Bishop’s Imperial Stout

This photo was taken on February 14th, bottling day – yes I know I am a hopeless romantic! I did sample the brew….. I had to pull a sample to check the specific gravity and I hate to throw anything away….. a lot like my Dad. Well, it was tasty but too, too sweet. I let it sit and sampled again in mid March. Not mature enough…. a lot like the Cheezit commercial checking on the maturity of the cheese used.Remember this was brewed on December 20th, 2010!  My Imperial Stout was not quite ready so back into the dark it went.

I had to brew a replacement Wheat beer for my little brewing buddy – Lindsay Waterman – because the “Waterman Wheat Ale”  picked up an infection…… soured the beer – I can’t wait to have a cat free brewing zone!!!!!! Back to the stout – I put a bottle in the fridge the day before and sampled it on Monday the 18th of April, Ahhhhh! It is definitely maturing nicely. I gave my son, Ben and daughter Ashleigh a taste of the second bottle last night and even though they are not stout fans they gave it good marks. I loved the smooth feel in the mouth and the flavor has really mellowed – not too sweet and much less bitter than the Irish Stouts like Guinness.

I think I will give it some more time and as it is about 10%-11%  alcohol. It is a special occasion beer/stout and the 2 cases should last many months. Let’s also hope that I am successful at getting the new “Waterman’s Wheat Ale” into the bottle without an infection this month! Damn cats!

Bottoms up – responsibly!

An Update – Summer 2012 – lone remaing, surviving 22 oz bottle of this incredible beer was consumed. It only improved with age…kinda like me! No, more like my wife. I must make a plan to do this one again!



Drinking and Thinking

Texas Dark Amber Ale

This turned out to be such a nice beer. Very nice light tan head, good lace on sides of glass. I was working on a presentation on my laptop and decided I needed to kick back for a little bit. I went to the fridge and poured a glass from my “Tap-a-Draft” mini keg. I sat back and savored the unique taste you can only find in a fresh home-brew. The recipe was just a guess but it was based on some prior knowledge. The guess turned out superbly! I have had nothing but great compliments and that feels good, but I knew that it was one of the best beers I have crafted in my short brewing “career”.

So, I was thinking, I can’t share the beer in the fridge with everyone ( I am a little selfish with the actual beverage), but I can share the recipe. I hope that you wind up with the same results as I have.

I ordered all of my ingredients from Williams Brewing (, but I have used Northern Brewer ( in the past and our local store in Houston called Defalcos ( for misc. supplies.

6 lbs. of American Amber Malt Extract

1 lbs. 40 deg. Crystal Malt – steeped in 1 gal at 165-170 deg F

2 oz. Fuggles Hops –  pellet – 1 oz. at 15 min. and 1 oz. at 30 min.

2  oz. Amarillo Hops – pellets – 1 oz. at 45 min. and 1 oz. at 55 min.

1/2 tsp gypsum before boiling

1/2 tsp Irish Moss at 30 minutes

Liquid American Ale yeast pitched at 75 deg F

Boiled with 2.5 gals plus 1 gal steeping water –  Ozarka Spring Water. Final batch size was 5 gals. While brewing drank an Abita Springs Bock, one of my American Ales and sampled  my Imperial Stout that was about 6 weeks along to check gravity – OG wa s1.108 and now was 1.040…… too young and not far enough along.  I will sample a bottle of the stout around April 15th. I will report out those results.

OG. – 1.075

At 8 days transferred into secondary. Gravity was 1.022 at 68 deg.  F – FG – 1.015 at 68 deg.

Kegged into my Tap-a-Draft 6 L bottles after another 13 days in secondary. Used 2/3 of a Williams kit corn sugar to prime.  Sat 12 days at room temp before placing the first keg in the fridge. I have tapped and now drinking the final 6 L bottle –  April 3, it was bottled on 2/20/2011. It is very mellow now and has improved but was always excellent. Good beer doesn’t seem to last very long.

If you try it I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.