Lengthwise Brewing Company

Today is a Homebrew and Brisket Day.

Started off with 12 pound brisket, untrimmed and with a big dose of Lengthwise “Mighty Fine” Home Brewed Seasoned Salt. Great on chicken too- I should have written that adventure up a month or so ago! The Beer Butt Chicken was superb.

Back to the brisket. I am using a garbage bin rescued, gas fired smoker. After trouble shooting the system I found it only needed a new regulator. 24 bucks, a small shipping fee and I was in business.

I started off with my latest batch, the “Yes Dear Raspberry Wheat Ale” . Pretty darned good but could use another couple of weeks to mellow out. My “Yes Dear” critic gave a sideways thumb. Yes dear, I will let it mellow!

An hour or so later after adding a big handful of Mesquite chips, I poured the Lengthwise inspired homebrewed “Golden Wheat Red IPA”. It is near perfect!

Yes Dear Raspberry Wheat Ale - note the slight pink tint to the head. It is good and should nature well.

Yes Dear Raspberry Wheat Ale – note the slight pink tint to the head. It is good and should nature well. Brisket Seasoning posing alongside.

 

The “Yes Dear Raspberry Wheat Ale posing with the Mighty Fine bottle. Not a bad looking couple?

The Golden Wheat  Red IPA posing with the Lengthwise seasoning.

The Golden Wheat Red IPA posing with the Lengthwise seasoning.

My Golden Wheat Red was whining about not being in the picture so I poured one and drank it! I still have a few hours to finish the brisket. I hope the Russian Imperial Stout doesn’t get into the act! At 10-11% ABV I might lose my sense of smoking focus.

My Russian Imperial Stout aged on charred oak that had been soaked in bourbon.

My Russian Imperial Stout aged on charred oak that had been soaked in bourbon. Is it my eyes or is this seriously out of focus?

The debate is on, should I or should I behave. The Stouts are in 22 ounce or 20 ounce flip tops. Here is a 22 ounce bomber positioned near the smoker just begging for release!

 

I decided to behave…. Maybe????

Drink Local and Drink Responsibly
Bishop

Bakersfield Does Craft Beer

I was back to Bakersfield California for a few days of paying work and some family time! In an attempt to manage my belt, I cannot and will not take every evening meal at the Lengthwise brewery or one of the two Lengthwise Pubs! As much as I want to continue my education into local craft beers I am restricting my intake.

I love hoppy IPA’s and just had to try the Lengthwise offering ,Double Centennial Ale. From the Lengthwise web page.(“This double IPA is generously kettle hopped and dry hopped with Australian grown Galaxy hops.  Galaxy hops add gentle citrus and passion fruit aromas and tastes.  Unlike most DIPAs this beer finishes a little dryer which helps showcase the hop flavor.”)

Yummy and hoppy but with a crisp clean aftertaste! I took notes and this maybe the model fo my next “all grain” batch for an IPA. I haven’t brewed with Galaxy hops but I just may have to give it a shot!

 

Yummy.....around 9% ABV so drinkers must use care, caution and portion control!

Yummy…..around 9% ABV so drinkers must use care, caution and portion control!

 

Drink Local and Drink Responsibly!!!!!!!!!

Bishop

First Taste Test – Golden Wheat Red IPA

Well the jury is now returning the verdict…..the beer is PDG! I benefitted by several weeks away from the temptation of sampling the beer too early. I have to admit that I did sample one before I left, I knew it was going to be too early and yes it was….In need of a few more weeks of conditioning……so, that is what I gave it!

December 19th, 2013, I tried the second bottle of the batch. Wow! Very nice head, the aroma was/is amazing and the Amarillo hops used for the dry hopping have left its signature citrus note! The color is a bit darker than I had anticipated. It is a darker red than planned, but is very clear and refreshing. My daughter Lisa was over when I poured that “second” first beer. Her comment was, “It tastes light, not dark like I thought it would be”.  Nice lace on the glass so I sat back and enjoyed being home, looking forward to the Holidays and spending time with family!

The Beer, The Bottle and the Belch....not really!

The Beer, The Bottle and the Belch….not really!

