Saturday, January 31, 2009

Idaho Alcohol and Brewing Laws

I was looking into what the laws are to start a microbrewery in Idaho. The ABC sent me these links:



Alcohol Beverage Control Bureau
Idaho State Police
700 S Stratford Dr.
Meridian, ID 83642
208.884.7060 o
208.884.7096 f

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Monk

I got this plate somewhere around 1967 or 68. I had built a tree fort in the back yard, and a woman from the apartments behind our house asked if we wanted some old plates for our fort. We took a stack of 10 or 12 from her, then my mother took them from us. The monk plate was one of them. I have no idea if it is worth anything, but one of the other plates in the stack has a current value of about $350. The monk plate is currently in my basement with a collection of German beer steins.

Click on the image below for a close up, the detail is really good. I gimped the cheesehead for my avatar.

monk or friar having a beer, picture on a ceramic plate

You know you're a homebrewer if...

There are a ton of these posted all over the internet. This is a pretty extensive list.

You know you're a homebrewer if . . .

  • If you visit old monasteries while on vacation in Europe and badger the tour guides with questions about yeast strains and the exact temperature of the cellar.
  • If you go appliance shopping and take carboys along for sizing.
  • If "coming out of the closet" means that the next batch is getting bottled.
  • If you incorporate a 3 tier system into the design of your new deck.
  • If you can't make tea without thinking about sparging grain.
  • If you find hop leaves in your dryer lint.
  • If you have 3 new coolers in the brewery, but 1 crappy old one for picnics.
  • If you have more types of beer glasses than you have plates and bowls.
  • If you perform a 'mash-out' in the shower to halt enzyme action.
  • If all your tupperware smells like grains and hops.
  • If people ask if what is in your glass is beer or wine.
  • If you watch your primary fermenter with the same intensity that a cat watches an aquarium.
  • If the only time you clean your kitchen is just before brewing a new batch.
  • If your bridal registry is at a home brew supply store.
  • If you've ever taken your dog to the vet to treat a burnt tongue because she lapped up a boil over.
  • If it started out as a hobby then ended up as a habit.
  • If you and your beer buddies dream that your wives are beer nymphs dancing naked around a boiling kettle singing praises to the beer gods.
  • If has a short cut on your desktop.
  • If you've ever made your own beer.
  • If you've ever packed empty beer bottles home from camping.
  • If you wonder what random things would taste like mashed, boiled and fermented.
  • If you know the cheapest place in town to refill propane and CO2 tanks.
  • If you are producing beer faster then you can drink it.
  • If you hear the song "Monster Mash" and think it is about a beer made for Halloween.
  • If you can tell if a bottle on the side of the highway is recappable at 65 MPH and turn around to get it.
  • If you are happier watching your air lock than TV.
  • If you're a guy and you go to the bar to meet guys to talk homebrew with.
  • If your tankless water heater has two settings: mash and sparge.
  • If you have had a serious conversation about whether or not bottles will explode at altitude.
  • If when someone asks who your favorite author is, you say "Papazian".
  • If you rush to your closet if you hear the sound of glass breaking.
  • If you're completely unaware that there's a Michael Jackson other than the beer writer.
  • If you have returned beer to the grocery store because it was a bad batch.
  • If you have plans to turn a large portion of your basement into a refrigerator for long term lagering.
  • If you have all the local homebrew stores on speed dial.
  • If you are the designated driver because you prefer not to drink mass produced beer.
  • If you've added iodine to a sample of your morning oatmeal to test for adequate starch conversion.
  • If you have ever found yourself rinsing out empty beer bottles at someone else's party.
  • If you've installed a quick disconnect on your sink so you can hook up your wort chiller more easily.
  • If you correct the tour guide on brewery tours.
  • If you buy beer according to ease of label removal or the type of bottle it comes in.
  • If you wonder about the absorption rate of your breakfast cereal while you pour the milk.
  • If you have a picture of a carboy on your desk instead of your family.
  • If when you ask for a sample at the local brewery, you mean yeast slurry, not beer.
