Posts Tagged ‘gabf’

It’s been an interesting week at Mad Haven (aka the kitchen in my apartment). One beer turned out amazingly well. One is.. scary.

We weren’t able to stick to the schedule I mentioned a few weeks ago. Surprise surprise. But we did brew a lot. It just won’t all be ready this week.

The last batch of the blonde turned out so well. It’s a little belgiany due to no temperature control – it costs a lot to run an AC 24/7. But it’s delicious. I’m going to submit it into a homebrew competition at City O’ City on Tuesday. I’ve posted the recipe before, but here it is again, in extract form:

  • 6 lbs Liquid Light Malt Extract
  • 1 lb Flaked Wheat
  • .5 lb Munich
  • 1.5 lb Vienna
  • .25 lb Crystal 15
  • 1 oz Cascade (5.5%) @ 45 min
  • 1 oz Czech Saaz (5.0%) @ 5 min
  • White Labs WLP001 California Ale

As well as that turned out, the Scotch Ale took a different approach. It appears I didn’t sanitize the oak chips well enough, and some sort of bacteria or mold got into the batch. This isn’t for the faint of heart:

Various people have suggested various things about this batch. My plan is to fill 6 bottles and try them in a few weeks, and then let the rest of it age for a few months. Unless someone reading this is a microbiologist and can see something deadly in there.

Before I saw this interesting infection, Kell and I had tried some off the spigot. And it was absolutely delicious. So, we’ll see what happens.

Hooray Beer!

In other news, Beer Week is upon us. Let me know if you’re in Denver this week!

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Well, we haven’t been completely on the brewing schedule, but, here’s what I plan to have for GABF:

  • Black something. I have no idea what style or ingredients or whatever are in it. Roulette beer! Bet on black!
  • Pam, the “natural” blonde
  • Bitch Creek ESB clone
  • Scotch Ale w/ oak chips
  • IPA
  • Rye Dry Stout w/ Carraway seeds
  • Maybe even more of the blonde. I’ve been drinking a lot of it..

Not too shabby.

I’ve been meeting a bunch of awesome beer geeks, future beer geeks, other awesome people, and it’s been wonderful. I love having beer on hand to share. Makes the world go round.

In other news, I just wrote a big article on my other blog about other things around town during GABF. For those coming to town, or contemplating it, I hope it’s a good resource. I’m copying and pasting it. Enjoy!

When in Rome, err, Denver

According to the GABF countdown clock at Falling Rock, there’s about 22 days until the start of the Great American Beer Festival. Could be a little more or a little less. Counting is hard.

The festival is sold out, but there are always tickets for sale on Craigslist and other such sites. But whether you got tickets or not, Denver has a lot of beer to offer outside the hallowed – scratch that – beer-drenched hall that is the Festival. Why, just within a few miles of the Convention Center, there are more than a dozen beer-centric establishments.

Before I get into what those are, I want to impress upon you that Denver does in fact have more to offer than just great beer. We have whiskey too!

This town is wonderful, and I implore you to explore it, should you find the time and the sobriety. Our local Yelpers are fantastic, so trust that site if you need a quick lookup. Grab a reindeer  or wild boar hot dog, see a show or a show or a showgrab a book, or maybe even take a hike. And if you like dive bars – and I love dive bars – we have a few of those too.

But, in the end, you’re here for the beer. So let’s get to that.

I made a map on Google maps of about 15 beer places within 2-3 miles of the Convention Center. There are hundreds, if not thousands of them within 100 miles of downtown, so I decided to stick to walk-able and bike-ride-able from downtown. If you want a more complete map of the region, check outbeermapping.com. Oh, and speaking of bicycles, we have an awesome bike rental program too.

In no particular order, here are the establishments I’ve pinned on the map. If you know of another I should add, please let me know. Click on the map for addresses, directions, etc.

Falling Rock
75 taps, 120 bottles, events every day, this is generally a good place to be. Full writeup.

Great Divide
It’s no secret I love this place. I think I mention them in every single article I write. Do yourself a favor and go there.

Euclid Hall
Brand new spot in town, tons of awesome beer and food. My friend Ryan is pimping out their tap list.

