Saturday, January 21, 2012

2012 vlog #2 | Dead of winter vlog

Christmas is long gone and spring is still quite a ways away. It's the dead of winter, and there just isn't anything going on right now. But I still managed to find somethings to vlog about:
Southern Tier Oak Aged Pumking on tap
Moving my homebrew reviews to this channel
When I'll homebrew again
Sticking to my boycott of Beer Advocate
Wondering what's up with Six Point Bengali Tiger videos
Football picks

Friday, January 20, 2012

Craig Gravina's WWII British Beers | Chad'z Homebrew Reviews #23

My friend Craig Gravina (who was just on the show a few weeks ago as a guest reviewer), brewed three beers attempting to re-create beers available during World War II era Britain. Craig is a WWII buff and a lover of English ales (and, I assume, real ale too). He provided very detailed descriptions below. I'd challenge all the all-star homebrewers out there to try these recipes themselves or try a "re-creation" homebrew experiment like he did!

Craig on the web:

THE WAR SERIES - Hurricane 39 Mild Ale /  Spitfire 40 Best Bitter / Mosquito 41 Burton Ale

First off, a couple of things to know about he beers in general. They were all done "in the style..." of the most popular British beers from the WWII era—Mild, Bitter and Burton. They're not based on actual recipes from any specific brewery, but put together from looking through brewing records of a number of breweries of the time. When I was designing the beers I was trying to think like a brewer of the time, using what would have been available—almost as if I were an operating WWII-era brewer. I corrected Albany's water to that of London in the 1940s and you'll probably notice that the beers is a bit under carbonated. That was intentional, I'm going for that cask/real ale quality. Along with that, don't drink these beers cold. Take them out of the fridge and let them warm up for a bit before you drink them. The beers are all named for the year that they were inspired by and British fighter planes of WWII, too. So, here goes!

Hurricane 39 Mild Ale
During the 1920s and 30s British brewers began adding American malt to their grist, because it's increased nitrogen content. During most of 1939, British cargo ships passed unimpeded across the Atlantic Ocean. However, with the onset of hostilities in the fall of 1939, British shipping lines were cut-off from their American and European allies. While the availability of new American malt began to slow, British brewers did still have stores of American malt that would have been used into late 1939 and early 1940. Hurricane 39 is named for the pugnacious Hawker Hurricane
MALT: British mild malt, American six-row malt, British dark crystal malt, Invert sugar No. 2
HOPS: Fuggle
YEAST: Wyeast London Ale III (1318)
OG: 1.035 / IBUs: 19 / BUGU: .44 / ABV: 3.6%

Spitfire 40 Best Bitter
By 1940, food rationing and restrictions were in full effect, throughout Britain—and breweries were no exception. British beer makers began to augment their beers with alternative grains like un-malted flaked barley and oats. Spitfire 40s hazy appearance is a result of its use of flaked barley. Sugar was also at a premium, with huge quantities of it going toward the war effort. Brewers began using malt extract to supplement the limited use of common brewing sugars. While nearly all modern Bitters rely heavily on the caramel tones of crystal malt, many British brewers didn't begin using it in their Bitter grists until late in the war, or in some case after the war had ended. Spitfire 40 is named after the venerable Supermarine Spitfire.
MALT: British two-row malt, Amber malt, Light malt extract, Flaked barley
HOPS: Bramling Cross, East Kent Goldings (dry hop)
YEAST: Wyeast London Ale (1028)
OG: 1.044 / IBUs: 26 / BUGU: .61 / ABV: 4.3%

Mosquito 41 Burton Ale
Strong, dark and bittersweet—Burton Ale had been one of Britain's premium beers, for over a hundred years. Because of it's success in the marketplace, British brewers had to figure out a way to create Burtons with the same characteristics as pre-war versions—using limited resources. Grain adjuncts, dark brewing sugars and coloring agents began making their way into the day-to-day operations of many breweries. While, American malt was almost completely unavailable, It was not uncommon for brewers to use yearling or two-year old  dried hops, so stores of older American hops were still available. Mosquito 41 is named for the classic British fighter/bomber—the de Havilland Mosquito.
MALT: British two-row malt, Mild malt, Flaked barley, Invert sugar No. 3, British dark crystal malt, Caramel coloring
HOPS: Cluster, Bramling Cross, East Kent Goldings (dry hop)
YEAST: Wyeast British Ale (1335)
OG: 1.051 / IBUs: 34 / BUGU: .75 / ABV: 5%

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Kiwi Monster Double IPA | Chad'z Homebrew Reviews #22

My first ever homebrew from Europe! This beer was hand-delievered to me by Peter "The Master of Hoppets" It was also brewed by his friend Jakob "The Lord of Malts." Apparently they wanted to make a New Zealand-insprired double IPA. Although there's plenty of American west coast influence to be found in this beer, too.

