Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Beer Blogger Meetup This Friday

See info at the top of the page. Mostly, I'm just posting this so it will show up on RSBS and all the other beer feeds, since I know that's where a lot of our traffic comes from. Hope to see you there!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Morbidly Obese Tire

I like Fat Tire. It's one of my favorite American brews. But I have a problem. I live east of the Mississippi where Fat Tire is practically non-existent. So, being a home brewer, I figured it was up to me to make my own. Here's the recipe I used.

Morbidly Obese Tire

0.5 lb. Victory Malt
0.5 lb. Briess Caramel 60

6 lb. Northern Brewer Munich Malt Syrup
1 lb. Munton's Plain Extra Light DME

1 oz. Liberty Hops (60 min) 3.6% Alpha
0.5 oz. Hallertau hops (15 min) 4.2% Alpha
0.5 oz. Hallertau hops (5 min) 4.2% Alpha

1 tsp Irish moss
1 tsp gypsum

Wyeast 1762 Belgian Abbey II (125 mL)
  1. Steep grains at 150F for 15 min in ~3 gal
  2. Heat and remove grains when temp. reaches 170F. Heat to boil
  3. Remove from heat and add malt extract. Heat to boiling
  4. Add hops according to schedule above.
  5. With 15 min. remaining, add 1 tsp. Irish moss, 1 tsp. gypsum
  6. Remove from heat, remove hops. Steep for 15 min.
  7. Transfer 1 quart of wort to sterile container, seal and place in fridge.
  8. Cool remaining wort to about 75F, transfer to primary (about 2.25 gal), dilute to 4.75 gal with tap water (OG:1.066) and pitch yeast.
I decided to try something new this time and I saved a quart of wort to add for a second fermentation. But still, after doing this, I ended up with a gravity of 1.066. Doing some rough calculations and figuring on about 0.15 gal loss for each transfer, it looks like when I add the remaining wort for a second fermentation, I'm looking at a rough OG of about 1.070. And if I get good attenuation (~75%), I'm looking at an expected alcohol percentage somewhere between 6-7%. I wasn't shooting for a decently strong alcohol beer, but what the hell? Hence the name, Morbidly Obese Tire.

The good news is that when I racked for the second fermentation, the trub smelled slightly biscuity like Fat Tire, so we'll see what happens.

Update: The rough numbers I was working with didn't sit too well with me. It didn't make sense that adding a small amount of extra wort was almost doubling the quantity of sugar. So I found my mistake in my spreadsheet and fixed the problem. The edits are in red above.

Casta Milenia Cerveza Ale

I like craft beer.

I like Mexican stuff (esp. food).

So, when I came across a Mexican craft beer tucked away on a bottom shelf at the local beer store, I had to try it out. Plus the bottle was really beautiful.

Milenia is an abbey-style ale, which of course can mean any number of flavor profiles. My first impression upon uncorking was of dark, ripe fruit, with surprisingly little yeast in the aroma. It poured a dark and cloudy amber, with very thin carbonation (aside from the cloudiness, it had the look of an English session beer.)

The flavor was a bit jarring--not because it was necessarily bad, but just radically different from what I expected based on the aroma. I had poured about half the bottle into an oversized brandy snifter--a great piece of glassware for tasting something for the first time, because you get a noseful before you take a sip. The best description I can come up with was figs and plumbs on the nose, but tannins and lime juice on the palate. Seriously--it tasted like tea.

What I really didn't like about it was the watery texture. It felt really thin and not at all like beer.

So I hesitate to give this beer a firm up or down. It might appeal to certain palates, and a good food pairing might make it better. I could maybe see it with a spicy, fairly rich seafood dish like one might get in coastal NW Mexico. And in fact, what we had with it was grilled shrimp salad with a more-or-less Thai twist on it, and as the beer warmed, the flavors started to work pretty well. But I just don't see it working standing alone.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Round 3

Posted over at The Liquid Diet.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Day 2 Entry

Posted over at The Liquid Diet.

Monday, July 17, 2006

It's On Like a Chicken Bone!

The problem with having too much time on your hands is that you eventually have so much time that you start entertaining those way-too-crazy ideas. After reconsidering the costs of installing a fireman pole from the third story down to the garage I had to consider a project that would actually fit within my budget constraints. So an idea that I had last year (likely the child of a rumor I had heard) came to mind mostly due to the fact that I recently found part-time employment at the local brewery. So starting today, I'm following through on one of my craziest, self-endangering ideas to date. I'm starting The Liquid Diet. No, not the one where you drink health shakes as that topic has no place on a beer-related blog. Do you see where this is going yet?

Yes, it's The Liquid Diet. The one that you've dreamed of since you...well, never. The diet that starts and ends with beer and goes until one of the following criteria are met:
  1. A verifiable gain/loss of weight is recorded.
  2. I crave solid food so much that I'd actually win in a fight with a fat lady at the buffet.
  3. I cough up my liver.
  4. My sphincter blows out thanks to the lack of its usual semi-solid shock absorbers. There is a reason they're tapered at both ends.
Hopefully, condition #1 will be met first and I won't have to resort to numbers 3 & 4.

But I want to be somewhat intelligent and balanced about doing an all beer diet, if there is such a statement. For example, my first meal today is starting with a fruit beer. Fruit is a generally accepted breakfast food, right? So I'm starting with a Raspberry Tart from the New Glarus Brewing Co. that I visited last summer. And the other smart step I've decided is requiring an equal amount of water to be consumed after each beer. This should help to curb the diuretic effect of alcohol along with hopefully minimizing the negative effects on my liver, not that I'm a doctor or anything.

Not a lot to write about just yet as this only started about 15 minutes ago. So I wrap up this entry with a list of questions that our loyal readers and contributors may be able to help with:
  • Anybody know where I can find info on where this may have been done before?
  • Anybody know of a good site where one can find comprehensive nutritional info for beers?
  • Know of any relevant scientific studies regarding the nutritous benefits/detriments of beer?
  • Do you want to contribute a meal plan for one of my dieting days? Keep in mind that the beers have to be locally available and my ZIP code is 30060. The selection ain't great, but it's better than it was a few years ago before Georgia lawmakers repealed the 6.0% content law.
Cross-posted over at The Liquid Diet.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Still alive

I've just been writing about other things lately. Mostly at work, but also here. My beer drinking has been less adventurous lately, due mostly to the aforementioned record heat (today--110° ). However, I am gearing up for some serious beer tourism in a couple of weeks at the OBF. I have my notebook ready, and plan to post every last detail that I can here.

On that note...the beer blogger meetup is still on, so come one and all. In any case, I'll be there.