Mellow Mushroom
New location right downtown. 36 beers on tap, from the cold yellow fizzy to the crazy Belgians nom noms.

Strange Brewing
They just got started a few months ago and are rocking out. Go try their brews and support new micros.

Star Bar
Old dive turned into new dive with craft beer and liquors. You didn’t have a good time if you didn’t stop here.

Breckenridge Brewpub
One of the biggest production breweries around here, and right next to Coors Field to boot!

Cheeky Monk
Tons of Belgian awesomeness on tap and in bottles, plus great food. Try the mussels! Full writeup.

Vine Street Pub
Part of the Mountain Sun family, this place is one of the coolest spots in Denver. Great beer and guest taps too.

Thin Man
Funky little bar with a coffee shop attached. Right next to Vine Street.

Rackhouse Pub
I go here a bit too often. Amazing beer, liquor, food, and people. Full writeup.

Colt & Gray
I told the bartender I liked scotch, whiskey, and new things, and he made me a pre-prohibition style Old Fashioned. Amazing.

Started by our current mayor in 1988 and still rocking right downtown.

Uptown Brothers Brewing
Yet another new beer place in Denver. Tons of good stuff now, brewing their own soon.

Pints Pub
Largest single malt scotch collection in.. America? At least this side of the Mississippi. They brew there as well. Full writeup.

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Last week I realized how soon GABF was upon us. And soon there would be even more beer lovers in Denver. And how soon I had to have a lot of beer ready for them all to drink.

Kell and I created a brewing schedule, and decided to brew so that when everyone is in town, we can hand out tons of beer to thirsty people. That meant getting the all grain system operational again.

A few months ago, I got lazy and left  some spent grains in the mash tun, closed, outside in the sun, for a few days. Bad. Bad bad bad things. It smelled like.. well… I won’t get into details, but I decided that any container that had held that smell would not hold my ingredients anymore.

Since then, I’ve just been brewing partial mashes. But this weekend I rebuilt the all grain system. It’s pretty close to the previous one, though it took a lot more work to get right. Thank you to Ben at Beer At Home for his help getting that going.

Taking a few months off brewing all grain is like taking a few months off riding a bike. Or some other analogy. Whatever. I was rusty. I brewed a Scotch Ale on Sunday.

Scotch Ale almost at boil

My efficiency was crap. I had to boil off a lot of water to hit my target gravity. While it was boiling, I wrote a little calculator to help figure out how much water to boil off. You can play with it at http://pjhoberman.com/tools/volume_adjustment.html. The formula is pretty easy. You figure out total gravity:

Total Gravity = Current Gravity x Current Volume
Desired "Pre-Boil" Volume = Total Gravity / Desired Gravity

So, I had 6 gallons at 1.053, and I wanted a pre-boil gravity of 1.071. I like to call something like 1.071 just 71:

Total Gravity = 53 * 6 = 318
Desired Volume =  318 / 71 = 4.48 (or 4.5)

So I had to boil it down to about 4.5 gallons. Oops.

I messed up earlier than that, but I didn’t realize it till too late. I had to cut a braided washer hose for the mash tun. I grabbed one from my brewery box – a random collection of tools and whatnot – and it was good to go.

Until right before the boil was over, when I realized there were two in the box, and the one I cut was the connection from under my sink to my wort chiller. So I had to run to Ace and get a new one. Oops.

But, I hit my target gravity pretty closely. I got 1.069 when it was all said and done, though only about 3.5 gallons or so. It should be damn tasty though.

We also bottled three batches last week: Black something (seriously, no idea what style it actually is), a Grand Teton Bitch Creek (ESB) clone, and the Blonde. They’ll all be ready this week. Here’s the rest of the schedule:

7/23 – Soak oak chips in scotch
7/24 – Brew Rye Dry Stout
7/26 – Move Scotch Ale to secondary, add oak chips
8/3 – Move Rye Dry to secondary
8/7 – Brew something – probably the IPA or a Pale
8/8 – Brew something else
8/18ish – Move previous two batches to secondary
9/6 – Bottle Scotch Ale, Rye Drye, and whatever else we feel like
9/16 – GABF starts

There will probably be more in there, but that’s the plan for now.