I shared a few bottles with my buddy John. We sat and watched a little football yesterday  enjoying my latest offering. He was highly pleased…..”it is a keeper recipe” was the proclamation. I had to agree with him but the wheels were already turning – it is good, but maybe I can tweak the hopping schedule and make it great!

Should I??????  Absolutely!

Drink Local and Drink Responsibly

Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year

Bishop

Oh, Thanks again to Lengthwise Brewery in Bakersfield for the inspiration!

Dry Hopping Dilemma

I should not read any more! If you have been following along I am brewing an “inspiration” IPA based on my mistaken read of the chalkboard at the Lengthwise Brewery Pub out in the Marketplace, Bakersfield, California. The ale is designed to be a “Golden Wheat Red IPA” based o the combined three individual local beers on tap. I failed to report that the bartender had poured a mixed blend for some customers who gave the blend high marks. I just decided to try and brew that blend. Post with recipe located here;

http://wp.me/p1qlvz-ec

So here is my dilemma. I transferred the beer into the secondary carboy with 1 ounce of Amarillo hop pellets sitting on the bottom. Once the beer was transferred, I gave the carboy a nice swirl to get the pellets to settle. I then carried it out to my temperature controlled chest freezer. I now need to decide on a temperature scheme/schedule during the dry hopping phase. From my exploration of the web I find too many choices, schemes, schedules and opinions!

  • Two days at room temperature and then crash to 35 degrees for up to two weeks.
  • Five to seven days at low room temperatures then rack off and package.
  • Five to seven days at room temperature and then crash to 35 degrees for 2 days prior to packaging.
  • And too many variations to list!!!

My choice – the logic I like is; hold the beer at a temperature that will allow the aromatic oils in the Amarillo hops to best express their amazing aroma.  So, five days at 65-67 degrees then crash to 35 degrees for a couple of days to aid in clarifying the beer before I bottle. I am convinced that the beer will be very good!

While racking the beer into the secondary I noted that the fermentation was vigorous – the Krausen was thick and reached the lid of the primary. I guess that I was lucky that it didn’t lift the lid or fill the airlock. Note to self: consider a blow-off tube next time for the early yeast activity!

Transfer from primary fermenter to the secondary and hop pellets floating on top.

Transfer from primary fermenter to the secondary and hop pellets floating on top.

Hop pellets floating on top of the beer - kinda look like the rabbit pellets we fed them!

Hop pellets floating on top of the beer – kinda look like the rabbit pellets we fed them!

 

Evidence of the Krausen on the sides... gotta be a good beer.

Evidence of the Krausen on the sides… gotta be a good beer.

I bet some of you are thinking, is he going to drink that? Yes I am!

Drink Responsibly and Drink Local

Bishop

 

Golden Wheat Red IPA Update

I just had to share a quick update on the Inspiration Beer at the end of it’s first week in the primary fermenter. The original gravity, the OG, was 1.066. A week later it had dropped to 1.016! I am pleased with the progress. Tomorrow I will rack it over to the secondary and add 1 ounce of the Amarillo hops.

The first taste, that’s right, I couldn’t dump the graduated cylinder full of the beginning’s of a nice beer and let it go to waste, was very nice and not as hoppy as I had expected. I shared a taste with my son’s girlfriend and she found it drinkable. Patience Bishop, patience!

I am wondering if an ounce will be enough??????? Maybe I shouldn’t get too frisky and just stay with the original recipe! Thanks again to the great folks at Lengthwise Brewing in Bakersfield CA!

Drink Local, Drink Responsibly

Bishop

 

Inspiration Comes to Fruition

I hinted a couple of weeks ago about being inspired to brew something a bit unique. Well I made it happen today….the recipe was developed about a week ago from some inspiration found in a conversation with the bar keep at Lengthwise Brewing Pub in the Marketplace – Bakersfield California. I was attempting to order a beer and the big chalkboard had these tree words stacked above each other in the lower left corner of the board.

Golden

Wheat

Red

So, I ordered one…..it sounded like an interesting beer. The barkeeper smiled while telling me that those three were part of the tap line-up for the brewery. I had been fully aware of their Centennial and Double Centennial IPA’s, The Kern River Crude Porter, the Blonde as well as a host of guest beers on tap. It just didn’t dawn on me that these were three distinct beers. The ensuing conversation made me feel a little better. Apparently I am not the only ” cerevisaphile  – A devout lover of beers.”, that has made the same, I won’t call it a mistake, but rather the natural combining of those yummy sounding beer components. So I was struck by inspiration and went on my mission to build this beer.

