Home Bars

[ Comments Off ] Posted on 08.22.11 under Beer Cellar, Fun, Stories

I saw a show today on DIY network that wifey was watching. It was about outdoor rooms. It was pretty cool. The thing that caught my eye was (of course) the outdoor bar area they featured.

I could see from the first aerial shot leading into the scene that the guy had two (or maybe just one) draft tower(s) coming out of his outdoor bar setup. I was immediately dragged into it, waiting for the details of powering, cooling, pressure balancing the tap(s).

I was let down when all they showed was that it was a single tower with a single handle pouring some swilly macro beer. All that money and effort in the greatest outdoor party “room” ever to serve Budweiser? That’s his prerogative.

Anyway, it got me dreaming of the time when I’ll have some bar space that’s fancier than a used fridge with some tap handles coming out of the door in my largely unfinished basement. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate fire pit patio with outdoor TVs, just a cozy little basement bar with some wood paneling or even a drop ceiling. And obviously a serious draft beer setup serving up a wide variety from lite beer to lambic, accompanied by the appropriate educational materials.

Ice Ice Baby

[ Comments Off ] Posted on 02.17.10 under Alcohol, Fun, News

Once again Brew Dog has done it. They’ve gone and raised the ire of all wings of the beer and political communities. Not complacent to be second best, it’s time to make the world’s strongest beer… again!

First off, Sam Adams Utopias is the strongest beer, when it comes down to it. By American legal definition, a beer can not be fortified by any method, including “ice distillation”. Sam Adams is cooked as normal wort and fermented as such by yeast all the way to its nearly unnatural 27% ABV. All others higher than that, to my knowledge, are done by ice distilling.

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That Glass Isn’t Even Half Full!

[ Comments Off ] Posted on 07.15.09 under Fun

united-states-beer-consumption-per-personI got an interesting link today in my inbox.

It compares the beer consumption by country. It seems that no matter how many times this information is presented to me, I just can’t keep it straight. I’m always a little bit surprised at who takes the top spot and more than a little surprised at how low the US is on the list.

The glass you see here to the right is the US glass. That’s a relative amount compared to the top drinking country. We drink about half as much as those guys in first place do! Or half as much beer anyway. The numbers don’t address wine and spirits. But of course, beer is what matters here.

So enough of the drama. The Czech Republic has the top spot with 8.5 beers per person per week. The US downs a measly 4.4 b/p/w. Of course, nobody can deny the perfection of a fine Czech Pilsener, so it’s understandable that they’d be fondly imbibing on average across their entire population more than one beer per day. Which brings me to one small point, which probably makes no statistical difference, but might help me explain some of the discrepancy of USA’s apparently inferior capacity for drink. If the measurement is in volume, then consider the impact of ABV on the numbers.

I mean, 8.5 Pilsners a week is roughly equivalent to 4.4 Double IPAs per week.

Glassware

[ 2 Comments ] Posted on 05.12.09 under Fun, Tasting

glassware-1
Everyone knows there’s a proper glass for a given style of beer. Flared rims will increase the perception of sweetness by guiding the inflow of liquid to the sweet-sensing portions of the tongue and mouth. And a bunch of other stuff like that.

You’d think that I’d be all about “proper glassware”, but the truth is, I pick the glass more on my mood than the beer that will go in it. This might be because I usually drink more than one style of beer in a session. Or it could be that I never bothered to really memorize the glass shape to style mapping. Maybe I just like the variety enabled by mix-and-match glass-and-beer combinations.

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Kegger!

[ 3 Comments ] Posted on 10.10.08 under Brewing, Fun, Kegging, News

It’s been a long time coming, and I guess that in a way it isn’t official yet, but I’m a kegger!

I picked up today a bunch of kegging stuff in a lot of brew equipment. I got three kegs, a 5# CO2 tank, a 5 cu. ft. fridge, and all the lines, connectors, faucets, etc. that I need to put my beer in kegs!!

They haven’t been used in over a year, and two of the kegs even still had a few ounces of beer in them, but they were pretty clean considering. The beer still smelled mostly like beer, and there was nothing fuzzy inside the kegs. One keg is full of CO2. The two with a bit of beer in them are now full of PBW solution. All is well.

There was also a bunch of awesome tap handles in the mix. Chimay and Sierra Nevada Celebration stand out in my mind, but there are a few other really good ones. Two pH probes. Three carboys. Two immersion chillers. A bunch of old BYO, Zymurgy, and Brewing Techniques magazines. All sorts of funness.

