It’s 11:37 AM in Houston

Yes it is. The ribs are in the smoker and 4 homegrown Poblano peppers are on the top rack. I am giving the peppers a 30-45 minute dose of apple and pecan wood smoke preparing them for a batch of Smoked Poblano pepper jelly.

Skin is beginning to crinkle as they suck up the smoke. I am biding my time waiting on smoked pepper perfection- we’ll, maybe not perfection but “excellence” is a better term, before pulling the peppers. To aid in the wait, a Pete’s dark roast and an Odell’s India Pale Ale – yes both!

Not sure life can’t get much better than this! (FYI- that is an untruth but I was lulled into a cliche statement!)

The ribs will take a lot longer than the peppers to finish up. Thus, a few more ales to aid in the process and maybe another coffee or two to prevent too much cloudy judgement.

I am saving one of my SMaSH IPAs for dinner time to go along with the ribs and some all beef franks, special request from my daughter in law.

Just gotta love 90+ degrees and 75% humidity here in Houston! The beer helps but the coffee works against the body in regulating core body temperature! Ok, Bishop, you convinced me, no more coffee – just cool clear water ( converted in to beer)!

I just finished a Red IPA from Sierra Nevada and pulled the peppers off. Peppers are in a bag for a little more humidity…… LOL. Makes it easier to skin them prior to jelly making!

Now I have a tough decision, our guests are pushing back arrival time so, I may need to lighten up and slow the ribs down.

Next morning now-

Blogging was interrupted by the arriving guests. I am back home now after picking wild dewberries and checking on some of my bees.

Ribs were a big hit as well as the dogs! My wife made a very simple beer based margarita that was also a hit. I had to dig into my special stash while she and one of our neighbors enjoyed their “beer-Rita!”

The recipe-

One can of frozen limeade

One limeade can of tequila

One limeade can of Sprite or Sprite Zero

One bottle of Corona

Mix in a pitcher and pour over ice. Squeeze a lime into the glass and enjoy. It was very refreshing, after she finally decided to share one with me….. there is much more to the back story but I will let it be!

Drink Local and Drink Responsibly

Bishop

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Bees & SMaSH IPA

I made a run to my two most distant Apiaries today. One in Splendora and the other in Grangerland – also known as the “berry farm”. I needed to add a deep box to one of my new hives in Splendora and poked my nose into see if the supers were filling with honey on the other three hives. They look promising but still a few weeks away from being ready for extracting.

Out at the berry farm I pulled 5 nicely filled frames. Would love to have had more Ready but – it will be a very good season based on the activity I saw today. The weather – 90 degrees F and 57% humidity made for a warm day. The bees were bearded up on the outside to keep the inside temperatures under control.

FYI- I am not feeding the bees, just haven’t removed the feeder yet! It was hot and I couldn’t beard up! I just had to sweat my ass off! For whatever reason, and they won’t tell you, the girls in the 8 frame hive were a little defensive today – Therefore, full gear and lots of sweat!

Upon return home and before unloading the truck – oh yes, and setting up in the garage to extract honey – I treated myself to my excellent SMaSH IPA! How can I tell what I’m drinking as in, I don’t put labels on my bottles? I use a bottle cap code. The SMaSH is a patriotic beer!

A hint of honey money in upper left background of the photo…… yes, I sell honey.

Ah, there is the box needing extraction! Now, I was interrupted at about 2/3 finished with my beer by my phone ringing. My friend and fellow Home brewer, Mike H, severely twisted my arm and forced me to delay extracting honey- Beer was the reason. “Meet me at Hop Stop in Humble”, more of a statement than a request.

Every Thursday they offer a rotating sampler and….. good folks, good conversation and a good place to drink beer. Traffic was crap, especially on the return trip, but it was well worth the trip….thanks Mike!

Still managed to extract and clean up. Lovely amber honey from the berry farm- “Blakelock’s Berries”. Check them out on Facebook.

Drink Local and Drink Responsibly

Bishop

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

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

A Beer for my Honey

I have put back 5 pounds of a dark rich honey collected  from my bees.  I have been planning to make a beer utilizing my honey but haven’t made the time, until now. I asked my Honey for input, as we tend to like different styles….this beer is for her! In her cute way of saying it….A  “Honey Ale”, I have translated that to a “Honey Blonde Ale”. Now comes the  daunting part….selecting a recipe. There are so many choices!

This will be an all grain batch targeting an IBU number of around 20…..again, this is for my Honey and she prefers beers on the lower end of the IBU scale.

The challenge is add the honey in such a way as to not completely lose it’s flavor completely.  Obviously, it should be added at or near the end of the boil. Research also shows opportunities to add some honey to the secondary….Hmmmmm – I continue to do my home work.

I have a bit of time to plan…I won’t brew this batch until the eye doctor  give me permission to lift loads heavier than 20 pounds. I am having cataract surgery in a couple of days and would hate to lift a 5 gallon fermenter and have the implanted lens pop out….. Maybe I can draft my eldest son, a little over 6’5″ and now outweighs me and has the benefit of stupid young man strength, to help me out! PS – after challenging me to arm wrestle on his 21st birthday and losing badly – I still maintain a bit of a fear factor over him…it keeps him in line! He is now 25 and hasn’t asked for a rematch. Brew date is toward the end of the week of September 14.

I teat my son well....on the right is a Session IPA....his favorite and on the left is the Yes Dear Raspberry Wheat Ale....a little left for my wife.

I do treat my son well….on the right is a Session IPA….his favorite and on the left is the “Yes Dear Raspberry Wheat Ale”….a little left for my wife.

Brewing notes will be forth coming, in less than a fortnight!

Drink Local and Drink Responsibly

Bishop

 

The Last of the Raspberry Wheat Ale 

Started early in the afternoon grilling a tri- tip and a bone in rib-eye steak. It had been so friggin hot that grilling is out of thequestion. It is 1:43 in the afternoon and it’s only 88 deg. F and 38% humidity. What a wonderful day! 

I am sipping on a pint of the “Yes Dear Raspberry Wheat Ale” while grilling. There’s is maybe a pint left in the Tap-a-Draft 6 L mini keg and 4 or 5 bottles left from that batch. 

 

Glass is courtesy of one of my several visits to the No Label Brewing, Katy, Texas. Very good beers and an awesome brewery to visit. Today, if they were open, would be the perfect day to sit under the big shade trees, play some Corn Hole and enjoy some of their offerings. The B-52 Brewery in Conroe also comes to mind on a day like this! 
Last night I sampled a bottle of my Session Pale Ale. It is definitely light, 3.8-4.0% ABV. I went heavy on the dry hopping but could have gone heavier  I do believe! I will get my son Ben to give me his opinion. He likes the Session IPA’/Pale Ales. 

Next up, my backyard hive honey in something. A wheat ale, maybe a pumpkin ale or just a plain ole honey ale. I will keep y’all posted! 

Now, back to the tri-tip. Love the aroma of grilled meat. Just hope the HOA doesn’t elect PETA board members!!!! LOL

  
The Rib-Eye is getting ready to hit the flames. One more pint and the grilling will be complete. 

Drink Local and Drink Responsibly

Bishop