  • If you know 6 different ways to start a siphon.
  • If you've ever had a party where more beer was brewed than was consumed.
  • If you've planned the landscaping at your new house around the location of your Cascade Hop trellis!
  • If the workers at the hardware store ask how the latest homebrew is coming along.
  • If your 4 year old asks Santa for a refractometer for you.
  • If you find that the "Homebrew" budget is larger than your "Grocery" budget in Quicken.
  • If you do a protein rest when cooking spaghetti.
  • If the local brew supply store knows who you are by voice alone.
  • If the majority of your shirts are brewing or beer related.
  • If you've ever taken a final gravity reading of a commercial beer.
  • If you have ever stared glare-eyed in the bulk spice section of the grocery store dreaming of Belgian beers with Orange peel and coriander or spiced Christmas ales.
  • If you have ever hugged your primary fermenter.
  • If you spend more time thinking about beer than drinking beer.
  • If you have ever had an intense argument about corn.
  • If you sparge your tea bags with 170 degree water to prevent astringency.
  • If you wish you could buy your significant other a perfume with a malty aroma and hints of toffee underneath a nice bouquet of citrus and pine fragrances.
  • If a slinky reminds you of a wort chiller.
  • If you actually look for cruddy sediment in the bottom of a beer, before you buy it.
  • If you've ever received a shipping quote from a malt distributor.
  • If everytime you are in the grocery store you look at the beer selection even thought you have 10 gallons of beer ready to drink at home.
  • If you take a personal day off from work to brew on a Wednesday to have an adequate yeast starter for the 1.100 Specific Gravity Belgian being brewed on Saturday.
  • If you refuse to pay $8.00 for a beer in a restaurant because you can make 5 gallons for that much.
  • If you scan the Belgian Ales at checkout yourself so the clerk won't disturb the yeast sediment.
  • If you live in a small one bedroom apartment, and you have two refridgerators.
  • If you wonder what everything would taste like if mashed, boiled and fermented.
  • If your computer passwords are all related to beer.
  • If you make hummingbird food by boiling the sugar water for 1 hour and then sanitize the feeder with Iodophor.
  • If your house doesn't have air conditioning, but your beer room does.
  • If your pet rabbit will only eat crushed German pilsner malt.
  • If "pick up CO2" is on your shopping list.
  • If you see the acronym R.D.W.H.A.H.B. and know what it means.
  • If you get all your exercise from moving carboys.
  • If you take your wife out to garage sales in hopes of finding brew gear.
  • If you hate to wash the family dishes, but think nothing about standing over a sink for hours cleaning empty bottles.
  • If you have used a bottle opener on a twist-off cap.
  • If your wife starts buying two of every kitchen utensil so she doesn't have to search the brewery when it's time to cook.
  • If you ask the guy at the hardware store if something is "food grade".
  • If you've ever spent the afternoon in a hardware store staring in to space, trying to improve your wort chiller/fluid transfer.
  • If you pre-heat your thermos cup to have a thermal mass of zero.
  • If a "beer run" is now classified as a 3 hour escapade at the local homebrew shop.
  • If you have ever parked your car in the rain to keep your beer out of it.
  • If you have never taken a microbiology course but you know all about Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Saccharomyces carlsbergensis.
  • If you measure purchases with how many batches of homebrew you could have brewed.
  • If your children believe that Santa Claus would rather have a glass of homebrew than milk.
  • If you worry about channeling when you "sparge" your coffee.
  • If your asked your phone company if they have a phone number ending in 1056.
  • If you can estimate hair color in degrees Lovibond.
  • If you have a separate email folder for homebrew.
  • If you can name at least 10 different varieties of hops, but can't name 10 congressmen.
  • If you understand how water chemistry and pH affect the mash, but barely passed high school chemistry.
  • If your wife left you for someone who doesn't brew.
  • If you have your local homebrew supply shop on speed-dial right above 911.
  • If you own a stock-pot big enough to bathe in.
  • If you have more varieties of beer on tap than your local bar does.
  • If you take two fermentors with you shopping for refridgerators.
  • If a smelly, moldy, disgusting college-dorm fridge is a gift from the gods.
