Thursday, April 24, 2008

Thursdays at Schaeffer Farm

Did the first semi-regular Thursday at Schaeffer Farm ride today, didn't end up going out with a group but ran into several while out and about.

Great riding day, did 14.6 miles, though my garmin is getting really flakey now about powering off. Almost not worried about uploading new data, really only curious about my calories/HR.

Went to DFH with a few regulars afterwards and enjoyed a 75 and burger, AWESOME!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Impreza Black Porter

Okay, I FINALLY re-racked the porter from the primary to the secondary fermenter. Phew! I took the FG reading before hand and got a reading of 1.012 that I adjusted for temperature to 1.011. That gave a rough conversion of 1.049 - 1.011 = 4.8% Alcohol. The yeast were uber done, I only wish I could collect them for reuse, but I don't have a clue how while using glass carboys, maybe an advantage of bucket primaries.

The Hefe is phenominal, I had a 12 oz today while working on stuff around the house and this time I gave it a good swirl, and the yeast really jumped forward this time, vs non-swirl previous tries. Still tastes great, but it's a bit darker in the pint glass than I realized. The head/carbonation is great. The banana came up a bit with the yeast, but not badly.

I took in 10 bottles for guys at work to give it a try. Curious to see what the beer drinkers vs non-beer drinkers think. Gotta take notes tomorrow.

Hell's Kitchen is brutal this year and so far I don't see any uber strong competitors yet. A few potentials but no real masters. Oh well. I think too many real chef's just don't want the hastle of trying on there. And I can't blame them.

Gonna hit Schaeffer Farm tommorow after work if all goes well. Which it should! I'm stoked! Off to fill my bladder infact.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Beer West

While on my westward trip I got to try several good/great beers:

New Belgian Brewery's Wheat - Dunno the name but it was pretty tasty, but light for a wheat, a nice smooth beer that we enjoyed in the aeroport.

Alice's Hefeweizen - Nice but perhaps the most banana flavored hefe I've ever had. I kept expecting a banana slice in the bottom!

Faultline Brewery - We hit here with some friends on Thursday! Awesome brewery. I had a great hefe, then a cask conditioned Pale ale that was outstanding. I also enjoyed a few sips of my wife's Dunkel weizen. The Kolsch was reported to be good too, from an admitted non-beer drinker. The food was kinda lame, but I know their burgers are good.

Hiked Windy Hill OSP in Woodside and hit alice's on the way back, great food and beer!

Also did a run out on the steven's creek trail and that was nice.

DAMN RAIN WON'T END! It's raining again today and supposed to tommorow, so right now that means the earliest ride I can hit will probably be thursday! wahhhh!

Took a big bottle of Altima Hefeweizen over to the inlaws for tasting at passover and everyone who tried it seemed very impressed and I can only think it's improved a bit in the last 2 weeks again, now with a month in the bottle! Should be racking the porter tonight, more on that later!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Death and Taxes

Well due to stuff at work today I finally got my car tagged. Way over due, also got a spiffy new MD license too! Yah!

After that it was like noon and way too late to make it worth while to go to work. So I went to Schaeffer and Road like the wind! A nice yellow loop out and back skipping 1 of the more annoying parts but doing 1 section out and back that I don't always due, almost 8 miles and change I think at an 8.6 pace according to my cyclcomp. My damn garmin keeps dieing at the start of rides lately. Though it was fine at wakefield later. While out doing the white loop and whoopdies, on my 2nd pass of the whoops while making a nice corner I had an epic fail, the bead came off one side of my front tire and i had no pump. A while later a friendly fellow let my try his...No dice. Too weak. Damn I gotta find a GOOD pump for that, as the UST's are a REAL biatch! Gotta pay more attention to the air pressure I guess.

Back home and got more water and fixed the wheel.

Back out to Wakefield. Rode a nice lap by myself then met with the group and did a nice lap of accotink! Nice I'd never been there before, some more climbing than regular wakefield I think...More on review...:) Yah definitely some bigger climbs!

MD TAX SUCKS! WTF is up with this LOCAL INCOME TAX CRAP! And my payroll didn't withhold for it, gotta go see them after this trip. We took a miserable beatign this year. It sucks ASS!

Monday, April 07, 2008

DNK Brewery Notes

Impreza Black Robust Porter -

Ingrediants -
6.6 Lbs Muntons Amber Malt (LME)
8 Oz Crushed Crystal Malt (60L)
4 Oz Crushed Chocolate Malt
4 Oz Crushed Black Patent Malt
1 Oz Cluster Bittering Hops 7.9% Alpha Acid
1/2 Oz Willamette Finishing Hops 4.2% Alpha Acid
2 Gals Distilled Water - Boil -
2 Gals Distilled in Fermenter
1.7 Gals Spring Water in Fermenter (1 to begin, .7 to bring up to 5 gallons total)
11 Grams Yeast - Nottingham Brewing Yeast

Sanitizing -
3 Gals of Water, 3 Table Spoons of No Rinse Sanitizer
Rinse Brewed Pot with 1 Gallon Boil.
Fermenter - 3 gals water, 1 and change caps Iodophor for 20 mins, then dripped dry.

