Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012 vlog #8 | A Year in the Life of Chad


For this year's annual re-cap vlog I decided to take a slightly different approach. Instead of going through events chronologically, I decided to discuss various subjects/themes including:

PERSONAL
lost weight
grew beard
one year at my company
retired from beer tube
starting running

BEER STUFF
14 different beers scored a 10
beer festivals
beer dinners
cicerone beer server
The Bier Abbey opened
bottleshare
Article about me and Jay in the Troy Record
http://troyrecord.com/articles/2012/04/01/news/doc4f7906e0eaaf6281872285.txt

HOMEBREWING
joined Albany Brew Crafters
brewed:
unsupervised hefeweizen (twice)
Black IPA with Shaun
Meth Lab with Dave
Chocolate stout (twice)
Raspberry wheat
Sodas

TRIP
March - bus trip to Atlantic city to watch Union win the ECAC championship

PEOPLE
Peter TMOH
Winton White
Imasofats
Some more skype interviews
three major beer trades

2013 plans:
smartphone apps and accessories
moving all the homebrew reviews
collections
Another FAQ
February all viewer request month

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Homebrew #10 ("Chad'z Chocolate Cherry Chile Stout"): Part 3: Tasting

Seems like it's been a while since I taste-tested a homebrew BEER that I made. Seems like it's been a while since I brewed this beer as well. Here's the specs:

"Chad'z Chocolate Cherry Stout"
Brewed: 3 December 2012
Bottled: 17 December 2012

OG: 1043
FG: 1010
ABV: 4.33%
Average fermenting temperature: 65

YEAST STARTER:
1/2 cup DME + 3 cups water

STEEPING GRAINS (155 degrees for 15 minutes)
12oz Carafa II
8oz Crystal 60
6oz Chocolate Wheat
6oz Chocolate Malt

ADJUNCTS (155 degrees for 15 minutes)
4 cups Cocoa Krispies cereal

BOILING FERMENTABLES:
6.6lbs light liquid malt extract (CBW Golden Light)
1lb lactose sugar

BITTERING HOPS:
2oz Willamette

FLAVORING SPICE:
2oz Cocoa beans, crushed

AROMA HOPS:
1/2oz Kent Golding

AROMA SPICE:
2oz Cocoa beans, crushed

ADDITIONAL FLAVORING INGREDIENTS:
2 Madagascar vanilla beans (added 10 December 2012)
24oz frozen Dole Dark Sweet Cherries (added once wort cooled to room temperature)
1 homegrown organic red jalapeño pepper (with seeds removed) (boiled 15 minutes to flameout)

YEAST:
Safeale US-05 dry ale yeast

WATER:
Troy spring water x 5 gallons

BREWER'S NOTES:
I brewed this one specifically for The Ruck's "Extreme Homebrewing" competition (to be held in late January). There were a lot of unusual style guidelines for this contest and this beer falls into four of the six available categories: pepper beer; free range water; cereal in the grain bill; and "funky fermentables".

I had already made this base recipe before - Homebrew #6 "Chad'z Accidental Session Beer" - but I wanted to do it better this time. I'm surprised the gravity still came out to be as low as it was, though it may actually have been higher because my hydrometer was broken and may have sunk way lower than it should have. 1043 does seem very low to me (last time I brewed this, the OG was 1050, the kit instructions estimated an OG of 1057-1063 with an ABV of 5.5-6%).

Anyway, I used Cocoa Krispies cereal to add more chocoalte taste to it, though there isn't much in the way of actual cereal flavor. I dont think it did much to boost the ABV. I added one of my homegrown red ripened jalapeno peppers to the boil about 15 minutes to flameout. It didn't add any pepper flavor as far as I can tell, though I do get a little warmth in the throat afterwards. Additionally I used 2 12oz bags of frozen cherries that were added to the fermenter. They didn't impart much cherry flavor and may have helped boost the ABV a little.