  • If you tackle your wife in the kitchen before she sneezes.
  • If you have moved clothes out of your closet to make room for more fermenters.
  • If your child's science project is on fermentation.
  • If you've ever got up to check an airlock in the middle of the night.
  • If you have more refridgerators for beer than you do for food.
  • If going to a brewfest is part of your honeymoon.
  • If you plan your family vacations by which breweries you can visit.
  • If you and the local bottle-grannies have come to an accord over collection zoning.
  • If you have more airlocks than the international space station.
  • If you've tasted the finest commercial beer and said, "I can do better."
  • If you have more kegs than your average fraternity.
  • If staring at a bubbling airlock is more exciting than the superbowl.
  • If you pour your coffee carefully to avoid hot side aeration.
  • If you bring a 3-gallon corny to a cook-out with its own neoprene jacket.
  • If you've kept a log of the temperature in your basement for the past 5 years.
  • If the presence of a basement was a major factor in the selection of your new home.
  • If you have room in your fridge for 7 different types of beer, 6 packages of hops, 4 vials of yeast, and two cans of rice syrup, but no room for milk for the kids.
  • If you schedule your lunch break around trips to the homebrew store.
  • If you start asking questions about other people's worts.
  • If your 5 acre yard is completely mulched with spent grains.
  • If you have multiple propane tanks but only use charcoal grills.
  • If you own more stainless steel than your local hospital.
  • If you get up in the middle of the night to dry hop.
  • If you plan your days off around when the homebrew supply store is open.
  • If you have 45 gallons of bottled beer in the basement and wonder if you should double the batch you are brewing on Saturday.
  • If your basement looks like the set of a 1930's horror movie.
  • If your 5 gallon propane bottle has never been connected to a barbecue.
  • If you don't brew much until your wife leaves town for the weekend, then you brew 30 gallons.
  • If you have more than two refrigerators.
  • If you have bottles of bleach and no white clothes.
  • If you hear someone say "sock hop" and you think they're dyslexic.
  • If your neighbors think you started a bottle recycling center.
  • If you use old, leftover hops as potpourri.
  • If you've got more cooking utensils and gadgets than your spouse does.
  • If you return from New Year's Eve parties with a trunk full of empty champagne bottles.
  • If you always make sure to take the truck, rather than the car, to the brew supply store.
  • If you name your new puppy "Fuggles" or "Growler".
  • If you send a holiday card to the owner of your brew supply store.
  • If your house smells like a brewery.
  • If you buy more pantyhose than your wife (...for hops!)
  • If you kidnap the family thermometer to test the temperature of the wort.
  • If you hear the term 'malted milk' you think they are talking about a stout.
  • If you've ever bought a case of beer saying, "I paid for the bottles, the beer comes with them for free."
  • If you've ever had 6 or more cases of EMPTY beer bottles in your house before you had a party, not after.
  • If you've raided the boy scout bottle collection/recycling for old bottles.
  • If you've ever left your local soda bottling company with your trunk and back seat full of 5 gallon cornelius kegs.
  • If you give clothes to Goodwill just to get more room in your closet for beer and equipment.
  • If someone says they've had a yeast infection and you ask what they were brewing at the time.
  • If you get crown seals and hop bags for christmas presents.
  • If you've ever bought returnable beer bottles with no intention of EVER returning them.
  • If you're surfing the net at 3:40 am looking for homebrew websites or recipies.
  • If you cancel a date because your wort hasn't reached pitching temperature yet.
  • If you can't remember that last time you popped open a flip-top beer can.
  • If you think the term pitch has nothing to do with baseball.
  • If your cupboards have more brewing items and bottles than they do food and plates.
  • If you don't think that 10 gallons of beer is a lot.
  • If you've ever cut a hole in a refridgerator.
  • If walking across the kitchen floor sounds like velcro.
  • If you've ever asked the question, "by weight or volume?"
  • If you've ever used a mop on a ceiling.
  • If you own a sterile trash can.
  • If you've ever tried to improve a Budweiser by stirring in a hop pellet.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Beer Quotes

