Monday, June 23, 2014

Bock You Like A Hurricane

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
Tuesday night was the SF Homebrewers Guild meeting at Anchor Brewing & it was magnificent as always. He had a special presentation by a startup campaign for an item called the Brewometer. Essentially what it is… is a Bluetooth device that floats in your fermenting wort & sends a signal to your iPhone to let you know what the specific gravity is of your wort. Basically it lets you know when your beer is properly ready for drinking without guess work or constantly checking the gravity & possibly exposing the wort to contamination. They’re obviously still working on some of the kinks (battery life, signal strength, etc) but it seems like they’ve got a pretty good idea to start with. Best of luck gentlemen!
After the presentation, we shared some of our ChocoNut Stout & Blood Orange Hefeweizen to RAVE reviews as usual. We actually have a number of pretty solid fans within the guild now too that think our beer is some of the best that they’ve tried & that’s VERY high praise given some of the award-winning brewers that are a part of the group. Oh, Izzy also helped a little fledgling that flew in from the window in the middle of the meeting… and was basically the hero of the day! She’s pretty amazing that way!
Thursday, Izzy also made some delicious chocolate cupcakes using our ChocoNut Stout so making them basically Chocolate Coconut Stout Cupcakes… and she made a sh*t ton so we’ve been sharing them with friends, roommates & coworkers since…
Speaking of roommates, we interviewed a girl Sunday night that we’ll call Brazil… and frankly, she’ll be the new roommates. The girls had pretty much decided beforehand but they didn’t want to make it official until we’d met… and yeah, she seems pretty cool. Early 20’s, hostess at a five-star restaurant, only been in town since January, Florida a few years before that, born & raised in Recife, Brazil, good sense of humor, all that stuff. Yay!!! Roommate interviews were easy that time!!!
As for the rest of the weekend, Saturday was pretty busy… first off, we headed over to Izzy’s Aunts to FINALLY help them bottle their Torpedo Clone that we helped them brew six weeks ago in their Mr. Beer barrel… and unfortunately Izzy had rolled her ankle pretty good… but it worked out because while I bottled the beer, they caught up on chit chat & arrangements for their son’s wedding this Friday… which they needed to do anyway without being distracted. Here are some pictures…

The next few hours was me shopping for a bunch of new clothes for work… so I’ve got some more fly suits… but we also made a run to Napa to drop our entries for the Napa Valley Expo Town & County Fair. This fair was a little different so we entered six of our selections (and we would’ve done our Bourbon Barrel Porter too but… apparently we’re out of 12 oz bottles & only a few bombers left):
·         Honey Amber Ale
·         Blood Orange Hefeweizen
·         Oktoberfest
·         Winter Warmer
·         ChocoNut Stout
·         Torpedo Clone (under the name Pentacera-Hops)
We will keep you posted on the results… and while there at the brew shop making the drop-off… we also found this handy little device called Cool Brewing that helps you to maintain the temperature of your wort in your carboy. Basically it’s like a waterproof insulator that you can add ice to help keep it cool… which is perfect for our next batch that we made for Oaktoberfest. Here’s what it looks like in use…

Saturday night after we got back, we started our next batch… which is a Bock recipe that I kinda came up with looking at other recipes & trying to come up with something similar to Anchor’s now discontinued spring seasonal Bock… which is like a Maibock, but hopefully a little darker & maltier towards a Doppelbock with a different hop note replacing the usual Hallertau & Perle kind of German hops with Nugget & Fuggle. So yeah, it’s an experiment… but we’re REALLY excited about it… and it’ll be our entry into this year’s Oaktoberfest competition which allows for delicious German beers only. I don’t have as many pictures as I usually would as Izzy was resting her ankle after a long, hard day most of the time (Dr. Steve’s orders) but it went pretty smoothly. Here are some pictures…

Specialty grains at entry...

... at 5 minutes...

... at 10 minutes...

... and airing out after about 20 minutes

Chilling it down a little bit in the new cooler...

Just this morning there was noticeable fermentation activity… we were a little worried that we couldn’t get it cool enough to work… but my purchase of the insulator helped to drop the temperature about ten degrees from ambient to get it right in that sweet spot for a colder lager yeast temperature. Again, REALLY excited about possible making some decent German style beer as they’re some of my favorites.
Aside from that, not much to report… this next week we’ll be starting another batch to get ready for my Family Reunion in September. We should have results for a few other competitions in the next few weeks. The NBA Draft is Thursday night… and as I predicted a few weeks ago, my month early draft is completely in shambles now since consensus #1 pick Joel Embiid had ankle surgery & international man of mystery Darco Saric decided that he’d rather stay in Europe & be a superstar there as opposed to a role player here. Action & adventure always abound… but until then, have a great day everybody!!!

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