Overall, this beer is a disappointed not because it tastes bad (it doesn't, in fact it tastes better than the "session beer"), but because it didn't turn out remotely close to how I envisioned it. If the cherries weren't so expensive (at $5 per 12oz) I would've gotten four pounds worth, and if I knew how to finesse the peppers in the beer I would've added more jalapenos to give it some more overt warmth. Still, the net result is a tasty, highly drinkable beer so that's at least satisfying.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

BrewAthlon Sleigh Fuel Belgian Christmas Ale | Chad'z Homebrew Reviews #27

Merry Christmas, everyone! My present to you all is a NEW beer review! Okay, it's a homebrew but it's still a new beer review. This is a Belgian-style Christmas Ale made by my friend Chad aka "BrewAthlon". I've reviewed a bunch of his homebrews in the past but it's been quite a while. This is his biggest, boldest beer yet. I mean, just look at these specs:

ABV: 13.7%

Boiling Fermentables:
Lite liquid Malt Extract (60 min)
Lite liquid Malt Extract (15 min)

Grain:
Caraamber
Caramunich
Vienna Malt

Spices:
Cumin, Coriander, and Caraway Seed

Adjuncts:
Dark Belgian Candi Syrup

Hops:
Northern Brewer

Yeast:
Wyeast Belgian Strong Ale yeast

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Homebrew #9.3 "Chad'z Raspberry Lemonade Soda"

Time for another soda already. They're pretty easy to make and only take a week or two to carbonate, so I've been brewing these a lot lately. There's no video on Homebrew #9.2 because that's a soda I made with my nephew and he has all the bottles at his house in Binghamton. Maybe if I get a bottle I'll review it later on.

Anyway, this is the "lemon lime" base extract recipe, but I added a little raspberry concentrate to even it out.

Here's the recipe:

Brewed and bottled: 4 December 2012

INGREDIENTS:
1 tablespoon "Homebrew Lemon Lime Natural Concentrated Extract" by Rainbow Flavors, Inc.
1/2 tablespoon Brewer's Best Raspberry Natural/Artificial fruit flavoring
2 cups  Hy-Top Granulated Sugar

WATER:
1/2 gallon Troy spring water
1/2 gallon unfiltered Albany tap water

YEAST:
1/2 TSP Lalvin EC-1118 Saccharomyces cerevisiae (ex-bayanus)

BREWER'S NOTES:
12/4/12: Brewed specifically for my office's holiday luncheon potluck lunch schedule for December 12. The bottles will only be eight days old by then but they should at least be carbonated. I added the raspberry flavoring in hopes of balancing out the lemon flavor (which is too fake tasting to me). The taste test I took was definitely satisfying. I also used some of the leftover Troy spring water I used on my last homebrew beer. Though I did have to top it off with regular tap water. I also stirred the wort between each bottle fill to keep the yeast as homogenized as possible. I don't think the yeast dissolved well enough in the water, though. We'll see if and how well carbonated these bottles are.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Homebrew #8.2 "Chad'z Raspberry Ginger Ale" (Batch 2)

My first try at making a raspberry ginger ale didn't turn out too well, so I decided to alter the recipe. Let's see how this one came out.

THE RECIPE:
Brewed and bottled: 24 November 2012

INGREDIENTS:
1 Tablespoon "Homebrew Ginger Ale Natural Concentrated Extract" by Rainbow Flavors, Inc.
1/2 tablespoon Brewer's Best Raspberry Natural/Artificial fruit flavoring
2 cups  Hy-Top Granulated Sugar

WATER:
1 gallon unfiltered Albany tap water

YEAST:
1/2 teaspoon Lalvin EC-1118 Saccharomyces cerevisiae (ex-bayanus)

BREWER'S NOTES:
Left these bottles at room temperature for two weeks.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Homebrew #10: Part 2: Brewing

If you saw part one you know what this homebrew is all about (if you didn't, please go watch it now). My brother came over and helped me out with this brew and did all the filming (thanks, John!). I'm really excited to see how this one will turn out. Though the OG was lower than anticipated. I think that's a combination of my hydrometer breaking and me adding too much water to the wort.