I will officially become a kegger when I put my beer into a keg. I am not sure when that will be, but I eagerly await the day. The two batches that I have going now need to be mostly bottled. Though I might just bottle half and keg half of each batch… Just because I can!

Einstein Quote of the day

[ 2 Comments ] Posted on 04.08.08 under Fun

EinsteinI have a thing on my Google homepage that gives me a different Einstein quote each day. I was never really too into Einstein, but I thought it would be fun to have his quotes each day. Today was awesome.

The prestige of government has undoubtedly been lowered considerably by the prohibition law.

Yes, he’s talking about alcohol prohibition. It goes on to elaborate a bit, but the part I’ve quoted is the kicker.

If you want the Einstein quote of the day, here it is. GWidgets created it. I am not affiliated with Google or GWidgets.

Green Beer

[ Comments Off ] Posted on 03.17.08 under Aimée, Fun

Green BeerIt just wouldn’t be St. Patrick’s Day without some green beer, would it? I guess some Guinness could also make it official. Oh yeah, and some corned beef and cabbage.

Well we couldn’t find an “all natural” corned beef, so we went with chicken. But Aimée cooked up some cabbage along with potatoes, onions, and carrots. Sort of like a little St. Patty stew. It was tasty.

I also didn’t make it to the store for some Guinness so I went with my closest homebrewed option, a Baltic Porter. It was black-colored, at least. I almost went with the Imperial Stout, but that seemed a bit over the top.

Then, I had to do it. I had to make some green beer. I had food coloring from making Cherry Sparkles pink. The pack had red, green, blue, and yellow. Seems strange that it would have green, even though it has blue and yellow. I’d think you could make something green with equal parts of blue and yellow. Anyway. It was just what I needed to make green beer.

I’ve been making green things left and right the past few days. Green eggs. Aimée made green pancakes. Green water. Green seltzer. This green thing is fun.

So there you have it: green beer. The photo is above. This is my Stonington Memorial Summer Ale (an American Wheat beer, and actually the base beer that was pinked to become Cherry Sparkles) with a dollop of green coloring in it. It actually made my tongue green! Ha!

Fermented Strawberries

[ 1 Comment ] Posted on 03.16.08 under Fun

Strawberry on the VineI don’t know if you’d call this Strawberry Wine or what… We had some fresh strawberries that we picked in the summer, that we had frozen. I had previously used some of these fresh strawberries in beer by adding them to my American Wheat beer, one pound per gallon, and calling it Strawbeery. It was pink and had a subtle strawberry aroma and flavor, but no real sweetness, and the whole batch was somehow off – getting a banana/clove phenol without Belgian Wit or German Weizen yeast – and it was  all super fizzy. But the basic concept worked.

So we defrosted the last ziploc container of berries a few weeks ago for some reason, and then the remainder sat in the fridge for a week or so. This is the time when Aimée says we have to throw out leftovers, and so it is done. But strawberries seemed so fermentable, and I rescued them from certain landfilling to ferment them.

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Daylight Saving Time

[ 1 Comment ] Posted on 03.09.08 under Fun

It’s Daylight Savings Time!Let me start by saying that I do not like daylight saving time. What a pain in the neck to recalibrate all our clocks to adjust up or down an hour for no reason at all. At least “springing forward” is easier than “falling back”, in terms of adjusting the clocks. But the whole premise is annoying at best and counterproductive at worst.

I’m not saying that I don’t like a later sunset time. That’s fun. (Although I don’t see why we should give that up in the Winter!) Today I also realized another benefit of daylight savings time. It’s drinking time that much sooner. Let’s say that you normally wait until 5 PM to crack that first beer. Thanks to DST, it’s 5 PM an hour earlier today. You didn’t have to endure the full length of day between when you woke up and beer time. You got to fastforward an hour of the day to get to beer time.

Let’s save some daylight again tomorrow!

Another Fridge!

[ 2 Comments ] Posted on 03.02.08 under Fun, Stories

Side-By-Side FridgeToday was one hell of a beer day! As I just wrote about (scroll down a little) PostNatal IPA is clear as can be expected from an unfiltered beer – no more chill haze for me! Besides that, as I was savoring the hoppy goodness of PostNatal IPA, I got a call from the neighbor across the street, “Hey, do you want our old fridge? It’s working, except for the water dispenser and the inside light.”

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