Brewing a SMaSH IPA

I’m in the backyard on a very pleasant day! Wearing short pants, T-shirt and the usual Crocs on my feet. The freezing weather is hopefully far behind us. Fingers crossed, I just planted sugar snap peas again – grrrr, freeze took care of my early planting, Blue Lake green beans and more beets. Yes, those comments belong in my garden blog but I couldn’t resist!

Started with 12 pounds of Marris Otter malt. It is a single infusion, batch sparged recipe with whole Mosaic hops and also dry hopped with 2 full ounces of the Mosaic hops! Fermented with White Labs WLP # WLP051 California Ale yeast. Yum! Tasters in about 30 days, just in time for my 67th Birthday.

Mash tun sitting full of grain waiting on the water to heat up. Looking to start with 15 qts of 164.8 degree F water. Now, sit back and wait!!!!! Just looked at the clock and Yee Haw, it is 12:10 PM. Beer time, a session IPA should go well with the wait!

One of my favorite session beers. The “Great Carnac” sees a clone of this beer on the horizon! Now an update on my Russian Imperial Stout.

It won’t be quite so Imperial nor stout, 7% or a little more ABV. The error is in my brewing technique! I won’t embarrass myself and give the details but it was something about my sparging that caused the problem. Taste is very good…..more like a Porter. I have added medium dark toasted oak spirals that had been soaked in bourbon for a bit of a more exotic flavor( intended for a Russian Imperial Stout). I will give it a few weeks and then bottle and age it for a few months.

My neighbors, Doug and Cindy, will be my taster’s panel. They love the Southern Star Brewery’s Buried Hatchet Stout! I also suspect they will be honest in their feedback.

Brewing process is on track. I will soon be boiling the wort and dropping in the hops and Irish Moss. Now, while the wort chills and before I pitch the yeast, I’ll make a bee run, feed and inspect my hives. A minor gardening chore along the way, at one of the apiary locations I help maintain a vegetable garden and I have some sugar snap peas and green beans that have been soaked and ready to plant! No, not in bourbon!

Drink Local and Drink Responsibly

Bishop

Advertisements

Russian Imperial Stout- No as Planned

This is a beer I make every couple of years and typically bottle in 22 ounce bombers. It usually comes in near 11% ABV, and is aged on toasted bourbon soaked white oak. It is what I call a “one and done” beer. Shared on special occasions with several friends. This batch…..well, it will be a little short on the ABV!

I will follow through on the aging process but my OG, original gravity was lower than expected. I had planned on something in the 1.090 range and wound up at 1.078. I just transferred the beer into my secondary fermenter and will add the oak shortly. I will say that the sample pulled for the gravity is tasty so, all is not lost. It now calculates out around 7.5% ABV.

Siphoning out of the primary fermentation bucket into the glass carboy for a little aging. Dark and yummy looking and yes, the sample was purty darned good!

Next up is a SMaSH IPA. Marris Otter malt and Mosaic hops. I will keep all y’all posted from my Kingwood, TX home brewery.

Drink Local and Drink Responsibly

Bishop

The Bakken Makes More Than Oil!

Stonehome Brewing Company in Watford City is cranking out some very good beers. After a late morning, early afternoon photo safari in the northern end of the Teddy Roosevelt National Park, I pulled into the Stonehome for a sampling.

A few of my new friends in North Dakota. I worked up a thirst stalking them for their family portrait.

Heartless is an easy drinking pale ale that even this IPA craving fool can enjoy. Kathy, lovely and sweet wife would really like this one.

Central Perk, that’s right – Perk – Another pale ale, a little higher ABV with a touch of cold pressed coffee. Nicely hopped but not IPA strength. I really did enjoy this one!

Latifrons, Down By The Beach – is an excellent pale ale, nicely hopped, aromatic and comes in at 35 IBU. Latifrons – an extinct predecessor of the modern day Bison that now roam the Teddy Roosevelt National Park.

en.wikipedia.com

Maah Daah Hey – Red Rye IPA – my favorite of the four I selected. IBU up in the 50 range and an ABV of 6.3%. Yum!

The Maah Daah Hey Trail is a 144-mile non-motorized single track trail that runs from USFS Burning Coal Vein Campground 30 miles south of Medora, to the USFS CCC campground 16 miles south of Watford City

Stonehome donates to the Maah Daah Hey trail group for every keg sold. I could definitely put away a keg of this…..not by myself, I would invite a few select friends!

Stonehome hasn’t been around long, established in 2016 by Watford City locals, they have an awesome brewery.

As Arnold said; I’ll be back!

http://www.stonehomebrewing.com

I gotta add something – I have a new favorite IPA! Made by Surly Brewing. Surly Wett, a wet hopped IPA using freshly harvested 2017 Mosaic hops. Absolutely stunning. It is a seasonal brew and once gone, it will only be a pleasant memory! I wonder what hop the Wett for 2018 will feature? I’m sure it will be good!

