Archive for September, 2007

Scotch Ale (No Comments)

Tonight we tasted the scotch ale which is one of several beers in the ‘Beer and Boos’ lineup. We went traditional on this one putting heather tips and peat smoked malt in it. Chris thinks we went a little heavy on the smoked malt. I had to look for the smoke flavor. The problem– both of us have colds so our noses and tastebuds may not be working properly. I have to say that the beer is by no means a failure, while at the moment I suspect we will change the recipe before the next batch, I also suspect that this is going to be a pretty awesome beer. And it is one of the first scotch ales I have had in awhile where I felt like it truly tasted like a scotch ale (rather than a misslabeled scottish). 

For the curious, the other beers in the ‘Beer and Boos’ lineup are a Double Chocolate and Coffee Stout, Beerio, A strong IPA, and whatever we have left over in the beer cellar. mmm.

By the way anyone have any naming suggestions?


Old Chub Lip Balm (No Comments)

 Enough of bubblegum, fruit punch, peppermint, etc! Williams Brewing has started selling scottish ale flavored lip balm (with spf). I dont know about you guys but I would totally kiss that.


Spent Grain Bread (No Comments)

One of the most logical bi-products of brewing (other than perhaps becoming a beer snob or developing a beer gut) is making spent grain bread. I have been working on my recipe for several months, but this last one is the best ever. I put spent grain in the sponge and leave it out overnight. Then I make the rest of the dough, add a bit more spent grain, some yeast, a lot of salt (the grain seems to suck it up), and a few tablespoons of a nice strong honey. It is awesome!

There was really only one problem. I am horrible at shaping bread. I have the football shaped loaf with the slit down the middle down, but anything else I try goes wrong. I tried to make a rustic shape where you flatten half of the loaf and fold it over the other half. This rose making the loaf look like a butt. When it was cut, it had one hollow cheek. This time I tried to make boules (round loaves) and did one with a box cut and one with an X. The X had random bumps everywhere and was really not round. The box cut turned into a blob with a small square oasis in the middle. Still at least the flavor was there. I took it to my niece’s birthday party where kids and adults alike loved the bread. Many of them said they thought it was from a professional bakery, although with my issues with loaf shaping I doubt this was truly the case. Perhaps I should start a bakery called misshapen loaves but then again folks would probably come to it for things other than bread.

I am making a few new loaves for home and am thinking about trying to create a recipe for spent grain pretzels!


Running Late (No Comments)

Well, I finally ordered the ingredients for my Halloween brews. I’m getting to them a little later than I had originally planned, but I should be able to complete them all in time for the party on October 27th.

This year we will be making a Chocolate Stout, a Scotch Ale, an Strong IPA and our signature Beerios. We’ve decided not to do a Pumpkin Ale this year, because even though it is well received at the parties, it doesn’t go very quickly. There will be a few other beers left from earlier in the summer, but we’ve managed to go through a lot of beer this year so they won’t last through the party.

We may have a ‘Special Reserve’ tasting this year as well. We’d like to drink up some of our very old stock. I have saved a bottle or two from most of the batches of the last 18 months so that I could taste them side by side and take some notes. Obviously some of these may not be good anymore, but I feel it is worth the gamble to compare my various batches. I’ll post details later, most likely we will invite those who are interested to arrive a little early to taste these beer.

– Chris

Sprecher Brewing Company (2 Comments)

We had a wonderful Labor Day Weekend in Wisconsin with Cindy’s Parents and some of my oldest and dearest friends. One of them is getting married next month and this was his chance to forget all of his worries for a little while. Anyhow, we visited the Sprecher Brewing Company, and although I have had plenty of their beer in the past, this was the first time I had been to their facility. I was impressed. They aren’t as big as the Great Lake Brewing Company, but they make a number of wonderful beers, primarily European Styles, and produce some of the best root beer in the land.

In addition, I sampled a couple of the other local brews that I think are particularly good. I recommend trying the Spotted Cow from New Glarus Brewing Company and the Oktoberfest from Capital Brewery was also very good. The spotted cow is a good example of a Farmhouse Ale and goes own nice and easy in the summer months. Finally, I can’t let a Winsconsin beer post go by without mentioning Leinenkugel. They are a larger brewery, now owned by Miller, but I generally recommend their Creamy Dark Ale.

– Chris