The recipe; Partial mash – the easy way.

3 lbs light malt extract – the Golden portion

3 lbs of Wheat Malt extract – The Wheat portion

1 lb. Caramel Malt – crushed

½ lb. Crystal Malt 55 L crushed

2 oz. Black roasted barley – crushed – the crushed grains should add body and the Red portion of the inspiration.

2 oz. Centennial pellet hops – 1 oz. @ 30 minutes, 1 oz. @ 15 minutes

2 oz. Amarillo pellet hops – 1 oz. @ 55 minutes. 1 oz. in secondary a few weeks from now

½ tsp yeast nutrient @ 10 minutes, ½ tsp gypsum at beginning, ½ tsp Irish Moss @ 30 minutes

Grain placed in brew pot and removed when temperature reached 170 deg F.

OG is 1.066 – Fermenting at 64-68 deg F Aerated for 3 minutes prior to pitching Wyeast 1056 Ale yeast.

At two weeks I will check and transfer to the secondary then dry hop with the remaining Amarillo hops.

This should be a hoppy beer, not real bitter, but should have a good floral and citrus aroma.

Now the big challenge is to be patient!

Brewing notebook, malt extract, grains and hops. Ready to brew.

Brewing notebook, malt extract, grains and hops. Ready to brew.

Drink Local and Drink Responsibly

Bishop

Lengthwise – More & More!

It has been a while since I last visited. Lengthwise is broadening their offerings and I am pleased with the efforts! I am an IPA fan and they have a Zeus Imperial IPA that looks awesome! Zeus hops in the boil and dry hopped with Citra. Sounds incredible! If you understand what I have just written you noticed that I did not quaff the beverage! I will have to return somewhere down the road!

If in Bakersfield try out their offerings, you won’t be disappointed!

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I have sampled the Double Centennial on previous visits. It is one of my absolute favorites!

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The 50 Best Beers and the 25 Best Brewers –

In my recent copy of Zymurgy’ there was an article touting the 50 best beers in America as voted by members of the American Homebrewer’s Association. My first thought when I saw the tag line on the cover was……..”How many have I sampled?”….So, how did I do? Lets go down in rank order. I have enjoyed at least one of the following beers.

  • 1. Pliny the Elder by Russian River….hard to find but oh so worth the effort
  • 3. Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA
  • 7. Arrogant Bastard Ale
  • 8. Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA
  • T9. Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale
  • T9. Stone Ruination
  • T12. Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra
  • 15. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
  • T17. Firestone Walker Double Jack
  • 20. Firestone Walker Wookey Jack
  • T21. Bear Republic Racer 5
  • T27. Deschutes Black Butte Porter
  • T27. Green Flash West Coast IPA
  • 30. Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA
  • 36. Lagunitas IPA
  • 37. Stone IPA
  • 38. Odell IPA
  • T42. Russian River Blind Pig IPA
  • 45. Firestone Walker Parabola
  • T48. Green Flash Palate Wrecker
  • T48. Lagunitas Brown Shugga’

I will add my 2 cents – The Firestone Walker Parabola is the most amazing beer I have ever sampled, a barrel aged Imperial Stout…it has very limited distribution and limited production. I am certain that it would have garnered far more votes if sampled by more folks…. My wife surprised me last week with a bottle of the 2011 Parabola found in a specialty beer and wine shop in Bakersfield California – Imbibe is the store name. It will be a special occasion in the future when I crack the top! I grabbed the last available bottle of the 2011 and took a 2013 to mature in my Houston beer cellar ( converted freezer currently set ay 54 degrees F)

I have under my belt – literally and figuratively, 21 of the top 50 beers voted on by members of the American Homebrewer’s Association and published in the July/August 2013 issue of Zymurgy.