MALT

Malt: 2-Row, Acidulated, Carafoam

HOPS

Hops: Changes Annually (2017 – 100% Mosaic)

YEAST

Yeast: English Ale

OG

OG: 16.6º Plato

Drink Local and Drink Responsibly

Bishop

The 8th Wonder of the Modern World

For many folks, especially those raised in Texas, the Houston Astrodome held the title. It served as the home of the Houston Astros from 1965 until 1999, 34 years and no World Championship. We are celebrating today with a downtown parade, the requisite speeches and maybe a few more beers. The Astros played an incredible 7 game series, beating the Dodgers in LA 

So, to celebrate, I am hoisting my Honey Blonde Ale, in a pint glass from 8th Wonder Brewery, a fine local brewery, toasting the well deserved 2017 World Series Houston Astros. Hip, hip hooray! Hip, hip, hooray! 


Ahhhhhh – refreshing and so satisfying- like the long awaited and well deserved World Series Champion Houston Astros. 

FYI, in the works – a Russian Imperial Stout to be brewed without collusion, a session IPA and single malt-single hop ale. I PROMISE! 

Drink Local and Drink Responsibly

Bishop

Three in One Day

Gotta love California for a thing or two or three. Yesterday my bride and I drove from Bakersfield to Santa Barbara. It is my birthday weekend and she is intent on spoiling me…..I am always pretty spoiled by her, but this is extra special. 

I loaded up my camera bag and lenses and let her drive the windy route through Maricopa and over the mountains into Ojai. The sky was ugly and hazy and the wild flowers have not yet hit stride. Dang! I could rubber neck and not incurr her wrath!!!! She prefers to drive the windy roads – it solves her motion sickness issues. 

Ojai – Ojai Valley Brewery was first up. Nice selection of beers and we also found a great “small plate”, Buffalo Fried Cauliflower. It will be added to our recipe box. 


Kathy enjoyed the White Pixie and the Ephemera was my favorite of those I sampled. Very slow lazy service for a Friday afternoon but we were not in a hurry, “chill out dude” and enjoy the chauffeured drive. 

Carpentaria – Rincon Brewery, substantial food and good beer. We dropped our bags off at the condo and grabbed a seat outdoors on the street to watch life drift by. I went with a sampler and the Tri-tip sandwich. Kathy had her go to Blonde ale and the Cobb Salad. Fun place, good food(I love the lamb burger slider- next time!) and quality beers. 


We then wandered down the street to Brew lab….it is a small place, they brew in small batches and never repeat! I sent them some money last year for their crowd funded expansion. They fell short but I still got a shirt and a free beer. Last night a talented young musician entertained the crowd. Interesting art work on the walls and I nice crowd. 


I had the Yellow Belly Ale and Kathy was in the role of designated driver, thank you Hun! 

Where shall I drink beer today? Such hard choices and so many options…..gotta love being and old guy, semi-retired and my “Goo” friend John back home feeding my bees…..thank you John! 

Drink Local and Drink Responsibly

Bishop

Are There Craft Beers in Midland Texas?

The hunt was on last week when I visited. I had already written in a previous post about the HEB Market doing a great job stocking good beers, BUT – I am  sorry to say that the wait help at Logan’s Roadhouse was pretty clueless. I asked for the Lagunitas IPA on the menu and wound up having to spell it for the novice server. To top it off they didn’t carry it anymore.  I didn’t make a strong effort to hunt down craft beers, as it was a work trip.  So, on my return home I decided to do some research.

Midland Beergarden out off Business 80 between Midland and Odessa.

Updated 11/06/2016

On Tap: 58 | Growlers: 3 | Bottles: 12 | Cans: 7 – Looking at the website I was impressed. I know where I will spend some time on my next visit! Yee Haw cowboy, or roughneck or…..you get the picture!

Bend and Beer – here  is something unique!!!!!

” Join us every Saturday of November and the first Saturday of December for yoga at 3pm. For more information please contact Jamie Edwards or Jessica Smith

bendandbeersmall-768x738

http://www.midlandbeergarden.com/category/beer-garden-news/

Looks like a great bunch of activity on the Homebrewer Front!

“Our club was established in 1994 in Permian Basin of west Texas, and we have been proudly

brewing ever since”

http://www.basinbrewers.org/

They have also made my next trip a bit easier with the listings on the Permian Basin Beer Scene page – http://www.basinbrewers.org/p/permian-basin-beer-scene.html

Can I tie a business trip into this event?

JANUARY 27 + 28, 2017 – MIDLAND, TX

“We’re bringing Midland’s largest Craft Beer Festival back to the Commemorative Air Force! The 3rd Annual Midland on Tap begins on Friday, January 27th from 6pm to 9pm and continues on Saturday, January 28th with Session 1 from 1pm-4pm and Session 2 from 5pm-8pm. Sample over 100 releases from some of America’s best craft breweries. Plus hang out in an atmosphere filled with live music, delicious food available for purchase, and great vendors.”
Read More: Midland On Tap Craft Beer Festival – Midland, TX | http://americaontap.com/midland-on-tap/?trackback=tsmclip

http://americaontap.com/midland-on-tap/

I think the beer drought in Midland has been quenched!

