Tuesday, November 27, 2007

This is one of those times . . . .

Homebrewing involves a lot of waiting. Currently that is what I am doing. I am waiting on a lot of things, actually. First, I'm waiting for my Black IPA to be done fermenting (we're getting there). Soon it'll be time to rack it to secondary and dry hop the sucker for a good while.

Speaking of dryhopping, Justin and I bottled the Show your Hopp-iness IIPA on Saturday while partaking in some good brews (A few Rogue Ales, Southern Tier Tripel, and DFH Punkin Ale). Holy crap is this going to be a good IIPA. This was Justin's first brew. He decided to go big and take on something a bit more complex, and if the warm, flat version was that good, I can't wait until it carbs up and ages a bit.

I'm also anxiously awaiting the still nameless Red Ale to carb up.

Oh, and as a quick followup, the Dark August Dunkelweizen was a hit at Thanksgiving.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy FREAKIN' Turkey Day!. Well, tomorrow that is. But alas, as we do every year, the wife, New Addition, and myself must make the trek north to the in-laws, so I will be without internet access. Therefore, I thought I'd do my T-giving update this morning.

Now this isn't going to be a big parade of "What I'm Thankful For" BS. Trust me, I have a big list of jolly thankfulness, but I believe that stuff to be personal and not ment to be spewed out to make you "look good" on the internet.

Finally back on the subject of beer, tomorrow is the unveiling of th Autumnal version of MBs Dark August Dunkelweizen. Being the first brew to be duplicated by Muckney Brewing, the second go-round of Dark August is, IMHO, far superior to the first. The long and short of it is that there was A) no boilover, B) better utilization of the specialty grains thanks to the use of the pre-crushing service from Grape and Granary, and C) no secondary fermentation. All of this put together helped this run to be fuller in body, with a stronger yeast profile that's been nicely accented with a roasty/coffee undertone from the chocolate malt. And all that came from a sample that was bottle conditioned for two weeks.

At any rate, the Dark August "tapping", if you will, will take place at my family's Turkey-Day celebration. I'm looking forward to the feedback.

And to you and yours, have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.



Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Lyrical Genius and the Downward Spiral

"Some people call me the space carboy
Some call me the gangster of trub
Some people call me Ju-rat
'Cause I brew, with a big bag of ice cubes" - Nate

Ah, lyrics as sweet as the Dunkel I'm having right now. The poetic prowess of a fellow homebrewer putting to song the toils and tribulations of this fine art. Cheers to you, Nate.

Speaking of the fine art of homebrewing, an IBA update. As of this morning the airlock was bubbling steadily, which turned into a furious belching of Carbon Dioxide while I was at work. I wonder how much this will affect my carbon footprint? I better stock up on Carbon Credits for as much brewing as I'll be doing in the upcoming year! Oh, the humanity!!

How can I jest about such a "serious topic"? Views on Global Warming aside, the notion that one can "offset" their "carbon footprint" by PAYING for people to plant trees is preposterous. If you actually think that ALL of your money is going to do the activities that are suggested, I have another cause for you to be interested in. Don't worry about the specifics, just send me a check made out to cash and I'll make sure the money gets to where it needs to go.

Honestly, though, if you whole-heartedly believe that Global Warming is a serious threat to humanity, show it in how you live. Walk more, drive less. Turn your thermostat down two degrees. Hold your breath for an hour a day (just not for an hour straight). Just for all things good and Holy don't pay what amounts to be just another Stupid Tax, like slot machines and the lottery.

On a completely unrelated note, the Powerball Jackpot is up to $120 million.

I'm off to Sheetz to get my tickets.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

MB goes PM

Tonight boded an unforseen Steelers loss, but also a milestone in the progression of Muckney Brewing. Tonight we completed our first Partial Mash brew, an End of Year Beer to use up the grains and extract that have been compiled through the last six months. The recipe was inspired by Stone's 11th Anniversary Ale, a black IPA, or an IBA. This is basically a full bodied, over-hopped porter, or at least that's kinda how I wrote it. The Coleman two gallon cooler worked pretty well as a make-shift mash/lauter tun. I haven't worked out the efficency yet, but according to Beer Tools Pro, it was around 76%, which makes this brewer happy. We ended up with an OG of 1.069, which was 1 point above the target, so I think we did ok. I guess we shall see in the upcoming weeks.

