First Taste – Honey Blonde Ale

My wife’s comment pretty well sums it up! “I can drink that,” she says with a smile and a nod of her head.

I am a little more critical and would like to see a little more carbonation…It  has been about two weeks or so since I bottled it. I will give them all a little shake to stir up the yeast to wake them up and then sample again in a week. Flavor is very nice….not tickling my hop loving palate but it was designed to please the love  of my life – her nose goes up and wrinkles when one of those “hop bombs” that I love comes anywhere near her nose. The color….definitely honey as you can  see from the photo below. There is a bit of honey taste and aroma….I used my dark and robust honey in the recipe…it does  come through.

Nice beer....look close and you can see some bubbles rising and this blog post in progress on the lap top in the background.

Nice beer….look close and you can see some bubbles rising and this blog post in progress on the lap top in the background.

Choices…… the freezer is now available for use as a fermenting chamber….. I had a hive super that the bees had cleaned for me residing at 10 degrees F for a few days….kills any wax moth eggs that may be lurking and wanting to do their damage. The super is out, wrapped and ready for service next spring!

A mead is one choice…. small problem…..I need a bunch of honey, like 15 pounds. I am really not so much interested in the mead as I am in producing  some honey wine vinegar.  It may take almost 9 months to finish the vinegar ….. maybe a little longer to let it age. It might be ready for my “Farmer’s Market” table when I sell my honey next summer…….That is another story you can find on;

http://bishopsbackyardfarm.com/

Maybe a tandem effort….a mead and an Imperial IPA…..yeah that sounds good!

Drink Local and Drink Responsibly

Bishop

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Abita Wrought Iron IPA

I must be living under a rock! Where did this beer come from? Well, Abita Springs is the answer, but the bigger question – Why didn’t I know about it? I could probably come up with lots of excuses but the bottom line is- I didn’t expect Abita to put out one of these nicely hoppy beers?

Tonight at our local watering hole and restaraunt I asked the serrver for – what IPA’s are on tap? Nice young lady but not real beer savvy. I give her credit, she knew about a new IPA just tapped today. As a discerning beer drinker, PC. For a beer nerd, I had to ask!!!! All she knew was it was  “Iron” something but, without prompting she ran off to find out.

Good first step and on her return I learned it was an Abita brew. Smart phone to the rescue! Side note; smart phone is an Alan McDonald fact checker. Abita makes an IPA called “Wrought Iron”. So, she was pretty close!

I like it! Beer Advocate reviews are mostly positive. I liked it, the aroma and the pleasant bitterness. Danger good IPA!

For my local IPA loving buddies, find the Abita Wrought Iron. I found it on tap at “Three B’s in Kingwood Texas. It was a little more than “Danged Good”. You will like it too!

Drink Responsibly and Drink Local

Bishop

Honey Blonde Ale – One Step Closer

I racked the Honey Blonde from the primary to the secondary fermenter this morning. I was a few days tardy but it should not hurt the final product. I hope to bottle over the weekend and sit back and enjoy a cold one on or around October 17/18. 

The hydrometer reading indicates that fermentation is complete so I will let the beer clear up in the glass carboy secondary for a few days, chill, then bottle. ABV calculates at 5.64%. Not an all day session beer but very nice. I drank the sample I pulled – can’t let it go to waste! 

Color is nice – like a light honey color…. Go figure. Yes, a bit of sweetness in the flavor and a pleasant after taste. 

  From left to right, my honey in a squeeze bear, a bit of the extra sample I pulled and the hydrometer sample back right. The honey color is definitely evident.  The beer should clear up nicely in the next few days….. I will keep all y’all updated. 
Drink Local and Drink Responsibly 

Bishop

The Girl Can Brew !

The girl code named, “Madison the Mad Brewer”, also makes hand crushed, foot stomped wine….trust me, I saw the grape stained fingers in person and photos of her grape stained feet. She is an energetic young lady with what appears to be boundless energy and curiosity. The purpose of my visit with her last week was to provide a mini-lesson on the use of vintage, manual 35mm cameras. Many old cameras from that era required mercury batteries that are now longer available. The replacement batteries and the electronics of the old camera leave many users without a through the lens means to meter accurately. Madison has a hand held meter that she, like me, found the user literature to be less than clear.  We decided to make it a learning opportunity.

We loaded up an old Asahi Pentax Spotmatic 35 mm camera, with a dead meter, with Kodak Tri-Xand headed to the back yard. We used the hand held meter to understand measuring incident and reflected light, depth of field, metering for contrast and other thoughts. She is a very curious photographer and a quick student! We also discussed night and star shots that led to a discussion on the “B” bulb setting on the shutter speed dial. She is a quick student and I think I/we will see more creative efforts from her soon.

Let’s Talk Beer

In February she promised me one of her brown ales, “Squatch Drool”. As I type, and watch Atlanta kick the crud of of the Houston Texans, I am seeking solace in her offering. As I was about to leave after the camera lesson she remembered the promise and handed me the last bottle from the December 2014 batch. Yes, the girl can brew! You can honestly see it in her eyes! I suppose Squatch drool was modeled after Moose Drool by Big Shy Brewing Company, Missoula Montana. I give her interpretation high marks and it drinks “cleaner” on my palate than Moose Drool.

The eyes of a mad brewer, a fledgling vintner and a Mt. Whitney summiteer! I have heard rumors of fireworks daredevil but can't confirm!

The eyes of a mad brewer, a fledgling vintner and a Mt. Whitney summiteer! I have heard rumors of fireworks daredevil but can’t confirm!

Squatch Drool....Very, very good Brown Ale!

Squatch Drool….Very, very good Brown Ale!

Brew Date and Beer Description - Ages well!

Brew Date and Beer Description – Ages well!

Nice - pours a good head and a bit of lace....very satisfying. Thanks Madison!

Nice – pours a good head and a bit of lace….very satisfying. Thanks Madison!

Drink Local and Drink Responsibly

Bishop