 

Drink Local and Drink Responsibly

Bishop

 

Flying “Under the Radar”

Saturday September 3rd found daughter Lisa and I at a new brewery in downtown Houston, “Under the Radar”. The day started with a play at the Alley Theater in Houston, “A Night With Janis Joplin”.  Great play and the lead in the play, Kacee Clanton, was channeling Janis Joplin’s spirit…….from nearby Port Arthur, TX. We attended the 2:30 afternoon performance so we were free to explore downtown. What better form of exploration than to find a new brewery and partake.

My good friend and fellow homebrewer, Mike and his lovely wife Annette had texted me last weekend from the Grand Opening of “Under the Radar Brewery”! Lisa and I were a week late for the Grand Opening but, as the old cliché goes, better late than never.  We arrived in time to witness the end of the Texas A&M Aggies take an OT win over my old school, UCLA. While catching the two point conversion by UCLA I struck up a conversation with a young lady, named Kelli, intently watching the game. She is an Aggie, “Poli Sci” major and yes of course, an attorney. Better yet, she is married to one of the owners. More about that connection later.

We found a close and convenient parking spot at 1506 Truxillo Street (home of the brewery and beer garden), adjacent to the Deutscher Fleschwagen food vendor! Oh my…..translation is the “German Meat wagon/truck.” The smells were heavenly and I will have to report out on another visit about the food. Lisa and I were focused on the beers for this visit.

File Sep 04, 10 54 53 AM

A look from the beer garden with the brewhouse in the background.

First round….for $ 15.00 I bought a logo glass and 3 tokens, we added a fourth token for an additional $5.00. Our choices were;

Dirty Blonde – I ordered the Blonde, I know, those of you that know me, are probably shaking your head because I tend to be an IPA fan, the hoppier the better. Lisa is a bit like me and she wanted the IPA….I  knew I would get a sip. I liked the Blonde and I know my wife will enjoy it.

Mid  Frequency IPA – Lisa…..yes she got the IPA. A good solid IPA, not over the top with bitterness. A good very drinkable IPA.

Midtown Bock – Because of commitments we decided to hold onto a token and sample the Bock and Porter on another visit.

Porter Authority

Radar Love – a light Hefeweizen. Now, I don’t normally drink Hefeweizens, but on this warm late afternoon I ordered  and glad I did. Very nice beer and very refreshing….coulda had another……. Just enough Magnum hops to keep it interesting but not enough to have my wife turn her nose up at it….So, Kathy my dear, there are two beers on this list that you will love.

File Sep 04, 10 57 53 AM

A listing of the usual offerings

There are plenty of tables to share with other likeminded beer drinkers with a nice mix of sun and shade in the beer garden. There is a Dynamo cornhole set on site to keep teams and groups talking smack and destroying their opponents. I noticed a few folks carrying in food and snacks as well as folks making use of the Deutscher Fleischwagen.

File Sep 04, 10 54 17 AM

Patrons enjoying a great day to drink beer……

Back to Kelli now. She introduced Lisa and I to her husband, Mike Norfleet, one of the three owners and still dabbling in his civil engineering work….He is a Purdue grad, but, he brews some very good beers so I will cut him some slack and …….  he did have the good sense to marry an Aggie! We chatted about beer, duh, as well as bees & honey. I think I put a bug in his ear to create a Honey Blonde or something similar somewhere down the road. I don’t have the inventory to supply enough for a 10 barrel batch…..It would be cool to find a local downtown source!  I told Kelli and Mike that I would see if I can find a contact for them.

We waited around long enough to catch a brewery tour conducted by Mike. He definitely has a passion for the craft and delivers with a strong authoritative voice. He also asked me to behave and not answer any of his questions…..I complied. The brewhouse is a 10 barrel system and they utilize 3 fermenters that also double up as brite tanks for force carbonating prior to kegging. They don’t have a bottling line so everything is kegged and distributed locally.

File Sep 04, 10 53 34 AM

Mike Norfleet, one of the owners up on his podium…..walkway between the mash tun and brew pot….delivering the beginning of an excellent tour of the brewery.

File Sep 04, 10 52 34 AM

Mike again…..drinking a cold one and leading the tour.

I am anxious for another excuse to wander downtown and sample the remaining two beers. It won’t be long. FYI, Mike and Kelli like Hay Merchant and I do believe you can find an Under the Radar offering there.

PS, Kelli, if we can keep it a secret, I will bring a 22 oz. bomber of my 3 year old Russian Imperial Stout, 11% ABV and aged on toasted, bourbon soaked oak.

Deutscher Fleischwagen

http://www.undertheradarbrewery.com/index.html

Drink Local and Drink Responsibly

Bishop

#undertheradarbrewery

#anightwithjanisjoplin