Nephew Sean’s American IPA

Sean with my daughters Ashleigh and Lisa

My nephew Sean, see above, has complimented me (really flattered me and it is working) on my blog and he has recently asked for an IPA recipe …. India Pale Ale….a much hoppier beer than a run of the mill ale. I poked around on the internet and found a recipe for him to brew on “Brew Monkey”….. good place to go if you want to step away from the ordinary. Now Sean is real new to brewing and his dad has done a few extract only beers.  So, Sean……taaaaaaaaaake your time on this one as it is a partial grain recipe and partner up with Dad. You will be using 1 lb. of a specialty grain steeped for 30 minutes in a gallon of water – keep the temperature above 150 deg. F and below 170 deg. F.

So, Sean, here are the basics. “Bums IPA” – close to Dogfish IPA in taste and color.

1 lb. – Briess Caramel 10L crushed crystal maltsteeped in one gallon of water (use a nylon bag or muslin bag for grains.) after steeping add the water to 1 gallon of water and boil for 1 hour. This is a two gallon boil recipe but will be brought up to 5 gallons.

4 lbs Extra Light Dry Malt Extract (DME)

4 lbs Light liquid malt extract/syrup

1 0z. German Northern Brewer pellets added 15 minutes into the boil

0.5 oz. Cascade hops added 30 minutes into boil

0.5 oz. Cascade hops added 45 minutes into boil

1 oz. of leaf Cascade hops added dry into the secondary when transferring from primary to secondary – hold in secondary for 14 days (ok to use pellets if you have to but need to be careful when bottling.)

1/2 tsp. Irish Moss at 50 minutes into boil. Helps clarify the beer.

Chill , pour into primary fermenter leaving as much trub behind as possible then bring volume up to 5 gallons by adding preboiled water. – 3+ gallons

Pitch 1 package of American Ale yeast – Wyeast #1056 when wort has been cooled to 70 deg. F

Ferment 7 days at 70 deg F and transfer to glass carboy for an additional 14 days

Add to 3/4 cup corn sugar to beer and bottle condition at 70 deg – age 28 days…be patient Seany boy…. it will be worth the wait.

Store at 55 deg F if you can.

Last and certainly not least…. Uncle Bishop needs to taste and provide feedback on your brewing skills….. it may take 3 or 4 bottles to give you a fair assessment…… ;- )

Uncle Bishop


Northern Brewer –

Midwest Supplies –

Williams Brewing –

Australian Brewing Corporation –

Defalcos – Houston


Dick’s Danger Ale Has Now Been Captured – In Bottles

Bottle and Sample

I finally made time to rescue Dick’s Danger ale from what seemed like an eternity in the secondary fermenter. The recipe suggested a week and I went well over two weeks before the liberation forces arrived. Now I have to wait two more weeks while it conditions and carbonates in the bottles. I used one BIG bottle and 26 individual sized bottles. My big bottle is the 6 L size ….. the Tap-a-Draft mini-keg size. Patience my dear!!!! I checked the 6 L bottle today and it is getting very firm….an indication of carbonation! Just 13 more days!

The sample I grabbed during the bottling process was excellent! I was drinking it out of the cylinder used to check the gravity but it was just too good to treat it like a mere sample. I broke out one of the chalice style beer glasses to better savor the beer. Wow…. so smooth on the tongue and a bit af a malty taste with a hint of coffee. Not very hoppy, and I didn’t expect it to be but overall  very pleasant.

An update on the Amarillo Ale . Slow to mature and the citrus flavor from the Amarillo hops is dominant. I am hoping that it will mellow as it continues to mature. Kinda like me – huh….. mellowing as I mature. It is drinkable now but not what I expected. The Belgian Wit in the minikeg is ok but I think the bitter orange rind is over the top…. it is one you like or don’t, not much middle ground.

Maybe I should pour a cold one and contemplate my navel!

Take an Ale to lunch today – it will make you feel so much better!


Tennessee Beer Travels

Not much brewing on  the home front. I will bottle the Dick’s Danger Ale tonight, if can find enough empty bottles.

We just returned from a trip to Nashville and Knoxville Tennessee. I am impressed with the scenery, the music and the some of the local beers. We arrived in Nashville on Tuesday the 8th of November. We checked into he hotel about 2:30 PM and Kathy said lets head downtown….  I thought it was a bit early but decided to humor her. It turned out to be a good choice. Our first stop down on Broadway St. was the Big River Grille and Brewing Works. The food was Ok but the beers were pretty tasty. Kathy liked the Nashville Steamer Golden Ale. I had to try two and chose the House IPA – it was pretty good, not overly hopped but still tasty and the Sweet Magnolia Brown Ale.

