Thursday, March 29, 2012

Puget Sound Pro-Am Results - Squashed :)

GABF Pro-Am Qualifying Selections

Elliott Bay Brewing Company – Matt Smith's Cascadian Brown Ale, American Brown Ale

Elliott Bay Brewing Company – Keith Bradley's RIP Stout, Russian Imperial Stout – 2013 GABF Selection

Elysian Brewing Company – Ben Bottoms' Squashes Me with Fear, Spice, Herb, Smoked Squash Brown Ale

Harmon Brewing Company – Jim Dunlap's Imperial India Rye Ale

Naked City Brewing Company – Mike Ritzer's Thorny Gose, Blackberry Gose

Silver City Brewery - Jonathan Permen's Denise's Kolsch

So the Smoked Squash strikes again!! And really it shouldn't be much of a surprise that if any brewer was going to choose it, Elysian would be the one.  They've been brewing a wide variety of pumpkin beers for years and put on the annual Great Pumpkin Beer Festival, which has become the premier pumpkin festival featuring creative beers from around the country.  

Details yet to be figured out, but Brandon and I will get to brew a scaled up recipe at one of the Elysian locations.  It will be on draft a few times around town at local Pro-Am events and then submitted to the Great American Beer Festival in Denver in October as part of the National Pro-Am Competition.  Woot!!!

And three cheers for Colin and his impressive 3rd place finish in the Bert Grant Competition!!

Complete Results:

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Yard City Cask Festival

Last Saturday was the annual Yard City Cask Festival put on by the West Sound Brewers over in Bremerton.  The morning started with a nice ferry ride across the sound and a yummy breakfast at the Hi-Lo 15th Street Cafe where one table is located in an old VW bus.  Sadly we did not get to sit in that table :(

The Cask Fest featured nine cask conditioned beers and were all under 5% ABV.  My beer engine box worked great though I was a little jealous of the three-headed monster and the one decorated with lights.  My beer turned out pretty good especially with the less than 2 week turnaround and it had a great centennial hop aroma from the dry hops.

The whole Wayward crew was in attendance with a beer each and Jerome had made some Wayward buttons and some great banners too with the logo.  Overall a great day of drinking a unique and varied collection of session beers and meeting some new brewers.  Big thanks to Matt and the West Sound crew for being such great hosts.  I look forward to next year!!

Credit to Russ for the last four photos.   

Monday, March 26, 2012

Homemade Beer Engine

Homemade Beer Engine

I built a simple Beer Engine last week so I could dispense beer at the Yard City Cask Festival.  I followed the basic procedure from Brew Your Own and it's essentially an 8" x 8" box made of plywood with a hole in the top for the RV rocket pump and tubing connecting to your keg.  At the last minute I ended up making the sprayer and I think it made a big difference.  The "cask conditioned" beer has a low level of natural carbonation and the sprayer helped aerate the beer a bit and form a nice head, which was good for my IPA aromas.  Pics of the actual festival to follow soon!!  

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Barrel Room is born ;)

Barrel aging on my own is now a reality!!  Last week I purchased a 7-gallon oak barrel from Woodinville Whiskey Company that was recently emptied of their Rye Whiskey.  For the first use, I will be filling it with the American Barleywine brewed last weekend.  The hope for this first use is to age the Barleywine in the barrel and extract oak and rye whiskey flavors.  Then soon after that is transferred out, to get a 2nd use of it with perhaps an Imperial Porter.  After that I think most of the rye whiskey flavors will be stripped out and then the barrel will have to be cleaned-up for future use as a sour barrel or maybe even some oak-aged saisons (yum!!).  I know plenty about drinking barrel aged beers but next to nothing about making them and using a barrel, so this is very exciting and there will be plenty of updates to come!!     

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Batch #48 - Littly Jimmy Session IPA

Little Jimmy Session IPA

Brewed - March 10, 2012

Style - Mild Ale / Low-Alcohol / IPA

  • 0.60 oz. Centennial (60)
  • 0.10 oz. Centennial (10)
  • 0.15 oz. Centennial (0)
  • 1.00 oz. Centennial (Dry for 3 days)
  • Wyeast #1056 American Ale (slurry from Schooner)

