Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Harvesting yeast

The current batch of Tin Lizzie Hefeweizen went to the cellar today. Adam Daake of Platte Valley Brewing called yesterday and asked if I had any Hefeweizen yeast he could borrow, so I saved a five-gallon can for him along with the quarter-barrel I kept for myself.

A few root beer orders had come in, so I filled those.

I had to come home early because Refrigerator Repair Man was scheduled to show up between 1:00 and 5:00. Adam stopped by my house to pick up his yeast, and we split a bottle of Yuksom Yeti Special Export Lager. (Refrigerator Repair Man arrived at 4:45.)

Tomorrow: the Micro Brew Ha Ha event in Omaha.

Friday (and maybe Saturday): the 6th Annual Oktoberfest at the Crescent Moon and Huber Haus in Omaha.

Johnny the Jet's Red Beer

Tom and I brewed a special batch yesterday: Johnny the Jet's Red Beer. See, I got a phone call a few weeks ago from someone in Omaha who's opening a new sports bar. She said she and her partners were interested in having a beer brewed exclusively for them, that they could put their own name on. I told them that I could do that, and that we should meet at the Crescent Moon to try some beers and come up with some recipe ideas. She told me she wasn't a big beer-drinker, but maybe she could get "Johnny" to come along.

Johnny did indeed come along. He's Johnny "the Jet" Rodgers, the running back of 1970's Nebraska Cornhuskers fame, and he enjoys a good beer.

My idea of brewing a Vienna Lager evolved into making a red beer. We tasted Negra Modelo, Leinenkugel's Red Lager, and Anchor Steam. They liked the flavor of the Negra, the color of the Leinie's, and the body of the Steam.

I didn't realize they had picked up the lunch tab for Paris and me until they were gone and I went to pay my own.

So anyway, Tom and I brewed it yesterday. It's plenty red. It's unfortunately also plenty underpitched - not as much yeast as it should have - so we might just brew another batch next week with some fresh yeast harvested from my Okvemberfest Bockbier.

Oh, and I cleaned three dozen kegs in the afternoon.

Thursday: the Micro Brew Ha Ha event in Omaha.

Friday (and maybe Saturday): the 6th Annual Oktoberfest at the Crescent Moon and Huber Haus in Omaha.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

These girls are for real

Real women drinking real beer. That's what I like to see. The world needs more of this and fewer "girly beers".

No, your beer goggles are not deceiving you. These really are women supping that traditionally blokey tipple - real ale - at the bar of one of the country’s top real-ale pubs, the White Hart in Shifnal.

And there’s not a flat cap in sight. Apart from the one on the head of the elderly gentleman in the corner, looking on somewhat bemused.

“Mmm. . . it’s nice,” says Emma Hesbrook, 26, from Newport, as she samples a pint of her Hereford Pale Ale.

“To me it’s very similar to lager but more creamy. It’s quite light and sweet - I would definitely have this one again.”

Normally when out on the tiles, Emma’s friend, 19-year-old Kerry Hughes - who also works at Eclipse Hair Studio in Shifnal - would select an alcopop or maybe a vodka. Today she is treating herself to a jar of Exmoor Gold.

Read the entire article at The Shropshire Star.

Distilling the Muslim World's First 20-Year-Old Whisky

If this doesn't rate a "WTF?", I don't know what does.

An almost 150-year-old brewery in Pakistan is preparing to bring the Muslim world's first 20-year-old single malt whisky to the market. Murree Brewery, however, can only sell to non-Muslims, who comprise 3 percent of Pakistan's population.

Read the entire article at Der Spiegel.

Love affair with beer tinged with bronze

Three thousand years ago, there were more breweries in Ireland than there are in all of Europe today!

Bronze Age man was a bit of a boozer, according to a team of archaeologists who that says it has uncovered evidence of the world's biggest prehistoric brewing industry.

Studies of residues found at prehistoric sites in Asia have dated beer back to 5000 BC. But the Moore Group claims the proliferation of fulacht fiadhs in Ireland suggests ancient brewing on an unprecedented scale.

"It means that there were up to 4500 breweries in Ireland in the Bronze Age, which means it was the most widespread brewing industry in prehistory in the world," Mr Moore said.

The researchers even attempted to recreate the ancient brew. Read the entire article at the Sydney Morning Herald.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Keg cleaning, and a tour

The whopping huge pile of five-gallon kegs got cleaned today.

Another busload of old-timers came through today. They were a lot more with-it than yesterday's bunch, and splitting the group over two tours made it go a lot more smoothly. Plus I wasn't brewing today.

I didn't manage to get the lines cleaned this week; I'll do it for sure on Monday. In the meantime, I doubt my lines will get as bad as this Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article describes.

Tomorrow: fill kegs, and host another tour group.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Hefeweizen, and a tour

Today's Tin Lizzie Hefeweizen brew went pretty well, with Tom's help. The cold liquor pump kept crapping out during knockout, possibly due to ice in the tank, but we got it done in the end.

The brew was interrupted by what was probably my Worst Tour Ever. More than 30 senior citizens came to Dusters for lunch, and they asked for a tour afterwards. "Afterwards" happened to be right in the middle of the boil, which wouldn't have been a bad thing in itself, except a third of these people weren't entirely sure where they were, and it was like herding cats trying to get them all upstairs. Plus there's really only room for fifteen people on the tour. Fortunately Tom was there to keep on top of the brew while I was juggling the oldies.

There are tour groups scheduled for tomorrow and Thursday, too, but I don't know if they're from the same source.

Tomorrow: clean the draft lines, clean kegs, transfer some root beer, acid-wash the kettle and mash tun.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Catching up...

...the blog, that is.

I won't bore you with the details of the past twelve days; it's the same old clean-fill-deliver routine. I did filter and tap the Moll Dubh Irish Ale last week after the 1916 Irish Stout ran out.

Paris brewed her famous Princess of Darkness Porter, with Tom's help.

The Princess stirs her mash...

The Princess stirs her mash... does Minion Tom. does Minion Tom.

Uncle Ivan's Dunkelweizen ran out last week, so the Princess will take over that tap early next week.

Our wholesaler in Grand Island returned a keg of Tin Lizzie Hefeweizen that had developed a leak. It's leaking in a most peculiar place, and I'm not sure whether it can be repaired.

Leaky keg

Leaky keg

I've filled a new keg for them, and I'll deliver it this afternoon. (Maybe I'll stop by the Chicken Coop for some Thunderhead beers on the way home.)

In the meantime, I'm cleaning 32,768 half-barrels. I'll clean the remaining 46,080 five-gallon kegs on Wednesday.

Tomorrow: brew seven barrels of Tin Lizzie Hefeweizen, and give a tour. There are also tour groups coming through on Wednesday and Thursday.