Monday, May 18, 2009

Beer BBQ Sauce

I ran across this recipe on the internet (, maybe?) and made a few modifications to it. This is one of the best BBQ sauces I've ever had. A little sweet, and a lot spicy. The original recipe said to use 1/2 tablespoon of ground chili pepper. I think the 1 1/2 tablespoons is better, but feel free to turn down the heat if you want.

2 1/4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup minced onion
1 1/2 cups beer (IPA is a good choice)
6 oz can tomato paste
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
2 tablespoons whiskey
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon dark molasses
1 1/2 tablespoon ground red chile pepper

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir the onions in oil for 5 minutes. Stir in beer, tomato paste, vinegar, brown sugar, honey, and Worcestershire sauce. Add remaining ingredients. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat. Simmer for 2 hours, uncovered, or until sauce thickens. Use right away, or store in a jar in the refrigerator for up to a month.

Edit: I found the original recipe on

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Batch 75, an Arrogant Bastard clone

I bought an Arrogant Bastard yesterday, and damn, that is a good beer. I thought I should try to make some of this myself. I was planning on brewing today anyway, so I looked around for recipes and found about a dozen. They all seemed to differ on the grain, so I just went with my own grain bill, mostly based on what I had on hand and aiming for the proper color and ABV. All the recipes I found did pretty much agree on the hops, nothing but Chinook. The Chinook I used are the ones I grew myself in the garden last summer.

10 gallon batch

27 lbs 2-row
2 lbs Crystal 60
1 lb Wheat
0.5 lbs Chocolate malt

Mash at 153F, collect 12 gallons in boil kettle. 60 minute boil.

2 oz Chinook, FWH
1 oz Chinook, 60 minutes
1 oz Chinook, 30 minutes
2 oz Chinook, 10 minutes

Wyeast 1272 (most recipes say to use 1056, but 1272 is a superior yeast)

OG: 1.082, actual 1.082
FG: 1.020
IBU: 87 (just a guess, it seems Chinook ranges from 11 - 13% AA, and qbrew defaults to 11.5%, so I went with that)
SRM: 15
ABV: 7.9%

I'm not sure what exactly happened, I hit exactly 12 gallons in the BK with two batch sparges. I ended up with exactly 10 gallons in the fermenter, and I nailed the OG. Nice! I hope it comes out good in the end.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Kolsch tasting, or why local is better

Last night we tasted 3 different versions of Kolsch at the brew club meeting. Kolsch is not my favorite style, it is really just another pilsner style but made in Cologne, Germany. A true Kolsch must be made in Cologne, but like champagne, it is made all over.

The first sample was Alaskan Brewing's Summer Ale. It was a drinkable beer, but really kind of 'yeah, it's beer, but nothing special'. I realize my tastes are for more flavorful, hoppy beers, and this one would be good on a hot summer day. Lawnmower beer comes to mind.

The second sample was brewed by Rob, a member of the club. This one was best in my mind. The first taste reminded me of apples. It has a nice color and a good flavor, and is a beer I'd like to have had more than just a small sample.

The third beer tasted like it had been in the bottle too long. Kolsch should be fresh, this tasted like it had actually come from Germany and wasn't handled well in transit, and that in fact was the case. I didn't catch the brand name, but I've had this experience with other German beers. When I was stationing in Germany, the beer was excellent. When I got back to the States and tried to find those same beers, the quality was definitely lacking.

So good job, Rob, local is best!