And that my friends is my update. Please let me know if you’re in town for GABF, we’d love to share some beer.

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Bobby Orr celebrating with The Stanley Cup, looks delicious

Bobby Orr celebrating with The Stanley Cup. Looks delicious.

Here at [No Name Yet] Brewing, we like a good beer. In fact, we like lots of good beer. We hope that we don’t come off as beer snobs ever. If anything, we prefer the accepted vernacular “beer geeks”. We think everyone has the right to enjoy their beer how they see fit; there is no right or wrong way. Some other people might say you have to drink a beer out of the proper glass in order to enjoy it. Well, I think there are some exceptions. For instance, how about drinking delicious beer out of the greatest trophy in all of sports (IMHO), the Stanley Cup. Or maybe, in a time honored tradition of “shooting the boot”, a rugby boot is the only option. Sipped from a timeless treasure while celebrating a victory or chugged from a sweaty rugby boot, salty aftertaste and all, these drinkers are enjoying their beer, regardless of the lack of a “proper” drinking apparatus. If you have any creative examples of beer drinking methods let us know. We are kind of partial to “Gelande Quaffing,” but are open to most methods of consumption.

The snobs connoisseurs, however, certainly do know how to bring out the characteristics of a beer with the proper glass. Feel free to correct me if I am wrong in my analysis of the glasses below.

Nonic glass, note the bulge near the top

Nonic glass, note the bulge near the top

We start with one of today’s standards: The Pint Glass. Usually served as a 20-ounce glass (an imperial pint) in the UK and 16-ounces in the US, the pint is a versatile glass that is cheap, easy to make, and easy to store.  “Conical” pint glasses are just that, an inverted cone that tapers out at the top, and “nonic” pint glasses (pictured) have a bulge near the top, some say for better grip and they won’t stick together when stacked.  In either form, just a few of the many beers that are commonly enjoyed out of these glasses include:

  • English India Pale Ale (IPA)
  • American Pale Ale (APA)
  • Scottish Ale
  • Irish combinations (Black & Tan, Half & Half, etc.)
  • American Porter
  • American Stout
  • English Porter
  • English Stout
  • Barley wine
This ones just right

This one's just right

Another vessel one commonly thinks of is a mug or stein. Definitions vary as to what can be considered a stein, and what is simply a mug. They both have handles, are generally sturdy, and can withstand more abuse during celebration or anguish. They are easy to drink out of and some hold a larger volume of liquid. They can be made from numerous materials but the most common are glass and stainless steel, while pewter and ceramic were more often the material of choice in the past. In the late 1400’s large swarms of insects commonly attacked Northern Europe, prompting the Germans to cover their steins with a lid.  Many of the same beers that are commonly served in a pint glass are also served in mugs or steins.  Some additional beers include:

  • Oatmeal Stout
  • Extra Special/Strong Bitter (ESB)
  • Milk/Sweet Stout
  • Smoked Beer
  • Vienna Lager
  • English Strong Ale
  • Doppelbock
  • Euro Dark Lager
  • Bock
Nice and refreshing on a spring day, oh wait its snowing on April 1, 2009 in Colorado

Nice and refreshing on a spring day. Oh wait, it's snowing on April 1, 2009 in Colorado.

Pilsner glasses are a more delicate tapered glass with a short neck at the bottom, they are typically found in sizes slightly smaller than pint glasses. They are designed to enhance the colors of a Pilsner while retaining a head.  Pilsner glasses also show clarity and carbonation, and enhance volatiles. Obviously, pilsners are ideally suited to this class of glass, but many other lighter beers are commonly served in pilsner glasses for similar reasons.  Some include:

  • American Malt Lager
  • American Pale Lager
  • German Pilsener
  • Euro Pale Lager
  • Japanese Rice Lager
  • Munich Helles Lager
  • American Adjunct Lager
Traditional tulip glass

Traditional tulip glass

A Tulip glass is designed to enhance the characteristics of beers with large foamy heads. The top is pinched in to retain the head longer and enhance volatiles and strong aromas that often accompany these types of beers. Scotch Ales are commonly served in a variation of the tulip glass that resembles a thistle, the national flower of Scotland. Beers served in tulip glasses include:

