Saturday, January 31, 2009

Fermentation Friday: What does 2009 hold for Muckney Brewing

Fermentation Friday was started by Adam over at Beer Bits 2, and it’s a chance for all homebrew bloggers to sound off on a singular theme at a set date - the last Friday of each month (check out Adam’s post explaining the origins).

This month: Brew Year's Resolutions, hosted by Jim at lootcrop 3.0.

I held off on posting my "Brew Year's Resolutions" at the beginning of the month because of the topic of this month's Fermentation Friday, of which I've been lax at best in participation. Without further adieu, here are my goals for MB over the next year.

  • Read more about beer in general. From brewing, to recipe formulation, to styles and tasting, I want to learn all that I can. I feel that I've gotten comfortable with my basic knowledge and have been lazy about learning new things. I hope to remedy that.
  • Get a little more serious about chasing the Pipe Dream of opening a Brewery/Brewpub. There's plenty I don't know about the business aspect, and even more about production brewing. Plus there's this little thing called "funding", for which you need a "business plan". All of them are huge undertakings, but you have to start somewhere.

  • Go All-grain. I said I'd do it last year, but didn't. This year, no excuses.
  • Brew more often. I want to have at least one brew day per month, preferably with multiple brews on those days.
  • Blog more often. Not only more often, but streamline my thoughts a bit and do a better job of following up with previous brews. Plus, sometimes I'm a bit short with some of my posts and ideas. I hope to remedy all of this.
  • Take part every Fermentation Friday.
That's it, the quick and dirty. We'll see what pans out a year from now.



Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Seriously, this is my new favorite food. . .

I know it's a beer blog, but I have to give this some attention. Apparently some crazy folks who have complete and utter disregard for their innards and any longevity in their lives, came up with the Bacon Explosion, what basically amounts to a meat roll topped with meat and barbecue sauce. Yes, the crazies at BBQ Addicts developed this Vegan's Nightmare in response to a request for some bacon recipes. Damon Darlin blogged about it today on the NYT's Dining and Wine Blog.

I'd write more, but I'm off to the butcher.



Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Homebrew Review: St. Defibaugh Single

I've been meaning to get to this for the past month, and finally pulled Jon's Belgian Pale Ale out of the fridge to enjoy. According to Jon's Blog, St. Defibaugh Single is a . . .

Dry hopped abbey pale ale with 8 types of malt, Turbinado sugar, and TONS of Juniper berries.
O.G. 1.058
F.G. 1.005

Here's the quick and dirty:

Pours a brilliant gold with a huge, fizzy white head. Great carb and thoroughly effervescent. The head diminishes to about a fin finger foamy mass. Nose is peculiar - lots of sweet candy and bubblegum, some bready notes with some spicy notes and pine. Taste is sweet caramel and sugary candy notes along with some bread and biscuit throughout. There's very little bitter, but just enough to balance out the malt profile. This is where the nifty part comes in. The end is like a bitter gin martini, accenting the alcohol and lasting well into, and actually peaking, in the after.

So yeah, this is one of the craziest Pale Ales I've ever had, that's still a Pale Ale. Tons of malt character and a decent amount of bitter, which would make it a tasty Belgian Pale outright, but the addition of the Juniper took it to another level. It still has a very authentic Belgian Pale feel, but the Juniper gives it its own identity. You knocked it out of the park, my man. I mean, it's terrible. Please forward all of the remaining bottles to my address so I can "dispose" of them "correctly".

I'm guessing the real question should be, when will we see this on tap at EB+B? Seriously, dude, this could be a staple at any bar. If I were to have any criticisms, and this is coming about 6 months after bottling, would be to kick up the dry hopping a bit, and use something with some piny notes to accentuate the Junipers. Honestly, though, those could have been there before, and I was too dumb to crack this thing open fresh.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Halper's Bottled, and a Hop Hater's Review of the Ides of March

In case you haven't been following along in the side bar, the Ode to Halper Bitter (MB0026)is now in bottles, and slowly carbing up in the basement. Preliminary results say that it's a bit too sweet in the caramel department, although it is rather balanced. As of now, it's the best version of a Pale Ale that we've been able to produce here at Muckney. More to come.

So, as the title clearly states, the Halper himself, Jon of Confessions of a Hop Hater and Earth Bread + Brewery weighed in recently on the Ides of March Russian Imperial Stout (MB0017). Check it out.



