Monday, May 28, 2012

Late Hopped Pale Ale

This beer turned out really good and so I'm passing on the recipe that I used. All of the hop additions were late in the boil and I think it made for a smooth flavorful beer without any of the harsh bitterness that can come from some of the high humulone hops that get added for a full boil. This beer also has a nice caramel and fruity quality and a crisp clean finish that I'm really enjoying. Make it. I guarantee a delicious beer.

Late hopped pale ale

This is an 11 gal. recipe with a mash efficiency of 88%
Mash grain in 5.5 gallons of 150f. water for 60 mins.
Sparge to achieve 13 gallons for a beginning boil volume and reduce during boil to 11 gallons.
Eff. 88%
Atten. 81%
Abv. 5.5%
Srm 8
IBU's 29
F.G. 1.009

15lbs. 2-row
1 lb. Aromatic
1 lb. carapils
1 lb. Crystal #60
.5 lb. Crystal #40

Boil vigorously for 60 minutes

Hop schedule:
1 oz. Galaxy 12% Alpha Acid for final 20 minutes (17% utilization for 14 IBU's)
1 oz. Columbus 17% Alpha Acid for final 10 minutes (10% utilization for 12 IBU's)
.5 oz. Citra 14% Alpha Acid for final 3 minutes (2% utilization for 3 IBU's)
1 oz. Centennial 11% Alpha Acid for 1 minute (0% utilization for 0 IBU's)

Ferment at 65f. using 2 pkgs. of Safale US-05 (aerate with pure O2 if possible)

Any questions on this beer? Let me know.

P.S. Support my Beer School project by being a sponsor at:

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sante Adairius Rustic Ales

Santa Cruz County gets to boast the addition of a sixth brewery to their list. The latest is Sante Adairius Rustic Ales which just had it's soft opening attended by a large and enthusiast crowd. This new brewery is located in the city of Capitola, and it's owner Tim Clifford is excited to be producing small batch Belgian style ales and barrel aged sour beers.  After spending a couple hours sampling what he had on tap I can say that he's on to something special. Here's what they have to say for themselves:

"We focus our attention on brewing rustic, unfiltered, aromatic beers that are approachable and unique. We pull from our home brewing background to build beers that pay homage to tradition, but break new ground in American brewing techniques and flavors. We are brewers of big ideas in very small batches."

I started out tasting (that is, I had a full glass of) the Saison Bernice which was crisp, spicy and very flavorful. The lighter of the beers on tap, this 6.5% Saison fermented with brettanomyces made a big impact on me with it's easy drinkability. I followed that up with the 7.4% Belgian IPA and was very impress with how well the big hop presence was balanced with the phenolic yeast qualities, it was my favorite of the night (I returned for a second glass of this one).

I also had a glass of a dark sour beer called Nonna's Blend that had a delicious and unusual roasty sourness with a lingering fruit flavor. This beer is a blend of farmhouse and Belgian style rye beer aged in Pinot barrels. Quite good. Others on tap were the 7.2% 831 IPA,  a 6.8% Belgian golden ale and the Sara Loves Brett blonde ale featuring lemony tart brett goodness that sold out quickly.

Tim and Adair

The crowd seemed to be thoroughly enjoying the beers as they overflowed the tasting room and out into the parking lot. Tim and his wife Adair were extremely busy trying to keep up with the demand for his tasty beers. Moving at breakneck speed, the pair managed to fill everyone's glasses as the occasional roar went up from the crowd along with the sound of breaking glass.

This new brewery is just what's needed to fill the thirst of those that enjoy the sours and for me the icing on the cake is that they're just around the corner from me. Within walking distance in fact! I like that.

If you haven't made it over to try out these beers, do it. Do it now, you'll be very glad you did.

I've reach 9% of my Kickstarter goal for my project Beer School and looking for more contributors. Help me make it and receive some cool swag including brewing lessons and samples of homebrew. Let's keep this ball rolling with less kicking.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Beer School Project Launch

Today I launch my Kickstarter Beer School Project. Please follow the link to find out what I''m trying to raise funds for. There is a short video that best explains my plan. I am hoping to raise enough money through your generous support to make my dream a reality. I am also asking that you forward this post or the Beer School link to all of your email, Facebook and Twitter friends. The more exposure the better the odds of reaching my goal. I really appreciate your help and thank you in advance. Any amount helps!

Click here:

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Southern Pacific Brewing

A trip with my wife to The City is always an opportunity to check out breweries. I agree to look at art that seems to go on for ever (not that there's anything wrong with that) and in exchange, she agrees to go sample beers with me afterwards. Getting ready for this day I used the Beer Finder on my own Beer Diary... blog and did a search for breweries near the area we would be in.

As I browsed through my options I noticed a brewery I'd never heard of before and after scanning through what kind things the Yelpers had to say about it, I printed up a Google map and we headed North for art and beers at Southern Pacific Brewing.

Located on 620 Treat Ave. in the Mission district, SPB is housed in a 10,000 square foot warehouse type building near the old rail lines of the Southern Pacific Railroad. With an industrial feel from corrugated steel siding and an over sized commercial fan that hangs from a lofted ceiling, this onetime turn of the century machine shop really gives you the feeling of the history of the neighborhood. Their menu states that - "our craft beers are influenced by the Mission's industrious past - from the Southern Pacific's rail lines that crossed through the Mission to the Broadway Brewery that operated at 19th and Treat."
Side note: The Broadway Brewery was built in 1885 by Jacob Adams and his family after their first brewery burned down. They, along with the Schuster and Clarke families ultimately formed the historic Acme Beer and the California Brewing Assoc. Some of the original Steam Beer brewers.