They also asked members to rank the Commercial Craft Breweries across the US…..I am either a lush or ???? I have sampled the offerings of many of these breweries. By member’s vote listed below are those in my experience base;

  • 1. Stone Brewing Company
  • 2. Russian River Brewing Company
  • 3. Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
  • 4. Dogfish Head Brewery
  • 6. Firestone Walker Brewing Company
  • 8. Lagunitas Brewing Company
  • 9. New Belgium Brewing Company
  • 10. Deschutes Brewery
  • 11 Odell Brewing Company
  • 15. Green Flash Brewing Company
  • 16. The Boston Beer Company
  • 17. Boulevard Brewing Company
  • 18. Goose Island Beer Company

I have 13 of the top 25….I need to do some beer swapping to complete my list! .This should be a doable challenge….

Three Superb Beers

Three Superb Beers

This trip has included several brewery visits – Island Brewing in Carpenteria, 3 times and another tonight with my granddaughter – yes she is of legal age to drink in California, the Santa Barbara Brewery, several visits to Lengthwise Brewery in Bakersfield and I hope to sample something at Anacapa Brewery in Ventura around lunch time. I was close to both San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles but there are only so many days available on this trip and heard the Sirens’ call from the breweries in these two towns. (dangerous and beautiful creatures these Sirens be)

Drink Local and Drink Responsibly

Bishop

Beer Trumps All

I spent last week in California, more precisely, Coalinga, Paso Robles, Bakersfield and San Ardo.

In Coalinga we stayed at Harris Ranch Inn. Great beef, great ranch style rooms and good beer to. Tuesday night we shifted locations to Paso Robles, 27 minutes south of San Ardo oilfield. We were in the midst of some of the finest red wine growing and nearly 300 wineries, from little tiny to very, very big! Just a note, we should have had a 27 minute drive but due to cattle guard issues with a local rancher and some drilling activity we had to drive another 8 or 10 minutes north, hook back across the Salinas River and meander through some  lush produce fields adding 15 minutes to the drive. We witnessed seemingly endless vistas of vineyards, cattle grazing on the rolling hills, cabbage harvests and lettuce planting….This stretch of Highway 101, El Camino Real that parallels the freeway is the most amazing display of the earth’s bounty.

Harris Ranch Inn pool vista. Actually pleasant arounf the pool - the wind from the Harris Ranch feedlot was not tracking toward the hotel!

Harris Ranch Inn pool vista. Actually pleasant around the pool – the wind from the Harris Ranch feedlot was not tracking toward the hotel! Thank Goodness

The altar at the San Miguel Mission near Paso Robles. Built in 1794!

The altar at the San Miguel Mission near Paso Robles. Built in 1794!

My workmate, Murray and I had worked in the region this past December. While in Paso Robles we dined at the pub associated with the Firestone Walker Brewery. Great beer and now great food to boot.  We treated ourselves in December to a bottle of Parabola, a barrel aged Imperial Stout. We shared the 2011 “vintage” – I think it is ok to use that term since we are in an incredible wine growing region! The 2011 bottle was amazing! We both agreed that it treated the senses to a mouth feel, taste and aroma that could be used to describe a great Port! I would love to have hauled an unopened bottle back to Texas but they wouldn’t agree to sell one to me for that purpose. I tried to explain that I was Bishop Decker, world famous beer drinker and blogger extraordinaire! I guess my fame is restricted to Texas!

Murray's good side with his 4 beer sampler at Firestone Walker Pub.

Murray’s good side with his 4 beer sampler at Firestone Walker Pub.

Surrounded my great wines, vineyards and wineries, so what do Murray and I drink? Beer!! We had the DBA, the 805, a 4 beer sampler – see Murray’s good side, and of course the Parabola. Rules seem to have change or maybe Murray and his west coast of Canada charm worked some magic – the rascal convinced them to sell him a bottle of the 2011 Parabola in a “to-go” box. In fact it was the last bottle and stamped as the No. 2 bottle from that batch.  We shared the 2013 bottling on the advice of our server….he said the 2012 was a bit too sweet. The 2013 is superb!

The Parabola 2013

The Parabola 2013

I treated Murray to a dinner with my Mother on Wednesday night at her favorite seafood place in Morro Bay. She ordered her favorite meal – the chicken breast – FYI the old gal doesn’t eat fish. She was her usual perky self at 84-ish. She conducts a Tai Chi class 3 days per week – as much a social gathering as it is fitness – a mix of mind and body. PS – Mom, Murray thinks you are pretty special. I hesitated putting that comment in because it could go to her Head!!!!