"Who cares how time advances? I am drinking ale today" - Edgar Allan Poe

"That beer looks funny, you'd better give it to me."

"I thirst, therefore I am...."

Work is the curse of the drinking class....Oscar Wilde

"I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer."
-Abraham Lincoln

Show me a nation whose national beverage is beer, and I'll show you an advanced toilet technology.
Source: Mark Hawkins in the New York Times, 1977

"All right, brain, I don't like you and you don't like me - so let's just do this and I'll get back to killing you with beer"
- Homer Simpson

If God had intended us to drink beer, he would have given us stomachs.

Jane: Would you rather have beer, or complete and utter contentment?
Homer Simpson: What kind of beer?

Eternity: Amount of time between pitching and tasting a new brew.

Life begins at 60....1.060, that is.

6 or 7 homebrews, a big dinner of Mexican food and she stills comes to bed with me. Now that's love.

My favorite:
It comes in pints?!! -- Lord of the Rings

".....because without beer, things do not seem to go as well...." -Diary of Brother Epp, Capuchin monastery, Munjor Kansas 1902

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Batch 70, St. Brigid's Lake IPA (was: 90 minute IPA)

Feb 21, 2009 -- I'm renaming this beer. I've never liked the "90-minute IPA" name since that is the name of the famous Dogfish Head beer, and this one is nothing like the DFH original. The new name is "St. Brigid's Lake IPA".

A repeat of the fabulous 90-minute IPA recipe I did in batch 64. Lots of work, but worth it! I made a minor change in the grain bill, so the gravity will be a bit lower and the color slightly darker than last time.

10 gallon batch.


21 lbs 2-row
4 oz chocolate malt


This is the hard part.
1/4 oz Chinook
1/4 oz Cascade
1/4 oz Centennial
Add all of the above at 90, 80, 70, 60, 50, 40, 30, 20, 10, 5, and 0 minutes. That is 11 additions of 3/4 oz hops.

Wyeast 1272

OG: 1.059 actual: 1.062
FG: 1.015 actual: 1.012
ABV: 5.7%
SRM: 11
IBU: 98

Transfered from primary to kegs, Jan 31, 2009.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Batch 69, Celebration Ale

My brew club does a group brew during the first week of January. This year it was on Jan 3, and we brewed a Celebration Ale clone.

11 gallon batch.

16.7 lbs Great Western 2-row
6.67 lbs Canadian 2-row
1.0 lbs Carapils
2.0 lbs Carastan
1.0 lbs Crystal 80
Mash at 154F for 60 min

Hops, 90 min boil:
1.83 oz Chinook, 60 min
1.67 oz Cascade, 20 & 10 min
0.94 oz Centennial, 20 & 10 min

Dry hop:
1 oz Cascade
1 oz Centennial

recipe said Wyeast 1056, but I used my regular 1272.

OG: 1.064
FG: 1.014
SRM: 11
IBU: 63
ABV: 6.4%

Kegged Jan 23, and what a mess! I use a "jumper" hose for tranfering, that is, a hose that connects 'out' to 'out' on my kegs. Usually there is enough natural carbonation to get the siphon going, and there was for this keg. Once the siphon gets going, I pop the top so it will continue. This is the first time I've ever had beer foam out of the top, and it was thick, like the junk the usually collects on the bottom. I may transfer this one more time to get better clarity, it looked hazy during the transfer. I did not do a dry hop, mostly because I'm out of Centennial (I donated the last I had to the group brew). I may do a dry hop later, if I do one more transfer.

March 17 -- this beer still isn't very good. It's cloudy and flavorless. I added an ounce of Cascade last weekend, but still the flavor is dismal. It's drinkable, but I really can't say it's any better than that.

Snake River Brewers, Group Brew, Jan 3, 2009

Here are some pictures that I took at the Snake River Brewers club group brew on Jan 3, 2009. Rob hosted the event in his heated garage.