We pulled up in front and were able to park immediately, a miracle for this city. At the entrance is outdoor seating at a dozen picnic benches where a small crowd of city dwellers in the twenty-something age bracket were enjoying the beer garden. Once inside I was amazed at the spaciousness of the place. Lots of room to move around and a large second story loft with even more seating. Past the loft and kitchen was the brewery but this day I wasn't able to get close enough to investigate the operation. I did get a glance of the brewers at work through the reflection of a big mirror that was leaning against an adjacent wall. I had to make the assumption that one of them was the head brewer for SPR, Andy French.

I ordered a sampler of the house beers and saw that they also had a nice selection of taps from the competition to choose from not to mention a full bar.

I tasted my way through seven of Pacific's beers while enjoying the sun with the others in the patio area. A crisp clean West coast style pale ale that had a pine and wood quality that was most enjoyable followed by two different IPA's although the earthy hop schedule was very similar for both. Then, an amber ale that was nicely balanced, a stout with cold pressed coffee flavors and finally a phenolic spicy Belgian Wit with a sweet finish that had been aged in Chardonnay barrels for six months, pretty good. Generally speaking, the beers were clean and well made but there were no moments of Wow! I ordered a pint of the pale at the regular price of only $3.00 (that price was a Wow) and was satisfied with the quality, drinkability and affordability as I sat outside listening to music from the 70's and 80's.

This was a great way to end a long gruelling day of art viewing. Did I say gruelling? I meant enjoyable.

Next time you're in the City, frustrated with the traffic and lack of parking and you want a good beer, I would highly recommend Southern Pacific Brewing. Cheers!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Beer School Project

I'm not very comfortable asking for help. I get the feeling that I come across as weak or that it may cause the people in my life to distance themselves from me. It's not rational, but still, it's how I roll and I spend most times trying to get by on my own. But, I'm very enthusiastic about a venture that I'm taking on right now and so I'm making myself move past my anxiety as I try to realize a dream.

While in Mexico this last year I came up with an idea to develop a homebrewing school. Once this idea was fully formed I decided to move forward with a plan, the first part of which is to generate some funding. Over the last several months I've been extremely busy getting ready to launch my Beer School project with Kickstarter. (Kickstarter is a funding platform for creative projects.) My focus has been on the creation of a video, story line and graphics that explain what I'd like to do.

This posting is to give all of the Beer Diary... supporters an advanced notice that I will be launching my Kickstarter "Beer School" project once it's approved. Naturally I'm excited and scared about this process but I will be calling on you for support in making Beer School a reality.
A full explanation of my beer school idea will be outlined on the Kickstarter page and I hope you will visit the site when I post it here. In the mean time I will plan to continue writing on other subjects in Beer Diary... along with updates on the progress of the Beer School project. Thanks for any support you can give to this idea!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

World Beer Cup 2012 Winners

The big news on the beers scene today is the announcement of the World Beer Cup winners and the most noteworthy (at least for this humble blogger) is the Gold metal placement for a Mexican craft brewery Cerveceria La Chingoneria. They took gold for their "Hazmela Rusa" in the Chocolate beer category. This is exciting news and a tribute to the efforts that the Mexicans craft brewers are making as they try to break out from the mass produced stereotypical Modelo/Corona swill. I have to say Congratulations to them, I'm a big fan of their beers and am glad to see they are being recognized in this way.

Winners List
Category 7: Chocolate Beer, 34 Entries

Gold: Házmela Rusa, La Chingonería, Mexico City, Mexico

Silver: X-1 Chocolate Imperial Rye Porter, DuClaw Brewing Co., Bel Air, MD

Bronze: Odin’s Raven, Alpine Beer Co., Alpine, CA

Here is the complete list of winners for the 2012 World Beer Cup submissions.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Homebrew Store In Seaside

There's a new kid on the block here on the Monterey bay and he wants to help you brew better beer.
Duane Shima opened a homebrew store in Seaside called  Bottoms Up Homebrew Supply in September of 2011, serving the homebrewing community of South Monterey Bay. I drove down to have a look and meet the owner for a brief chat.

Duane Shima
Duane Shima comes across as an unassuming man with a polite but excited attitude about his new homebrew supply business. Located just off the busy main street in Seaside, this small but well stocked retailer is an oasis for the local homebrewers that prefer to shop where they live rather then make the 40 minute drive to Santa Cruz for their brewing needs.

Focusing on selling to the local homebrewing community in Monterey, Duane is putting off any ideas of on-line sales for now. He's interested in serving those living and brewing on the bay and is a big part of the committee that is trying to organize a homebrew club for the area. He said that about forty people showed up to the last gathering held at Post No Bills beer bar in Sand City. They shared homebrew, discussed how to organize and managed to narrow down the list of suggested names for their new club to five.

Placing emphasis on ingredients he can access at a good price in order to pass on the savings to his customers, Duane is phasing out his remaining stock of organic ingredients. He says, "It's not easy to get all of the ingredients you need to make good beer when trying to brew organic. Sometimes the hops aren't available or specialty grains. This limits what beers you can brew while staying true to the style."

He's a good brewer himself, sharing a couple of samples of his recent efforts. A light and refreshing wheat beer, somewhat sweet and pink from incorporating the local prickly pear fruit. And a very good example of a hoppy double IPA.  He says he enjoys the hoppy ales but has to consider his wife's preference for the dark and wheat styles and brews accordingly.

831.899.BREW(2739) Mon: Closed Tue-Fri: 10-6 Sat-Sun: 10-5

If you're in the area, I would highly recommend checking this place out. It could just save you a some time, time you could spend brewing instead of driving.

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