Peter's description:
Its a DIPA on 9,6% ABV only brewed with New Zealand hops, the malts used is American Two Row Pale, Marris Otter. The hops used are Pacific Gem (for bittering), Nelson Sauvin (a small amount for bittering), Rakau and Motueka. It was also brewed with oats and honey.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Imasofats' "Drowning Bee IPA" | Chad'z Homebrew Reviews #21

It's been a long time since I reviewed one of the Imasofat's homebrews (about a year, I think). This is an IPA Gary brewed in late August. I don't have the exact stats and recipe or anything, but I know it used about four different hop varietys and plenty of LME. This review is the first of an "All Homebrew Review Week".

Check out the Imasofat's channel at

Friday, January 13, 2012

Meeting Peter "The Master of Hoppets" at JFK Airport

If you're a follower of Peter "The Master of Hoppets" over at you know he's going to New Mexico from January to June of 2012 for a semester of college there. Since he was flying in from Denmark and had a flight change and layover at JFK Airport in New York City, I thought I would drive down to meet up with him since it's a fairly reasonable drive for me.

I got a bottle of Three Floyds Amon Amarth Ragnorak imperial porter from Rob Walker in a trade a while back, and knowing Peter is a huge metal head (and a huge fan of that band in particular), I decided to save that beer to review with him. Since he had such an extremely short window of opportunity to hang out, we shot the review in the only place we could - my car! You can watch that video here:

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Max Spang's "Pugnacious Porter" | Chad'z Homebrew Reviews #20

I recently did a beer trade with Max Spang of He really seemed proud of this blueberry porter - an all-grain brew made with homegrown blueberries. I wanted Shaun to help me review this since he's a homebrewer too and I'd be interested to hear his take on it.

Max's description and information:
"The recipe was my first all grain batch. I tweaked a recipe of an Edmund Fitzgerald clone that I was going to add blueberries to, but it was almost a failure. I got horrible efficiency and the beer was really, really thin. The samples I took tasted like ashy coffee, and it only fermented to about 3.5% ABV. I was on the verge of dumping it, it just wasn't working out. However, I decided to say screw it and added about 2-3 pounds of Blueberries (more on that later). After a week or so, I tasted it again - Lo and behold, the beer was smoothing out and was very pleasant. It didn't quite taste like blueberries, so I added more (I think another pound or so, I don't have my notes handy). The ABV bumped up to right around 4.5%, and the beer is very dry and a little over carbonated. It's easy drinking and semi refreshing, and the blueberries give it a slight tartness and a slight purple hue to the beer. It's by no means a great beer, but it is definitely decent IMO - especially considering it was almost a failure."

Size: 5.0 gal
Efficiency: 75.0%
Attenuation: 75.0%
Calories: 183.73 kcal per 12.0 fl oz

Original Gravity: 1.055 (1.048 - 1.065)
Terminal Gravity: 1.014 (1.012 - 1.016)
Color: 25.07 (22.0 - 35.0)
Alcohol: 5.43% (4.8% - 6.5%)
Bitterness: 35.4 (25.0 - 50.0)

9.0 lb Pale Ale Malt
0.75 lb Caramel Malt 50L
0.5 lb Chocolate Malt
0.5 lb Roasted Barley
1.0 oz Northern Brewer (8.0%) - added during boil, boiled 30.0 min
0.5 oz Fuggle (4.8%) - added during boil, boiled 30.0 min
.5 oz Cascade (5.5%) - added during boil, boiled 30.0 min
0.5 oz Cascade (5.5%) - added during boil, boiled 0.0 min
1.0 ea WYeast 1028 London Ale

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012 vlog #1 | Happy New Year!

In which I show you what I got for Christmas and reiterate my 2012 goals and resolutions that I mentioned in the last vlog.