A Homebrew Ménage à Trois

Of course, as soon as I post about getting back to beer blogging, I get a ton of work dumped on me. Ugh…an article on various forms of beer haze will have to wait, but homebrewing can’t. No fermentation makes me a sad panda, so I knocked out a ménage à trois of Saisons this weekend.

The first fermenter is a yeast/brett blend that’s getting kegged on copious amounts of dry hops for what should be a funky/hop fruity kick when it’s done.

img_2740The small one in the middle is a half gallon of an experimental beta White Labs saison/brett blend, which only doles out 15 billion cells (i.e. barely enough for a half gallon of low gravity wort). It’s not a good idea to yeast start brett blends, so I’ll have to live with the 5-6 bottles I get. The aroma out of the bubbler is already tantalizing.

The last is also yeast/brett fermented, but going to get a cheaty sour treatment. It’s cheaty due to the half ounce of 88% lactic acid I’m going to add during the back end of fermentation. The base beer is 80 IBU, far higher than a souring bacteria can handle, so traditional methods are out. This will at least give me an idea if I can adapt this recipe or blend in a separate soured wort with any kind of positive results.

These should be ready to taste test in a couple months along with some bottles of brett saison I did a year ago, one of which was on apricots. If you’re interested in trying these, I’ll let you know when and where in the near future.

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Tired Hands Brewing – Guillemot Nebula (Batch 2)

GuillemotAll You Need to Know

Brewery: Tired Hands Brewing
Style: Dark Saison
ABV: 8.5%
My Cost: Nothing
Actual Cost: $15 (I’m told)
Glassware: Tulip
Temp: 50°F
Availability: Infrequently
Purchased@: Tired Hands
Released: April 2015
Drank: May 2015

Quick Take: One of the better, more complex beers I’ve had in quite some time. You need to have some adventure in you as the flavor profile could be considered challenging, but that’s nothing new for this brewery. While this is more a successful novelty than pinnacle of their efforts, Guillemot contains the spirit of the brewery in a 500ml bottle.

→Full Review

DBR Beer Year in Review (Part 1 – The Beers)

dbr 3Ah 2014, a year of much stuff, many things, and plenty of beer. It is the year that I transitioned from a purely video beer blog to a Web site featuring beer and brewery reviews, taking on a major commitment to the beverage that I love. This commitment will continue into the new year with plans for more brewery and event reports/reviews, plenty of thoughts on brews both new and aged, and a few new features I hope to get off the ground.

But now is the time to reflect on the beers of drinking past, and to that end I’ve compiled the list of my favorite beers of 2014. These are beers that not only impressed me with their quality over all other beers I had last year, but are the ones that I will be looking forward to in 2015 as well.

Continue reading “DBR Beer Year in Review (Part 1 – The Beers)”

Last Week in Untappd – 12/8 – 12/14

A weekend made of an early family Christmas in Wilkes-Barre, PA and a night game of Eagles football viewed at a local brewery didn’t yield a lot of high profile Untappd (DrewsBrewsReviews) check-ins, but I had a few good ones this week. I shuttled some recent favorites up with me, Big Lushious and Bourbon County Stout, and hit my favorite local beer place, Sabatini’s Pizza, for whatever treasures lurk in their two fully stock coolers. This time, Sabatini’s was beyond my expectations as I got a personal tour of their amazing beer storage area and I’ll be reviewing the fruits of this trip in the coming weeks. Huge thanks to Lindo for showing me around and selling me some extremely rare beers. But that’s for another week. Here’s last weeks best:

7 SwansThe Bruery – 7 Swans-A-Swimming
Location: Bar
Style: Quad
Score: 4/5
Original Comment: Peaty raisin, plum, astringent alcohol aroma, soft, dark, dark fruit, toffee,not quite candied sugar sweet, dry, plum finish, no heat at all

Additional Comment: This is a case where sticking to the traditional elements of a style, in this instance a Quad, yielded some pretty great results. There isn’t huge depth past the layered sweet of plum, raisin, dark fruits, and toffee malt, but it’s a tasty sweet that isn’t cloying. Not a lot beyond the traditional Quad flavors, but also not a lot of heat. As a matter of fact, this hid the 11% ABV completely. No hot coal in the stomach, no chest warming, and no real indication of alcohol beyond the heavier mouth feel. Smooth, straightforward Quad that tastes as if it already has a few years on it. Good stuff and reasonably priced ($14).

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Last Week in Untappd – 11/2 – 11/9

The Untappd (drewsbrewsreviews) beer highlights continue with a fresh batch of checked in beers from the fantastic beer bars of Lancaster. I had plans for bigger beers, but it ended up being a bit of a slow week.

Hunger and Thirst Saison CollantBullfrog – Hunger-N-Thirst Saison Collant
Location: Hunger-N-Thirst
Style: Sasion
Score: 3.5/5
Original Comment: Lactose, toasty grain, musty grass, cat pissy aroma-creamy lemon, dry toasty skunky finish. Very New England saison. Impressed!

Additional Thoughts: This one completely surprised me. I’ve had numerous beers from Bullfrog and all have been serviceable, but unremarkable. This is the first that caused me to take notice, and it’s a one off collaboration with a Lancaster beer bar, using hops grown by the owner. With Saison Collant, Bullfrog isn’t afraid to utilize complex, and sometimes unpleasant, farmhouse qualities, give it some body, and apply some bold hopping. I look forward to future collaborations.

Continue reading “Last Week in Untappd – 11/2 – 11/9”