Preboiled water before steeping grains at 170'ish for 20 minutes. Temp may have been higher. Thermometer reads different at mount vs center of pot. Swished water around with spoon while trying to minimize disturbance of malt bag. Let bag drip without squeezing/etc. brought Wort back up to boil and added 2 cans of Amber Malt. Added hops and boiled for 55 Mins, added chiller with 10 minutes left. Added aroma hops with 5 mins left. At end of boil used chiller for 3-4 minutes to bring wort temp to about 80 degrees. Next time I will stop a bit higher unless my water in the fermenter is warmer as it was about 62 degrees. Set the pot up on my worktable in the basement, and put the fermenter below and the big funnel in. I still need a bigger one, the trub required I clean it out 5 times I think. Or a better way to get the siphon to not pick up the damn trub. Between a bit of line cleaner, gravity reading and trub/etc I lost about 3.5 cups after brewing. Lost about half a gallon I figure to evap during brewing. Sprinkled in the Yeast and gave it a good sloshing before corking and putting on the lock.

Original Gravity 1.049 (rated by recipe 1.050 to 1.055)

Good fermentation going by the next night and it's going strong now. Nice almost 2 inches of foam.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

DNK Brewery in Action

Tonight, DoesnotKnow Brewery fired back up with it's latest creation. But first an important news bulletin:

Beer Updates:
DNK Brewery - Golden Altima Hefeweizen - First Bottle Opened - The first bottle of DNK's first brewing was popped tonight at about 5:45 PM in preperation for tonights brew project. Golden Altima is based on Brewers Best Hefeweizen Kit. With a modification of using SafBrew WB-06 Yeast. Notes on it.
Appearance - A bit dark for a Wheat, but a nice yellow color none the less.
Smell - A bit of banana, a bit of nutiness, and a nice yeastiness after it warmed a bit.
Taste - Banana and Clove at first, but then as it opened up the yeast flavor picked up a bit. Finished super smooth with a very nice level of hopiness so the sweetness at the front didn't over whelm you and make you only want 1.
Body - Nice got a finger and a half, after the pour the glass showed nice carbonation for a while even on the sides. Smooth drinking, not overly alcoholic on smell or taste.
Drinkability - I could certainly pound a couple of these or enjoy one of the big 22 oz'rs I've got waiting. Another few weeks in the bottle will only improve this beer I think.

New Brew - Brewers Best Imperial Stout.
Boiled 2 gallons of distilled water for the Wort/MiniMash
Let the temp fall to 160 Degrees and sunk in the Malt Bag of Sugar, Chocolate and Patent Malt. 20 Mins and let drip out. Kicked the burn back up and brought it up to a boil. Added 2 Tins of Muntons Amber LME, added 1 oz of hops. Boiled for about 55 -60 mins and added the aroma hops. 5 Minutes later fired up the submersion chiller and cooled the wort off. Inside it goes. Cleaned the Primary Fermenter Carboy with Iodophor this time. 1 cap in 2.5 gals of hot water and let drip dry upside down. 2 Gallons of Distilled and 1 spring added to fermenter then racked. By the end of racking I'd lost about 3 cups to trub, and drip loss and flushing the lines of the siphon a bit. Then had to add about 3 quarts of water to the carboy to bring it up to a full 5 gallons due to evaporation loss and the trub/etc. Specific gravity was measured at 68 degrees at 1.050, right on the bottom line of what it should have read out of 1.055. Set in the stopper, added the ferment-lock and wrapped it in the ski-jacket to keep it at a nice toasty 68'ish degrees and to protect it from the light.

The process went a LOT simpler this time and prep and cleanup was much better. Tomorrow I just have to really finish drying everything. I cleaned up all the gear, and sanitized the major stoff for storage. To speed up the process a 2nd person would be a huge help. The trub blocks my funnels filter a bit and my attempt to pre-filter didn't cut it as the mesh on the strainer was still to big for most of the trub. Not bad, 4 hours or so fully start to finish. In the future I bet I can ram it down to 3 or maybe even 2.5 with a bit of help.

Full Notes to come tommorow. I'm pooped.

Friday, April 04, 2008


Nope, not a typo in the title. It's just a statement of fact. More than most other places in the area, fountain head kicks my ass. The climbs beat me up, often take 2 tries to clear, but I did make it up 3 hills I only pushed up last time.

I did nearly go over the bars coming down shock-a-billy, but instead I opted to run into the highside wall/edge and ended up just scratching my arm, and I knocked a bolt out of my front shifter. I went back and re-sessioned the first loop and did it much better on my 2nd try interms of climbing and such.

Gonna have to try and get out there every other week this spring/summer till I can ride it in a solid hour and maybe a bit of change.

Next week I'm hoping to get out to Rosaryville and ride with the Rosaryvillans.

Also gonna try and hit schaeffer and maybe black hills again next week.