Monday, February 27, 2012

Batch #3

Double IPA
Brewed with Julian Heal

Canadian Pale Malt, US 2 Row, Munich, Belgian Pilsen, Crystal 40, Carapils
Warrior, Cascade, Centennial Hops
Wyeast American Ale II

I never brewed an Imperial before. Well...nothing that was supposed to be over 10% and actually hit both gravities. It was a perfect day to brew as it was the morning after the only real snow that Philly got all winter. That is what Imperials are for sometimes. A nice boozy treat that you can sip on when the winds are wiping around and you just want the winter to end. Well...that is my Northeast scenario. In this case it will be a nice treat where everything is just beginning to bloom. That means it is hop planting season. Speaking of hops we have close to pound of hops in this beer.

We had a nice blow off by the morning after brew day. I wasn't there to see it, but it must have been a nice see that we had plenty of aeration before pitching our starter. It was also one of back to back brews that Jules made that day. Who starts off with an Imperial and ends with a Smoked Oaked Baltic Porter? After a nice primary we racked on to 4ozs of French and Hungarian Oak Cubes. After two 2 weeks it had plenty of oakiness so we racked off, let it sit again and dry hopped. With about eight weeks in we are getting ready to bottle. More pics to come soon.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Hometown Brews

We took a day trip out of the city yesterday to visit my parents in North East PA. They live about 15 mins north of Scranton and the ride up I476 to the Turnpike Extensions is about a 2+ hour ride with zero traffic. Yesterday brought a series of snow squalls from Lansdale to Allentown. It was a nice to see that there is a winter outside of Philadelphia. There are plenty of decent beer bars up in the Scranton area, but it is rather difficult to get my parents (just one half) to have a meal based around craft beers. There was a nanobrewery just outside Scranton that just settled into the their hometown of Carbondale. This all happened in the past month so I was hoping to catch one of their beers on tap, and I did.

Three Guys and a Beer'd is the name of the brewery. Their website is still in the works, but from their Facebook page it looks like they eight or so beers readily available. Three of them were on at our dinner destination. I started out with Ladder Dive, a Rye IPA. I've always been a fan of Rye IPA. Philly's own Dock Street's Rye IPA has always stood out as one of my favorites and I was pretty pleased with this beer as well. Like most Ryes there is a bit of sensory overload. Sweet and piney and citrusy and spicey.  My only disappointment was in the bar's glassware. Unfortunately frosted mugs don't make an easy transition from shitty domestic lagers and pilsners toward anything craft. I always worry that frosted mugs equals frosted cleaner which in turn leads nighttime sickness.  They had an American Wheat and an Irish Red on also. I don't have a tendency to gravitate toward either of these styles, but I had a nice fish dinner so I went for their wheat, Wheat the People. This one can pass in a frosted glass. It was a classic, clean US Wheat. It took them a few tries to get me the right beer though. First they gave me a lager, then the Rye IPA again, and finally the Wheat. Fortunately I had they left the Rye on the table and I got enjoy both of them.

On the way back to Philly we made a stop in the Poconos. Both my wife and I lived in Stroudsburg prior to moving to Philly. There are a few brew pubs around the area with most recently, Shawnee Craft Brewing Co. being available outside their tasting room. I've heard about Shawnee for a while and have even had some Philly friends stop at their tasting room last year. Their Session Porter was on tap along with a Blonde. I tried both and was overall pleased with these two as well. The Porter was super rich with nice dark fruit notes and plenty of body of a session beer. At around 4% it was a nice beer to enjoy before an hour ride home. Their Blonde, which I am assume is their Biere Blanche was a bit more of my style of wheat compared to the Three Guys American Wheat. Nice peppery notes, a bit puckery and dry finish made this beer a winner for me. But overall I both breweries make coming and going and a new treat for me.