Thursday, January 22, 2009

Homebrew Review: Batch XXI

It's that time again. I figured I'd review something I hadn't yet. This time I'm going with the Stone Soup Ale XXI: The Mustachio'd Dark IPA. The name hearkens back to when our friend Jonathan at Monday Night Brewery was having some health issues, so, when The Boss (read: wife) wouldn't allow me to grow an actual "mustache", I immediately showed Muckney Brewing's support through our beer. The above links tell more of the story, so on to the beer.

Pours black with ruby hues throughout and boasting a creamy, one finger think khaki head with great lacing. Nose is floral and citrust hops, grapefruit and rose, with caramel undertones. Mild oxidation and extract notes. Taste is full of caramel and mild roast, with a mild to moderate bitter, followed by some resiny and citrus hop character. Mild oxidation and extract notes.

Overall, I'm a fan. It's not quite what I was looking for, but it's still tasty. Definitely something to build upon. It is rather thirst-quenching and quaffable, so it can't be that bad. The next Stone Soup Ale should be coming towards the end of March or early April, right after we brew the '09 Ides of March RIS.



Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Some love from Minnehaha. . .

Recently, EBB and and MB exchanged what we've been brewing over the past few months. EBB was nice enough to have worked his way through most of the brews, while Justin and I, the slackers that we are, have only tried one of EBB's brews. We're hopefully going to remedy that this evening.




Sunday, January 18, 2009

It's a Beautiful Day for some Bottling. . .

I got caps, or should I say, Justin picked up some caps. And looking at the above picture, it's a beautiful, January day in western Pennsylvania. It's the type of day when only an Impy Stout can warm you up, and venturing out is the furthest thing from your mind.

So, I'm sure this means I should bottle. I still have the Ode to the Halper Bitter (MB0026) "lagering" in the "cellar" (by "lagering", I mean sitting, and by "cellar" I mean the ice box that my basement has become. Who needs temperature control when it's 12F outside!), and it needs a home. I'm not quite sure if I'll get to it, as today is going to be dedicated to only one thing, the Stillers and their next stop on the road to the Super Bowl. We're kinda fans here at MB.

And to think, we were going to grill today. I think that idea's shot!

Go Stillers!!



Thursday, January 8, 2009

The First Rule of Bottling. . . .

. . . .is you don't talk about bottling.

The second rule of bottling is, well, yeah, you don't talk about bottling.

The third rule of bottling, and a mighty important one is Make sure you have enough caps!

Yeah, so after all of the planning an preparation of last night, an oversight on my part limited our bottling efforts to only one batch, the Bipartisan Porter (MB0025). We'll take care of Ode to the Halper (MB0026) later this weekend.

I love pulling numbskull moves like this. . . .

OK, time to get back to the National Title Game.



Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Yeah, we're going to start labeling. . .

I'm in the middle of removing labels off of 4 cases of 12 ozer's at the moment. I was prompted recently in a rather rude e-mail from The Bearded One that, and I'm paraphrasing, at least HE doesn't have to send along a key to decipher which beer is which while trading. Well, now there's nothing to bitch about. MB's joining the Extreme Geek crowd. Stay tuned for labels.

As for now, I'm taking my prunie hands back to the buckets full of bottles.



PS - If anyone's interested in my methodology, I'll have to get back to you. The current cleaner soak isn't quite going as planned.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Putting the "Coffee" in Coffee Porter

So the Bipartisan Porter (MB0025) has been in secondary now for two weeks, and will be bottled within days. To get the coffee into said porter (recipe here), I followed Nate's method that was cooked up by he and TJ, owner if The Commonplace Coffeehouse here in Indiana.

Using a toddy, the good folks at the Commonplace cold-pressed some Sumatra Mandheling, one quart to be exact, which I added (after a quick boil and cooling) to the porter while transferring it to secondary. This method was chosen to reduce the addition of tannins that would be produced during the steeping of the coffee. We'll see how it turns out shortly.

Also, Ode to the Halper Best Bitter (MB0026) has been chillin' in secondary along side the BP, and is begging to be bottled and then imbibed. I'm excited to see how this one turned out, as keep having self-imposed problems while making session beers (i.e. the Leaky Faucet Pale Ale and the Eagle and Child Mild), which, so far, hasn't plagued the Halper.

More to come.