Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Hump Day Drinkin' Songs- You had to see this coming edition

Bonus points to anyone that gets through the whole thing.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Hump Day Drinkin' Songs- Drinkin' Songs about Drinkin' Songs edition

See if you can spot the reference to other drinkin' songs. It's like a double feature. It also gives us a chance to laugh at hair styles from the 80's. Finished? Me either. Carry on.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Monday morning musing- I found a keep and it's named after hell

This might just about be the best time of year for beer drinkers. You can still find an ample supply of the summer ales if you’re looking- I ran into some Sam Adams, Harpoon, and Old Smuttynose over the weekend. The Oktoberfests are coming. Again, I had some Sam Adams over the weekend but have some New Holland Ichabod, some Post Road pumpkin Ale, and an offering from Brooklyn on the shelf at home ready to go. Not to mention you can almost smell the winter offerings in the not too distant future- I’m looking at you Great Lakes: bring on the Nosferatu and the Christmas Crack. The weather is pretty great for beer drinking- you can get a nice crisp evening ready ripe for a campfire now and again and the NFL is picking up steam.

Somehow amidst all this, I found a beer from Great Divide that blew my mind. Hades is a Belgian Strong Ale that tastes like nothing I can remember. In these days of double IPA and heavy handed hoppiness, it’s nice to switch it up some times. This beer was golden, fruity, malty, and almost sweet. If you’re careful you can get some citrus and some coriander flavors. This was the perfect way to end the weekend. Don’t get me wrong I still like the hops- I’ve got some of Stone’s 16th anniversary double IPA waiting on my too, but the end of a long weekend calls for something smoother and a bit more quaffable. Hades was it. My only regret is that I didn’t buy more.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Hump Day Drinkin' Songs- George Thorogood edition

We're back with this week's edition of Hump Day Drinkin' Songs. We're nearly halfway to the weekend, it's five o'clock somewhere, and countless other cliches could fill this space. Instead I'll go with a quick story from work. One day last week, in a discussion about a difficult project, a co-worker asked me to name three things that would improve my time on the project. The three things mentioned in this week's song immediately came to mind. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Peach fuzz wine- I'll try anything once

If you're following on twitter for Facebook, and let's be honest why wouldn't you, you know that our friends at Redsneck were kind enough to share some of their bountiful peach crop this year.
That doesn't necessarily translate well to any beer I'm going to drink. However, loyal readers of NGB know that I also dabble in wine. Having never made a peach wine before, I wasn't sure what to do but I did have several empty fermentation vessels, so I got to work.

When I'm making wine and looking for recipes the first place I typically go is Jack Keller. I almost always modify the recipes I find there and this was no different. But Jack does a nice job explaining why he does what he does. I need to work on that still. Along those lines, the first step was to cup up the fruit. I cut to relatively small pieces to ensure all the surface area is exposed and I can get all the flavor and sugars out.

At any rate I found what I think will be a nice tasting wine. After cutting the fruit I covered with the sugar and mixed things up. I probably used to much sugar here so I'll add extra water.
Someone told me once that with peaches and similar fruit you have to cut with something else or you'll get brandy. I'm not opposed to brandy but I'd rather have wine in this case. So I found some raisins we had on hand and threw them in when I added the boiling water. I also added some lemon juice to give add acid to the mixture.

I then topped up to 5 gallons with cool water put on the lid and added an airlock. I need to make a trip to the home brew shop in the next couple days to pick up some yeast since the yeast I imagined in my fridge isn't there. Probably going to go with some champagne yeast in this one. I'll be adding pectic enzyme when I remove the fruit and add the yeast in a couple days. In the mean time it's regular stirring and making up reasons why the big bucket needs so sit in the kitchen every time my wife asks. (Honestly honey, I'll move it as soon as the yeast is in). Should be ready to drink sometime early spring.

Here's the final rundown:

12 ish pounds fresh peaches, diced
8 ish pounds white sugar
1.5 cups raisins (probably could use more but that's all I had)
Couple gallons boiling water
1 campden tablet
2 splashes of lemon juice
pectic enzyme
champagne yeast

Try it out, offer advice, leave comments below. I'll keep you posted on progress. .

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Hump Day Drinkin' Songs- Olympics edition

You may have noticed the Olympics are happening right now in Great Britain. The British brought this country some of the greatest rock bands of all time. I could go on about that or I could go on about a Beer Olympics I took part in once at a bachelor party, but I got stung on the hand last night and it's making typing extremely difficult. So, without further adieu and without Adam Levine here are some moves from Jagger. Enjoy.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

It's the great pumpkin... pie ale

By popular demand here's the pumpkin pie ale recipe I used last year. You can see pictures of the process here.


1 lb Vienna malt (4L)
1/2 lb Crystal/Caramel malt (40L)
1/2 lb white malted wheat
6.6 lb amber LME
1 oz Mt. Hood hop pellets (60 minutes)
1 oz Hallertauer hop pellets (15 minutes)
~1 cup brown sugar
~1/2 cup honey
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp Irish moss
pumpkin pie spices
White Labs California ale yeast (WLP001)

Obviously this is an extract recipe. I'm in the process of making the move to all grain. If time allows and I can order parts in time, this might be the first brew I do as all grain. If that's the case I'll probably replace the 6.6 lbs of amber LME with 9 pounds of something like two row. If you've got suggestions, I'd love to hear them.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Wow, it's still here

Yeah, so I'm quickly becoming a poor excuse for a blogger. Fear not, it's not just you I'm neglecting. I'm also becoming a poor excuse for a brewer. Life, in the form of grad school, summer vacation, knothole tournaments, and loads of household chores got in the way. It's been such a long time... Sorry, my inner Boston took over there for a minute. Won't happen again. Anyway, I've probably already missed the timing for a good Oktoberfest, so it's time to start planning this year's Pumpkin Pie brew. Last year's turned out fairly well, so I won't need to tweak too much.

In the mean time, if you're looking for something to do this weekend in the Nati, check out The Jabs at Goettafest. I hear they put on a hell of a show. And who doesn't love goetta? Seriously. Who?

I understand about indecision. I don't care if I get behind. Sorry, more inner Boston. Lat time, I promise. What I mean is, while you're on facebook checking out the Jabs, why not like us too?