OG - 1.030
Primary – 9 days
Secondary - 0 days

Kegged -March 19, 2012

FG - 1.005
Attenuation - 83%
ABV - 3.3%


  • Session IPA hopped with Centennial
  • Part 2 of a Parti-Gyle batch; not quite the traditional method where I designed one overall beer and mash to get two beers (one strong and one weak), but this was more about designing the barleywine that I wanted and then using the 2nd runnings to make a low-ABV Session IPA
  • First time trying the whole 2nd runnings process and while a little hectic (long sparging time, keeping hot water temp up, boiling two beers simultaneously, scrambling to cool, etc.), it was a learning process in terms of efficiencies, calculating evaporation, runoffs, ending gravities, etc....I hope to do more of these in the future    
  • Only brewed a 5-gallon batch specifically to be my first cask-conditioned beer for the upcoming Yard City Cask Festival in Bermerton (more on that later) 
  • Original Mash of the Barleywine was at 149° for 90 minutes; after the long 1st sparge, some acidulated malt was added to the top of the mash tun to help with the PH
  • Runoff for the IPA was 7.5 gallons
  • 60 min boil
  • Estimated IBU's ~ 30
  • Ferment in the low 70's for hopefully 1 weeks, then a brief dry hop before transferring into the keg and prepping for the cask fest
  • Dry hopped for 3 days
  • Transferred into the the keg after 9 days; added 2.1 oz. of corn sugar to build ~ 1.8 volumes of CO2 of natural carbonation; condition for 3 days and then cold crash before the festival to get the CO2 in solution 

Batch #47 - Theme from the Barrel No.1

Theme from the Barrel No.1

Brewed - March 10, 2012

Style - American Barleywine (Barrel-Aged)

  • 26.5 lbs.Maris Otter
  • 2.00 lbs. Munich 10L
  • 1.50 lbs. Sugar in the Raw
  • 1.35 lbs. CaraMunich
  • 1.25 lbs. Crystal 120L
  • 0.50 lbs. Dextrose
  • 0.40 lbs. Special B
  • 0.30 lbs. Chocolate
  • 1.0 oz. Millennium (90)
  • 1.0 oz. Magnum (90)
  • 1.0 oz. Perle (60)
  • 2.0 oz. Centennial (0)
  • 2.0 oz. Amarillo (0)
  • Wyeast #1056 American Ale (slurry from Schooner)

OG - 1.113
Primary – 45 days
Barrel - 34 days
Secondary - ??? days

Transferred to the barrel - April 24, 2012
Kegged - ???

FG - 1.032
Attenuation - 72%
ABV - 10.6%

  • A big, bad barleywine for my first barrel filling
  • Part 1 of a Parti-Gyle batch; not quite the traditional method where I designed one overall beer and mash to get two beers (one strong and one weak), but this was more about designing the barleywine that I wanted and then using the 2nd runnings to make a low-ABV beer for the upcoming Yard Cask Fest
  • Fermented beer will be dumped into a 7-gallon freshly emptied Rye Whiskey Barrel from Woodinville Whiskey Company
  • Only brewed an 8-gallon batch due to the limit of the mash tun (can only put in ~ 33-34 lbs. of grain) and wanting the finished beer to be in the 11% ABV range  
  • Mash at 149° for 90 minutes
  • Sugars added into the boil to help bump ABV and fermentability
  • 120 min boil
  • Estimated IBU's ~ 98
  • Ferment in the low 70's for hopefully 2 weeks and then transfer into the barrel
  • Long, slow ferment; 45 days in the primary; re-pitched with some dry yeast
  • Transferred to the rye whiskey barrel on April 24, 2012
  • Had to top off the barrel with ~ 0.4 gallons of Shores of the Baltic Sea, which also happens to be fermenting really slow but as of April 24th is ~ 1.025
  • 34 days in the barrel - transferred on May 28th

Monday, March 5, 2012

Batch #46 - Shores of the Baltic Sea

Shores of the Baltic Sea

Brewed - March 3, 2012

Style - Baltic Porter


  • 15.0 lbs. 2-Row
  • 7.0 lbs. Munich 10L
  • 3.0 lbs. Vienna
  • 2.0 lbs. Cherrywood Smoked Malt
  • 1.0 lbs. Rauch/Smoked Malt
  • 0.75 lbs. Chocolate
  • 0.75 lbs. Carafa II
  • 0.75 lbs. Special B
  • 2.0 oz. Hallertaur (60)
  • 1.0 oz. Hallertaur (20)
  • Wyeast #2124 Bohemian Lager (800 ml starter / 1 pack)
  • Wyeast #2112 California Lager (800 ml starter / 1 pack)

OG – 1.077
Primary – ??? days
Secondary - ??? days

Kegged - ???

FG - 1.014 (estimated)
Attenuation - 81% (estimated)
ABV - 8.25% (estimated)


  • Similar to the baltic porter recipe Colin and I tried in 2010
  • Trying out two different lager yeasts again
  • Mash at 154° and 80 min boil
  • Pitched at 55° and started fermentation temp at 46° in my chest freezer