside Brewing Company, they were pretty nice guys and I had a blast. Both Friday and Saturday nights were of course big party nights, tons of fun.

Ft Kent ME

See the rest of the pictures from Ft. Kent, ME HERE.

From Cooperstown we travelled to Ft. Kent, ME which is pretty much the northernmost most part of Maine. It was a 12 hour drive from Ommegang to Ft. Kent. We stayed at this cool lodge called the Trackdown Kennels & Lodge. It’s basically a hunters lodge, but since it was off season it was just a cool chill lodge for us to kick it in. We then spent the next two days with Robert’s family, who’s father is originally from Ft. Kent, for his parent’s 50th Wedding Anniversary. I originally was a little hesitant in going up, I had never even met his parents before, but soon after we met them I knew we would be OK. Ft. Kent is very laid back, almost additively so. Once I really got use to the vibe (which was just about when we were leaving) I could have kicked it there for quite a while. The Anniversary party was pretty much a family reunion with about 90 members of his family there and people traveling in from as far as AZ and CA, it was very cool.

Keller 22

See the rest of the pictures from Keller Williams HERE.

Then from Ft. Kent we travelled back to DE, it was about 13 hours, which is actually the fastest I have ever made that drive. I had been to Limestone, ME twice, which is very near Ft. Kent, and if my memory serves me right it was closer to 18 hours both times, so I was pleased to say the least. We got home about midnight-ish on Wednesday and on Thursday Robert, Karen, and I were leaving to head to Dewey Beach to see Keller Williams at the Bottle and Cork. There were a bunch of people we were meeting down there for the show; Craig, Alycia, Abby, and Wooly. The show was tons of fun though it took quite a while for the crowd to really get into it, lot of talking and such, but hey it’s a bar I guess. Keller played a ton of cover songs, so that’s both cool and also a little disappointing just because I would have liked to see more originals. Anyway, after the show we all went back to Abby’s dad’s beach house in Millville and hung up late and then got up early and got going. Friday Robert and I were wiped and we actually cut the beach portion of the trip a day short, originally planning on staying until Saturday.

Overall it was a really great trip, and a great way to spend a week off from work. Hopefully there will be more great trips like that in the future. If you want more details on anything or have any questions let me know, I just don’t feel like typing too too much right now.