Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Mild out the bottle

Almost one month ago I put together an English Mild recipe as a session ale. Cracked the first bottle during my boil today. As expected, nice deep reddish brown when held to the light. Easy drinking, crisp and malty to all get out. The carbonation was kept LOW, with only an ounce of table sugar added at bottling. This is supposed to mimic the mouth feel of a hand pulled ale. The carbonation is noticeable on the tongue but fades quickly. Does not taste like a cask ale but I did not have high hopes for that. The aftertaste has a noticeable twang to it. I am not sure if its honey malt or hops. I don't mind it but could also do without it. Overall I am enjoying this beer in its youth and expect it to get better in the next week or two.

Recipe - American Stout

This is my first go at any Stout style. Stout is not my favorite style, this is due to many horrible commercial examples I have had. Lately I have been real selective in sampling and have found many examples I appreciate. This recipe is a basic stout but it the precursor to a russian imperial stout that I will brew in month. If the RIS turns out good by summer time, I will brew a second one for BMG but with a yet to be determined fruit secondary.

About 45 minutes into my mash the apartment smells incredible. Nice roasty smells about. The boil smells fantastic, more chocolate roasty aromas. My neighbor better appreciate this.

I always have issues with head retention on my dark ales. I accented the base 2 row with 1/2 pound carapil and 1 pound munich. I am hoping this will kick in a little to the body but more so the head. I know many people use flaked oats but I do not appreciate the chunky mouth feel it imparts. Recipe follows..

Basic American Stout

9 lbs 2 row
1 lbs Munich
8 oz Carapils
12 oz Roasted Barley
12 oz Chocolate Mount
8 0z Caramel 40

30 minute protein rest at 130F
60 minute sach rest at 152F
Rinse Out/Mash out at 168F

SG .048
OG .055
FG .013

.75 oz Magnum 90 Minutes
.5 oz Cascade 15 Minutes
.5 oz Cascade Flame Out

Wyeast 1056

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Screw your yuppie apartment!!

My latest domicile has many modern conveniences. We have faucet taps that extend into spray nozzles. Very convenient for washing dishes but horrible for attaching immersion chillers. i have been running a hose from the out door spigot, up the steps and into the kitchen. This works well but is a small pain in the ass, no big deal. Now that it is 11F, running hose is problematic...and I am sure my landlord would not appreciate me running his spigot this time of year. This has put a temporary hiatus on brewing. I am thinking of leaving my kettle outdoor over night with the lid on tight. Anyone with experience with unique wort chilling methods PLEASE chime in. Thanks!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Hop Soup.. FWH

First Wort Hopping the IPA with a blend of Centennial and Cascade.

FFF Alpha King when treated as a session beer...

FFF Alpha King has been getting some serious non beer bar penetration. I wrongly assumed the location of my wife's office party would have poor selection but open bar is open bar.. Enter "The King". 4 hours of Alpha King on the house is a wonderful thing! I woke up early to start my brew day feeling a little dazed but otherwise great. My wife's office throws kick ass partys...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Home Brew Protection Badger!!

This afternoon I cracked one of my Scottish 70 Shilling ales, what a treat. This beer keeps improving with age, unfortunately I have less than a case remaining. The malt flavor has become full and flavorful throughout the nose to mouth. It is tough not to dig into a beer as soon as possible. I love the taste of fresh beer but most times its important to give the beer time to peak. I will just need to brew more IPA to enjoy while the other beers serve time.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Update.. Mild Recipe

My last IPA appears to be a huge success. I am down to 12 of 25 bombers, I have only enjoyed two myself! Selina brought some to the office, hopefully I will get feedback from her co-workers. Today I am bottling the Big Hef, I am excited to try this one!

Keeping a session ale around has been critical lately. We are running low on the Scottish session, which keeps getting maltier with age. I wish I would have let it condition for a month before putting them in the rotation. This week I am brewing up a 3% English Mild for those times when you need a low alcohol beer with FLAVOR. I am trying to keep the final gravity around 1.011/.012 by mashing at 158F and doing a 90 minute boil. Due to the low starting gravity this should be at terminal gravity at 3 days.

Fresh's Mild

SG: 1.037
FG: 1.011
ABV: 3%
IBU: 22
SRM: 16

UK Mild Ale Malt 7lb 0oz
US Caramel 120L Malt 6.00 oz
UK Pale Chocolate Malt 4.00 oz
Canadian Honey Malt (Gambrinus) 4.00 oz
UK Black Malt 2.00 oz
Mash 158 60 minutes, sparge 180

US Goldings .75 oz 5.5% alpha 60 minutes
Irish Mosss 1 t 15 Minutes

Wyeast 1028 @ 64 degrees

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Prohibition Facts

From http://www.repealofprohibition.com/prohibition_facts.html

On December 5, 1933 Utah was the 36th state (reaching the required ¾ mark) to ratify the 21st amendment and end National Prohibition. This made the 18th amendment the only constitutional amendment to be repealed.