We then wandered off to sample some more and to find some music. We found both! Yazoo is a local beer, both on tap and as we found out later, in bottles. The Hop Project is a very cool beer. Every batch is different, Batch 61 is out today and I sampled batch 60 – it was outstanding. check it out. I also sampled the Dos Perros ale and enjoyed it as well. Kathy went with her old standard – Blue Moon Belgian Wit….. she is not quite as adventurous but is broadening her palate.  I have heard her reply to someone, usually a woman (will that get me in trouble?) – when they say all beer is the same and she then proceeds to educate them.. I love it. I did drink a few PBR’s as it wanted to lighten the ABV load for the evening. My lovely wife surprised me with a nice room at the Marriott and lo and behold – it came equipped with a jacuzzi tub….. hmmmmm. It was a nice surprise. Nuff said! The musis…. For a Tuesday night it was superb. I am ready to go back and maybe even dance a little.

We then wandered off to Knoxville to see our son Ben swim at the UT invite. He swam well and Kathy and I got to explore a bit more. The beer exploration included two trips to the Downtown Grill and Brewery on Gay St. Some nice beers on tap. Over the two visits I manged to sample 5 beers from the list, The White Mule Ale, the Woodruff IPA…I like!, the New World Porter…. Ok but not as good as the State Street Stout – tasted a bit like my stout, and the Downtown Nut Brown Ale. Kathy stuck with the very pleasant and easy to drink Downtown Blonde Ale.

We went to a place called Cafe4 for lunch one day and they had a local beer on tap made by Marble City. The waiter said it was a stout and I decided to try it. Well, when he brought the beer out is was a nice amber color and definitely not a stout. He checked with the the bar and they insisted it was the stout…..I think the delivery guy didn’t swap out the handle. The beer was a bit sweet and had a bit of spice flavor.  I looked up  the brewery offerings on my iPhone and it appears I was drinking the seasonal beer. It was definitely the Spiced Pumpkin Ale. A day later we went down the Old City Knoxville and found a little market that had beer on draught as well as growlers to go. They had a couple of  the Marble City offerings. No stout…… but I tried Dad’s Dime Ale and the Nectar Rubus….a rasberry wheat ale. Nice beers. I also had a South Carolina beer by RJ Rockers called Buckwheat After Dark Ale a Dunkelweizen… I really liked this one.

We tool a drive up into the Great Smoky Mountains – wow= really nice and an afternoon drive is severl days too few! We should be back in February again.

Kathy and Bishop - Big River Grille and Brewery

Brisket and Stout – Better Than a Sleeping Pill

Stout and Brisket - Should Be Goo

Woke up around 2:30 AM this morning, tossed around for a while and finally decided I would get up and try to get some things accomplished. I looked online and saw that my local Starbucks wasn’t open until 5:30…..I could have gone up to the front of Kingwood – that store opens 30 minutes earlier….. Chose to wait and ride the bicycle down to my local Starbucks hang out.

My restless night was partially due to the procedure done on my right ear yesterday… they poke a needle hole in the tympanic membrane and inject a warm steroid solution into the ear. After three daily treatments the hearing issues (lack of) and vertigo may subside or go away. The vertigo increased overnight and the hearing is so bad I can’t tell if it is getting better. The tinnitus ringing in the ear was over the top last night… so it was a sleepless night…not “Sleepless in Seattle” – I think that was a chick flick, it was sleepless in Kingwood.

So, what does this have to do with a beer blog – well let me fill you in. I decided that some good Texas comfort food – Brisket!, a bottle of my oh so good Imperial Stout……. it just seems to get better and better as it sits, some nice fresh gazpacho – fresh from the garden and local CSA pick-up and dinner with my wife and daughters would be a nice precursor to a full belly and the sedation from an 11% stout! – it just may help me sleep.

I think I will sleep very well tonight. The stout is so smooth…almost silky on the tongue and a mix of “chocolaty” and a hint of licorice flavors is very nice….the beer  adds to my vertigo – I am almost ready to go sideways as I type. My third inner ear injection is tomorrow and hopefully I will see some improvement!

More Beer stuff. Need to pass along some pats on the back to some beer supply folks. A couple of weeks ago I ordered some imprinted bottle caps. Well, they have not arrived so I sent a note off to the contact email address asking for an expected delivery date. I received a great reply, after hours and not from some overseas call center….. Mr. J Cameron Cooper, Manager of BottleMark LLC, , sent a great note back explaining  their production issues/problems….. I told him no problem that I could wait –  but he fired off a note back to me saying they will try to get my order out for my next bottling….. this is real customer service…. if you need printed caps – give BottleMark LLC your business. I am impressed!

Oh yeah, back to the brisket,…. 10 hours in the smoker – the brisket turned out awesome…. And yes…..I am fading …. I think I will have to pass on watching “Dancing with the Stars” tonight. Sorry hun!Mmmmmmm good brisket – goes well with the Stout.

Mmmmmmm good brisket - goes well with the Stout

An update… I was fading for sure – the post to the blog also went sideways so I am trying to salvage my thoughts – so few and so fart ( as I proofread I saw the word fart…not intended between them! – I am trying again. I did sleep very well – until about 5;20, then rode the bicycle down to my Starbucks office to finish things up.

Dear Melissa, the vertigo just makes riding the bicycle a small challenge in the bigger scheme of things. I love the challenge. When it gets bad enough that I have to lay down to put my underwear on I will forego the morning rides…..