Friday, March 28, 2008

Homebrew Update - March 08

This month, we did a couple of brews including a kit from Northern Brewer called the Tongue Splitter, which I mentioned in a previous blog. I also plagiarized a couple of Czech Budvar Budweiser recipes and ordered my own ingredients. This is a lager-style of beer, so it requires that the brew be refridgerated during fermentation. In case you weren't aware, Anheiser-Busch took the Budweiser name from the original beer, and it is not allowed to be sold under that name in this country, even though it is clearly the better of the two. You can find it under the Czechvar moniker. I've had it in the past 3 years, and it was pretty good, but if you ever get to try this beer or Pilsner Urquell on tap in Europe, you will walk away thinking that it's one of the best beers you've ever tasted.

While in college, my folks lived in Europe, and I had to go there during Christmas break. My buddy, P Mart, came over for a couple of weeks, and one night, my dad took the whole family to Sachsenhausen, which I believe is a part of Frankfurt. There were quite a few bars there, one which served hefeweizen on tap, and supposedly, this was a big deal, because everywhere I ever got a weizen, it was from a half liter bottle poured into a big glass. One of the last places we went had the two Czech beers mentioned above on tap, and both P Mart and I looked at each other and said that the beers were not only the best we had that night, but probably in our 22-year old lives.

Unfortunately, I cannot say anything good will come of my own version. After 2 days, the beer had not begun fermenting, and on the fifth day, John told me that there was a white funk growing on top of the liquid. I told him to pitch it on the curb. Better luck next time.

I also recently went to Pensacola, and I will be writing about some beers I tried down there.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Chris' Beer

I had to go over to John's and dry-hop the Tongue Splitter ale yesterday, so I took over the two bottles of beer that Chris gave me on Friday night. This is actually the first homebrew someone else has given me since I started the hobby. I thought I would review it here.

Oatmeal Stout: First of all, I need to preface this by saying that I'm not a huge stout fan. I can appreciate a good stout, but I will rarely order a stout to drink. Usually they are very filling, and therefore you drink one, and you're done with that style for the evening.
I thought Chris' stout was pretty good. The bottle made just a little hiss, very quick, when opening (Chris asked me to check that as he just recently bottled this) and had a nice tan head on it. It was definitely an opaque black. Nice flavor, left a nice film on the mouth. John thought it didn't have enough body. Honestly, I couldn't agree or disagree. It went down smooth, and that's about all I know.

Black India Pale Ale (India Black Ale): I mentioned to John twice that this was an India "Black" Ale, yet when he poured it, he was like, "Whoa, why is this so dark?" I told him it was an "I - BEE - A" and then he was cool. Same deal with opening the bottle. Both beers did not seem flat, in case you were wondering, Chris. This beer was just AWESOME. It had that hoppy smell that I associate with Amarillo hops, but then, I don't really know my hops that well, but it smelled sort of like a Three Floyd's Gumball Head, and I know they use Amarillo hops. Bitter as all get out. Really a hop head's dream. Nice tan head that stuck with the beer in the glass all the way down. Another opaque black beer. John said, "We should get the recipe for this."

Good job, Chris!