Brewing My Wife’s Wit Beer

It has been in the fermenter for almost a week now. One more week and it should be done. I brewed this all grain beer on one of the many crappy wether days that have been far too abundant over the last few months. Not horribly cold, but very wet. How wet? Nearly 20 inches over the past several months. Not any gully washer rains, but far too many wet days.

Let’s talk beer and brewing. My SMaSH IPA, made with Mosaic hops and Marris Otter malt, is conditioning in the bottle as I Wait! Sometimes waiting is difficult. I now wanted to brew a beer that would match something that my wife would like! Brewing is good for her in that I manage to mop some and sometimes all of the kitchen floor during the beer making machinations. I found a very interesting Vanilla Cream Ale recipe and sent it over to Preston at the Grain Cellar in Humble, Texas. FYI, for non Texans, the “H” is silent in Humble. By the time I had arrived, Preston had reviewed the recipe and noted that he’d had all the ingredients on hand that I needed.

As I visited with Preston, I notice on the chalkboard was listed a beer callled, Wife’s Wit. Well, I cancelled picking up the Cream Ale ingredients and went with the Wit. Preston tells me it is very popular and one of his most frequently brewed beers. I liked the grain bill and the additions, excepting the coriander!

The citrus added an amazing aroma. The lemon was off of my backyard Meyer Lemon tree. The grapefruit off of a tree in a yard where I keep a number of hives. The grapefruit came off of a tree visited by my bees kept on the property. The orange, sad to say, was a store bought blood orange.

Brewing day always calls for savoring some excellent beverages. First up……..

To the best of my knowledge I have never partaken in Strain G13, nor have I ever sampled this IPA.

Although not winterish in Houston, I did go with a winter beer as the grains steeped.

This is a familiar Ale, I last had one this past October while visiting Portland.

Lastly, before all the work of boiling, chilling and racking into the fermenter, I enjoyed a non beer beverage.

2.65 fingers of Woodford Reserve Bourbon. In the background is tire with a little sleigh attached. In December my daughter drug it 13.6 miles, a half marathon, just because!!!

After 14 days fermenting I will bottle this brew and then wait another 30 as it conditions….that will test my patience!

Drink Local and Drink Responsibly



Be Hoppy

Lot’s of good reasons to be Happy and be Hoppy.

My daughter Lisa and I went to downtown Houston to Discovery Green in miserable weather to see the ice sculpture contest. Her company, interesting sculptures and local beer made it nice. My daughter Ashleigh met us for a Happy Birthday beer while we were there. Topped off an excellent outing. Tool man’s paradise – chain saws ripping ice, dye grinders gouging out huge chunks of ice and blow torches smoothing it all out! (insert Tim the Tool Man’s grunt here)

Can't say it any better!

Can’t say it any better!

St. Arnolds's Christmas Ale for Lisa and Ashleigh!

St. Arnolds’s Christmas Ale for Lisa and Ashleigh!

Sr Arnold's Elyssa IPA. what a very nice local beer! Poured a perfect head...I love ......never mind!

Sr Arnold’s Elyssa IPA. what a very nice local beer! Poured a perfect head…I love ……never mind!

The winning Ice Sculpture. Pretty Cool - a pun????

The winning Ice Sculpture. Pretty Cool – a pun????

This was my choice for number 1!

This was my choice for number 1!

Family, cold beer and an interesting day.

Drink local – we did, drink responsibly – we did and……….


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…..



Dick’s Danger Ale is in the Secondary Fermenter

It was a busy afternoon in the kitchen/brewery. I flew in from Midland on the 5:20 AM flight this morning….. I got some feedback – I was told that the flight left at the” crack of stupid”! It was a bit early according to my who picked me up as well as my co-worker – he decided to stay in bed and have a day of leisure – my alarm went off at 3:45 AM in order to get the car back and get my “special” pat down at the security gate… this all metal left  knee sets the alarms off every time. I wonder if anyone ever gets a woodie during this pat down….? No, not me… the guy doing the pat down!

Back to the beer – I transferred the ale from the primary into the glass carboy secondary fermenter in order to clear it up and allow it to condition a little long without sitting on the spent yeast. The grab sample to check the specific gravity was so good I think I  could keg it now and charge it up with CO2 – it would be ready to drink. If it gets better over the time as  it sits before bottling  I won’t be able to keep it around. This partial grain recipe seems to be a keeper. Once I get set up to do an all grain beer I will give this ale a try as an all-grain brew. It looks very dark but isn’t heavy and is just smooth!!!!!

I was able to do a pretty good job of avoiding collisions with my daughter Lisa and my lovely wife. Halloween party tonight with Lisa and friends. She made some of those Ritz cracker and peanut butter cookies dipped in melted almond bark and decorated Halloween style. I wonder if they will go well with D’sDA – (Dick’s Danger Ale)

I did have a bit of a problem during the transfer….. it is a requirement to enjoy a good beer while conducting any and every step of the brewing process. Well, I had a “small” pint of the Belgian Wit I recently brewed – one beer…. shouldn’t be a problem right? Well, not so recently. I have been afflicted with a condition called Sudden Hearing Loss –  just the right ear. I am one of the chosen ones because along with the hearing loss I have a pretty good dose of vertigo….  that becomes the issue. My vertigo and one beer start the merry-go-round spinning a little too fast. The only benefit that I can see is that my good home-brew may stick around a little longer because I am a one and done guy in my current condition. If you want more info there is a link below.

Hmmmmmm, what shall I brew next?