Here's the basic recipe:
OG: 1.043
FG:
ABV:
Average fermenting temperature: 65

YEAST STARTER:
1/2 cup DME + 3 cups water

STEEPING GRAINS (155 degrees for 15 minutes)
12oz Carafa II
8oz Crystal 60
6oz Chocolate Wheat
6oz Chocolate Malt

ADJUNCTS (155 degrees for 15 minutes)
4 cups Cocoa Krispies cereal

BOILING FERMENTABLES:
6.6lbs light liquid malt extract (CBW Golden Light)
1lb lactose sugar

BITTERING HOPS:
2oz Willamette

FLAVORING SPICE:
2oz Cocoa beans, crushed

AROMA HOPS:
1/2oz Kent Golding

AROMA SPICE:
2oz Cocoa beans, crushed

ADDITIONAL FLAVORING INGREDIENTS:
2 Madagascar vanilla beans - cut open and soaked in vodka for 2 days.
24oz frozen Dole Dark Sweet Cherries
1 homegrown organic red jalapeño pepper (with seeds removed)

YEAST:
Safeale US-05 dry ale yeast

WATER:
Troy spring water

Monday, December 3, 2012

Homebrew #10: Part 1: Yeast Starter and Spring Water

I'm embarking on my most ambitious homebrew yet - "Chad'z Chocolate Cherry Chile". I'm brewing this specifically for The Ruck's homebrew contest in January (I explain the rules in the video). Since I'm essentially re-doing a homebrew that wasn't as successful as it should've been last time I decided to make a yeast starter for the first time ever (I really should've been doing this since brew number one).

I'm brewing tonight and will post the brewday video on Wednesday.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Homebrew #9.1 "Chad'z Lemon Lime Soda"

My second homebrewed soda, this time I waited much longer to give it a taste test. How would this one compare to the first and would it even be carbonated?

THE RECIPE:
Brewed and bottled: 18 November 2012

INGREDIENTS:
1 TBSP "Homebrew Lemon Lime Natural Concentrated Extract" by Rainbow Flavors, Inc.
1 cup "Sugar in the Raw" Turbinado Raw Cane Sugar

WATER:
1 gallon unfiltered Albany tap water

YEAST:
1/2 TSP Lalvin EC-1118 Saccharomyces cerevisiae (ex-bayanus)

BREWER'S NOTES:
11/24/12: I brewed this on a Sunday night on a whim. I didn't like how my first soda, the raspberry ginger ale, came out, so I tried to adjust the recipe for this. I used half as much sugar and 4 times the yeast as the first brew. I noticed the bottles solidified much quicker this time. After about five days at room temperature I put them in the fridge. I opened one later that day it was as carbonated as a commercial soda. Two days later I opened another bottle with the intention of shooting a video tasting on it, but it was flat. I opened another bottle - also flat, then another and another. All were flat. I think what happened was the cold temperatures of the fridge put the yeast back to sleep. I'm not sure why one bottle out of 8 would carbonate but the others wouldn't. I still have two bottles left which I'm storing at room temperature. I'll leave it there for another week. The instructions actually say the soda tastes better after two weeks of bottle conditioning. Interestingly enough the instructions do not say when to refrigerate the bottles. The guys at the homebrew store said leave them at room temperature for 3-5 bottles, then chill and they should immediately be drinkable, but now I don't know what to believe.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Chad Tries... Chile-Infused Chocolate

You know I have a sweet tooth and tend to love chocolate-flavored anything. But you also know I enjoy spicy things too, so why not combine my two food fascinations? Thankfully such products already exist: chile-infused chocolate.

In this episode I try two such chocolates I found at the local supermarket. There are plenty more out there but I just wanted to try these to see what they're like. Also, because I'm going to be brewing a beer that may be along the lines of these candies.

Check out this blog on chile-infused chocolate. My next homebrew is going to (hopefully) be the beer equivalent of these! http://cocoa-heaven.com/chocolate-chili-bar-taste-off/