Speaking of the upcoming weeks, it seems to be a busy time for Muckney Brewing, with unveiling of the newly named Show Your Hoppiness IIPA at the end of December, and no less than three brews scheduled for the same month; two aggressive beers by Justin to be unveiled at Febtoberfest, and the second run of my XLTPA.

The New Year never sounded so delicious.


Friday, November 16, 2007

Holy Leafy Hops, Batman!

Hoppy McHopperson Mr. 'Naka wanted to dry hop his first creation, the yet unnamed monster of an IIPA that's been aging in my basement for the past 6 weeks. So seeing how this was my first attempt at DHing, I figured we wouldn't skimp, even in the middle of (think of the "anchorman giving bad news" voice) THE WORST HOP SHORTAGE OF ALL TIME!!! So 2 oz. of leaf Cascade and an ounce of leaf Amarillo later, we have the makings of (see above voice) THE BIGGEST NOSE EVER FOR AN IIPA!!!! Ok, the previous statement may be an exaggeration, but it sure is a helluva an Impy IPA coming out. We're planning on bottling this beast Thanksgiving weekend, and popping the perverbial cherry on New Year's Eve (if we can wait that long).

On a completely related note, this weekend will mark my first partial mash attempt. I got the 2 gallon cooler today (nine bucks at Wally World) and I'm off to Village Homebrew tomorrow for my first 10 pound sack of grain. The beer was inspired by Stone XI, a Black IPA, or an India Black Ale. Still working on the recipe, but it's gonna be hoptastic, and hopefully taste good at the same time. As I said earlier in the day, this is either going to be fantastic, or its going to suck (other choice words, but this is a TV-14 blog). Update on Sunday. Have a solid Saturday. Go State!!



Saturday, November 10, 2007

Back to the Pour House

A family trip to Monroeville today finished up at Rivertowne Pour House. Delicious. There's nothing better than Scotch Eggs and a sampler. Well, maybe a pint of Drunken Monster Barrel Aged IIPA. Wow. Good malt proflie + Wet hops + Bourbon = Wah-Wah-Wee-Wah!! Very interesting, inventive, and tasty brew. Hats off to the Pour House.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


So I was bottling my Red Ale this evening (should turn out pretty well. I'm excited for it to carb up) and had a new first. I really never thought I'd see this. As I was capping one of the final bottles, the "Big Red Capper" decided that bottle wasn't good enough and sheared the top of it right off.

I really wanted to drink the beer and then chew the glass, but I thought better of it. Maybe after a few more.


Monday, November 5, 2007

We Are . . . .

Penn State.

Saturday was a day of my two favorite pastimes, football and beer. Tanaka and I found ourselves standing in a frost covered field overlooking Beaver Stadium at 9AM, temperatures barely above freezing, wondering why in the hell we woke up so early only to freeze our respective asses off. One quick look into the cooler answered the previously mentioned stupid question. The beer inventory was vast. A growler of Marzoni's Avalanche IPA, the same of WVA Brewing's Appalachian Ale, a couple bottles of SN Celebration '07, two homebrewed Heavy Hefe Weizenbocks, a sixer of Mackeson XXX Stout, and a sixer of Magic Hat Roxy Rolles.

We started our slow climb out of the (NERD ALERT!) cold depths of a frost covered Narnia with an absolutely delicious stout that really shattered my expectations. A great warming brew on a cold morning. The fact that we were drinking them out of Sheetz styro coffee cups made it all the better. It was like Cuppocino!!! The Roxy was next. Another great hoptastic offering by Magic Hat. This, unfortunately killed all subtlety in my taste buds, so the Appie Ale that followed seemed lacking, but I know this to not be the case. A return to Hopville with the Avalanche Growler, then a Celebration, one that we hoped was not premature.

This proved to not be the case. PSU held on to defeat the PurDON'T Boilermakers 26 to 16. To celebrate said victory, an obligatory trip to Otto's was necessary. The food was tasty, as I was plesantly surprised by their Mango Habanero wing sauce. I did partake in a couple of drafts, a Five Year Ale and an Arthur's Amarillo Pale Ale. Oh, and a Growler of the Five Year is somehow in my fridge right now.

There really isn't anything better than good beer, good friends, and good football.