The longest state prohibition was Missouri, who ended state prohibition in 1966, almost 35 years after National Prohibition was repealed.

A Literary Digest poll taken in 1922 found 40 percent of respondents favored light wines and beer; the poll also revealed 62 percent of working men favoring more lenient enforcement of national prohibition

The wartime anti-alcohol act had allowed people to drink light beer and wine, and many previous state prohibition laws had banned only hard liquor. Assuming national prohibition would follow these precedents, many beer and wine drinkers had favored passage of the amendment. Even some breweries favored the new amendment since it would eliminate competition from the liquor distillers; therefore, the brewers and many other Americans were shocked at the passage of the Vostead Act, which decreed .05 percent as the maximum alcohol content.

When all the states were voting to repeal the 18th amendment or not, New Hampshire wasted no time on rhetoric; they voted to kill prohibition in just 17 minutes.

Prohibition removed a significant source of tax revenue and greatly increased government spending. It led many drinkers to switch to opium, marijuana, patent medicines, cocaine, and other dangerous substances that they would have been unlikely to encounter in the absence of Prohibition.

In the three months before the 18th Amendment became effective, liquor worth half a million dollars was stolen from Government warehouses. By midsummer of 1920, federal courts in Chicago were overwhelmed with some 600 pending liquor violation trials (Sinclair, 1962: 176-177). Within three years, 30 prohibition agents were killed in service.

Writers of this period point out that the law was circumvented by various means. Although there may have been legitimate, medicinal purposes for whiskey, the practice of obtaining a medical prescription for the illegal substance was abused. It is estimated that doctors earned $40 million in 1928 by writing prescriptions for whiskey.

The grape growers even produced a type of grape jelly suggestively called "Vine-go" which, with the addition of water, could make a strong wine within two months

There were many cases of people going blind or suffering from brain damage after drinking "bathtub gin" made with industrial alcohol or various poisonous chemicals. In one notorious incident involved the patent medicine Jamaica ginger, known by its users as "Jake." It had a very high alcohol content and was known to be consumed by those desiring to circumvent the ban on alcohol. The Treasury Department mandated changes in the formulation to make it undrinkable. Unscrupulous vendors then adulterated their Jake with an industrial plasticizer in an attempt to fool government testing. As a result, tens of thousands of victims suffered paralysis of their feet and hands – usually, this paralysis was permanent.

Some amateur distillers used old automobile radiators to distill liquor, and the subsequent product was dangerously high in lead salts – which usually led to fatal lead poisoning.

Although some view the theory of prohibition as reasonable, it is generally conceded that the realities of manufacture and distribution make it unworkable, for in one form or another, alcohol can be easily produced by farmers, high school chemistry students, and ordinary citizens.

Groups who supported the repeal of prohibition

  • Association Against the Prohibition Amendment
  • Constitutional Liberty League of Massachusetts (despite the name, this was a nation-wide organization)
  • The Crusaders
  • Labor's National Committee for Modification of the Volstead Act
  • Moderation League of New York (despite the name, this was a nation-wide organization)
  • Molly Pitcher Club
  • Republican Citizens Committee Against National Prohibition
  • United Repeal Council
  • Voluntary Committee of Lawyers
  • Women's Committee for Repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment
  • Women's Moderation Union

During Prohibition, temperance activists hired a scholar to rewrite the Bible by removing all references to alcohol beverage.

It's The Law! Anyone under the age of 21 who takes out household trash containing even a single empty alcohol beverage container can be charged with illegal possession of alcohol in Missouri.

In 1916, seven states adopted anti-liquor laws, bringing the number of states to 19 that prohibited the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages. America's entry into World War I made Prohibition seem patriotic since many breweries were owned by German Americans.

Prohibition created a huge consumer market unmet by legitimate means. Organized crime filled that vacuum left by the closure of the legal alcohol industry. Homicides increased in many cities, partly as a result of gang wars, but also because of an increase in drunkenness.

Prohibition devastated the nation's brewing industry. St. Louis had 22 breweries before Prohibition. Only nine reopened after Prohibition ended in 1933. Anheiser-Busch made it through Prohibition by making ice cream, near beer, corn syrup, ginger ale, root beer, yeast, malt extract, refrigerated cabinets, and automobile and truck bodies.

The jobs and tax revenue that a legal liquor industry would generate looked attractive as the country entered the Great Depression. During his presidential campaign in 1932, New York Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt, who never hid his fondness for martinis, called for Prohibition's repeal.

Although the temperance movement claimed Dr. Benjamin Rush (1745/46-1813) as one of its primary inspirations, he actually promoted moderation rather than prohibition. The temperance movement often had difficulty getting facts right.

Early temperance writers often insisted that because of their high blood alcohol content, "habitual drunkards" could spontaneously combust and burn to death from inside.

A temperance publication wrote of drinking parents who gave birth to small children with a "yen for alcohol so strong that the mere sight of a bottle shaped like a whiskey flask brought them whining for a nip."