Monday, February 28, 2011

New beer store/bar

So last weekend my wife and I went out shopping.  We went to Boardman Ohio because she wanted to go to Dillards and for some odd reason there is no Dillards in Pennsylvania.  She wanted to make some beer bread and I have convinced her that there is no beer better for beer bread than Young's Double Chocolate Stout. (of course since then she used up all my Young's for beer bread)  She wanted to see if we could pick some up and because in PA the state (IMHO in violation of the three tier law) distributes and retails beer by the case at the "state store." Where a case of Young's in the cans costs about $65 on a good day and up to $90.  But in good ole Ohio beer nirvana exists at Vintage Estates.  We entered the store and found literally thousands of individually wrapped bottles of barley goodness.  They also sell wine and the place doubles as a bar as well.  I picked up the can of Young's that we were after and a bottle of Dogfish Head Red &White which was awesome.  The beer was a Belgian Wit with Pinot Noir juice mixed in.  I also picked up a bottle of Dogfish Head My Antonia which was an Imperial Pilsner that was continually hopped.  It was ok but I am not a huge pilsner fan.  Needless to say if you within driving distance of Boardman, OH you should stop by Vintage Estates.  great beer by the bottle.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Been a long time

Well its been a long time.

I have one of my batches still in the carboy waiting to be bottled but have been putting it off.  I guess I will have to get down to it this weekend and bottle it. 

Last night I drank a Dogfish Head Chateau Jihau (I think I spelled it right)  I love that stuff.  It is a beer made with honey and some fruit and then fermented with grape juice.  Makes for a pretty interesting palate.
Needless to say I finished the 750 ml bottle     probably didn't need to but hey, it was good.  I will try to get some more stuff to post but with Paige having pnuemonia the last few weeks I couldn't do much and now she has commandeered my computer so who knows when I will get back on here.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Need some new equipment

During the massisve brew weekend in November I wore out my mashtun.  A mashtun is the vessel where the grain soaks in hot water to convert the starches in the grain into fermentable sugars.  There is some sort of a filter in the bottom to strain out the wort (sugary water from the grain) and leave the grain behind.  My old mashtun was a rectangular cooler with a stainless mesh tube I removed from a hose for a washing machine (the outer stainless braid covering the rubber hose).  I had removed the drain valve from the cooler and inserted a new ball valve I picked up at Lowes.  The stainless mesh was hose clamped to the valve on the inside of the cooler.  The problem was over time the seal wore out and wort was leaking out to the floor. (the wife did not like this)  For my new mashtun I am going to buy a large round cooler, most likely one of the big orange igloo coolers and do the same type of set up.  When I make the new mash tun I will post some pics so those interested can see how to make their own for much less than purchasing one.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Killing time until beer

Sitting at my daughter's gymnastics class wishing I was home with a beer. My friend Rob tried my Belgian Wit and thought it was better than the Ommegang Wit he had. That is a real complement since I don't think I have ever brewed anything better than something I can buy at the store.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Ommegang Zuur. Sweet and sour with out the sweet

Ommegang ZUUR.  Wow.  A sour ale.  If I hadn't known in advance I probably would have choked.

The head was a tan color.  Head lasted to the bottom of the glass.  Ale was a medium to dark brown color.  Aroma was malty with a hint of a sour smell to it.  Not a lot of hop in the aroma or flavor for that matter.
The taste was like a sweet tart with out the sweet.  Very interesting and for my first sour ale I will say that it is a flavor that grows on you during the experience.  I can honestly say that I liked it.  Not something that I would drink all the time (especially not at $12 per 750ml bottle).  I also think 750ml is a little much for one person at a setting.  The taste reminded me of a Lambic style ale.  Reminiscent of a Lindemans Framboise without the fruit.  I give it am 8 out of 10.  Ommegang doesn't disappoint.  Great beer.