Friday we trekked back to Bakersfield the long way, through Santa Maria, similar vistas as the 101 north of Paso Robles but now strawberry fields add to the mix. We took Highway 166 through Cuyama…endless vistas of carrot fields! We continued our beer sampling at Lengthwise Pub out on Calloway in Bakersfield with their Centennial IPA.

Saturday on the plane very early, fingers crossed for an on time flight….My youngest son was graduating High School with over 600 of his classmates. The event was held in one half of Reliant Stadium…the same place that the NFL Texans play their games! At the celebratory graduation I tried a bottle of beer from Bear Republic, Red Rocket Ale – I really liked it!!!!!!

COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Red Rocket Ale is a bastardized Scottish style red ale that traces it’s origins to our homebrew roots. This full bodied and hoppy brew finishes on the palate with sweet, caramel malt flavors. 2009 California State Fair – SILVER 1999 Great American Beer Festival® Other Strong Ales or Lagers – SILVER 1998 Great American Beer Festival® Other Strong Ales – SILVER

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Drink Local and Drink Responsibly – I am sipping on a Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale as I write….made with fresh hops…Murray has promised to bring me some fresh hops for my home brewing efforts next fall – Grown on the island of his residence, Salt Spring BC – said that he would supply me a kilo of the good stuff! A KILO OF HOPS Y’ALL!!!!!

Dinner at son Joe's graduation - he is far right, my big maroon body with my Red Rocket Ale is near right.

Dinner at son Joe’s graduation – he is far left, my big maroon body with my Red Rocket Ale is near right.

Bishop

Bakersfield Beers, Big and Bold

I had a quick trip to Bakersfield California last week, Not much free time but I did manage to get out to the Lengthwise Brewery Pub out on Calloway on Sunday night during the football game. I had my two beer work night limit, one was the Midnight Restoration Ale, it was nice, and then I had the Centennial IPA as we called it an evening.

Bakersfield has a number of good establishments that are catering to the craft beer drinkers. I have heard lots of good things about the brewery up Kernville and as far as I can figure, Lengthwise is the only local brewery. Frugatti’s on Coffee Road has Firestone on tap, great beers brewed in Paso Robles,  Fat Tire seems to be everywhere, some of the San Diego beers are pretty easy to find as well as the Sierra Nevada beers. The Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is the standard and well known and well loved. I am a big fan of the Torpedo IPA. Pop over to the website and wander through their offerings. The beer description pages are very detailed and the food pairings piece is pretty cool. If you are an IPA fan the “Hoptimum”  is awesome, checking in at 100 IBU’s…. http://www.sierranevada.com/beer/

My last night in Bakersfield last week included a dinner at my sister-in-law’s house. Her husband and to a certain extent, my sister-in-law are oenophiles. I have nothing against the affliction, I believe that it is curable and those that can’t be cured can still live a full and productive life.  I believe they just need to broaden their horizons! I swung by the Calloway Lengthwise Pub on Calloway to pick up a couple of growlers as a gift for the hosts. My wife had sent me a note informing me of a new tapping on sale that evening – the Double Centennial IPA. I picked up one growler of the Double and the other was the Golden Ale – a light refreshing ale that isn’t too heavy.

My sister-in-law tried a pint of the Golden Ale after dinner and she was on to her second pint as I left to head back to the hotel….. I knew she was versatile! Beer lovers are too often caste as a bit crass and low brow…. but, to the informed, the depth and breadth of the beer drinking experience matches, at a minimum and probably exceeds, that of the wine world. Read the article in the attached link for a grin and an attempt to provide a more appropriate moniker for those of my ilk. Unfortunately I sometimes reinforce the beer drinker stereotype with my coarse behavior, language and I occasionally burst into inappropriate song on a few rare nights each year. http://www.realbeer.com/library/authors/smith-g/beer_lover.php

I will try to pick a day this week to brew a session type beer – 4.5% ABV or so, light in color and body. My friend John sent me a note….his Christmas gift – beer of the month delivery is in his possession – he needs some expert help assessing the quality of the shipment. It may be an effort but then again it might be worth the effort.

Drink Local – Drink Responsibly

TTFN

Bishop