  • American Double/Imperial IPA
  • Belgian Dark Ale
  • Belgian IPA
  • Belgian Dark Strong Ale
  • Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy
  • Quadrupel
  • Farmhouse Ale
I just hope that is some 90 Minute IPA

I just hope that is some 90 Minute IPA

Another round bottomed glass, the Snifter, is also commonly associated with brandy and cognac.  It’s wide bowl tapers to the mouth, locking in aromas of stronger ales, and providing a perfect venue for swirling to release additional aromas.  These glasses usually have a short neck and can vary in height and volume.  Stronger beers that are commonly served in a snifter include:

  • IPA
  • Belgian Strong Ale
  • Barley wine (of several varieties)
  • Flanders Red Ale
  • Russian Imperial Stout
  • American Double/Imperial IPA
  • Wheat wine
  • Scotch Ale
  • Tripel
Traditional shape with a masterful pour, someone knew what they were doing

Traditional shape with a masterful pour, someone knew what they were doing

The Weizen/Wheat beer glass is self explanatory, but if you missed it, wheat style beers are served in them. Their thin walls and tall stature showcase the colors, clarity (or lack there of), and carbonation of wheat beers. It is also designed to retain the head and aromas of these beers. They are wide at the top and have a slimming hourglass figure with a sturdy base to offset the height.  Expert servers will take care and slowly pour the beer to produce a large head and release the aromas of the beer. Some more common wheat beers that are served in these glasses are:

  • Dunkelweizen
  • Hefeweizen
  • Gose
  • American Wheat Ale
  • Weizenbock
  • Kristalweizen

In contrast to the rather elongated and shapely weizen glasses, there is the elegant and often ornate Goblet (or Chalice).  Delicate and thin goblets are often adorned with a

Just a standard Chalice

Just a standard Chalice

gold or silver rim, while the heavier thick walled goblets often have a sculpture like stem.  Scoring the inside of the bowl of a goblet can create channels where streams of carbonation are release to keep a perfectly maintained head.  The wide mouth is perfect for taking robust sips that are a perfect balance between liquid and head.  Traditionally, some of the following beers are served in goblets:

  • Belgian IPA
  • Belgian Strong Dark Ale
  • Dubbel
  • Tripel
  • Quadrupel
3 feet of awesome

3 feet of awesome

One of the most recognizable glasses for beer is the Yard, which conveniently measures roughly 3 feet.  Since its introduction, in 17th century England, it has been a favorite of those brave few with the will to challenge each other and the beer.  The goal is to take down the entire yard without a single pause or break for a breath.   A yard’s average of 60-ounces (US) can strain even the most seasoned imbiber.  There are a few tips out there to help take down this beast.  1) Pace yourself, there is no point in rushing, unless you are trying to break the world record of 5 seconds.  2) Slowly spin the glass as you drink to improve flow. 3) Watch out for the bulb, once air enters the bulb at the bottom of the glass a wave of beer heads towards the drinker, but don’t over correct, or the beer will stop flowing and you fail.  But, not addressing the bulb is equally as dangerous, leaving the drinker with a soaked shirt and a disappointed audience.  As the yard has gained popularity it is common to see many types of beers served in a yard or half yard (you can figure that one out on your own).  Traditionally English beers are served in yards, but Irish and Scottish beers are commonly served in yards here in the US.  Some include:

  • English Ale
  • English Dark Ale
  • English Strong Ale
  • English Porter
  • English Stout
  • Scottish Dark Ale
  • Scotch Ale
  • Irish Stout
  • Irish Porter

We have saved the best for last, and that would be the rugged taster from the Great American Beer Festival.  The miniature Weizen glass, made out of Lexan is the perfect solution for sampling the 1800 beers from over 400 breweries during the annual celebration in Denver, CO.  With a 1-ounce sample it would be 150 12-ounce beers to try each one!  This little guy makes the perfect vessel for any beer, delivering everything your heart desires.  Put a reminder on your calendar today for September 24-26, 2009!

nuf said

'nuf said

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