Building Water and Brewing Goodness!

Hello my brewing buddies!

Following up on last post, all of my contest entries for the 11/2 Nevada State Homebrew Championship are brewed and in various stages of fermentation, dry hopping, carbonating, etc.

The Mr. Bubbles Imperial Stout finished out at 1.029, so it’s sitting at 7.75% and very rich and roasty. I’m on the fence about trying to dry it out more. The Polaris flameout addition is also really shining through. Big ice candy & mint when you’re expecting roast in the aroma is both fun and a little weird.

I dry hopped both sides of the King Kong Ain’t Got Ish On Me Belgian IPA with Mosaic & Pacifica. It’s pretty easy to tell which side is WLP 400 & which is 410, as true to White Lab’s description, Wit II is better at flocculating. It appears I was out of hop bags when I brewed this one, as there is quite a bit of hop matter along for the ride. Here they are:

king kong wipas

I also dry hopped Fuzzy Bunny Slippers IPA today with Citra, Galaxy, & Kohatu. I forgot my Nelson & Mosaic at Clyde’s place so those might be a part of the second dry hop addition. With Jamil’s talk of double dry hopping being more effective and my remembrance of early experiences with it myself, I’m heading that way with all of my IPAs. Here are my brewing brothers Clyde & Mike. (Clyde was doing a Belgian Pale on Wyeast 3711 French Saison and I was doing an Oatmeal Belgian Blond on a blend of French Saison and WLP 500 AKA Chimay yeast):

clyde and mike

Other than all those fun things, I keep heading further down the water building rabbit hole. I’m now using Gypsum, Calcium Chloride, Epsom Salt, Canning Salt, Pickling Lime, Lactic Acid, & Chalk in various amounts depending on what profile I’m looking for.

For 3 of my latest Belgian brews I’ve shot for Chimay’s (unboiled) water profile. My Smoked Dubbel, Berliner Weiss, & Belgian Oatmeal Blond are all on “Chimay water”. I’ve found that often in order to hit the ideal mash pH I need to wait until the kettle to add some of the salts, especially the Pickling Lime.

11/6/13 EDIT: I’ve since found out you SHOULD NOT add anything that raises pH, like Pickling Lime, to the kettle. If your mash pH is good all should be relatively well.

I think it’s interesting to note that the Chimay brewery is drawing off of a well within the monastery walls, so obviously profiles you find like this one in Bru N Water shouldn’t be viewed as gospel. Especially since the brewer could be boiling the water or treating it in other ways before using it. However, Bru N Water’s Chimay profile matches that which is given in Brew Like A Monk and Bru N Water also provides the profile for boiled Chimay water. Here’s a Belgian water chart from Brew Like A Monk:

belgian water profiles

Regardless, I’ve gone with the Chimay water for its relatively low mineral content, its balanced Sulfate to Chloride ratio, and because I very much enjoy their beers. I’m drinking their dubbel, the Chimay Red, right now and the finish is very pleasant. Not too dry and not overly rounded and malty.

Other good resources for building water I’ve found are all the water profiles at Brewer’s Friend, this Homebrewtalk thread, & this Brewing Waters Of The World page.

In other news, because my homebrewing was taking over the house again, I’ve been given my own room:

brew room 1

brew room 2

My trusty Assistant Brewer Kitty is not quite sure what to make of losing her room to homebrewing, but she’s shown great ability to adapt over the years.

Here are my friends U Bottle It U Hop It IPA, Wag The Dog English Brown, & Berliner Weiss all having a good time together (before their strenuous move to their new room):

u hop it brown and berliner

Ok, brew on my friends! I’m going to relax and have another beer.

Brewing Contest Entries

Hi friends!

In my last update I laid down the gauntlet for myself and decided I was going to max out my entries for the Nevada State Homebrew Championship. Nevermind the fact that most of the beers weren’t brewed.

True to my word I’ve brewed 4 times since the last update and will brew at least 2 more beers this week. Here’s the NV Championship rundown:

1. Purring Kitten Session IPA – Because I wanted to use the 2 three gallon carboys this batch was in and I’d heard Jamil discussing the surface area benefits of double dry hopping, I transferred both the WLP 002 & 006 sides to kegs and added Mosaic & Citra hops (as well as Biofine). The Kitten will be a slightly different animal than last time with the higher gravity & added hopping. I didn’t taste the beer but both sides smelled like hops were making sweet love to my whole olfactory situation.

2. Helles Too Good For You is still lagering away happily. Color looks good. For some reason I have total confidence in the 4 different lager yeasts I blended for it. I transferred the previous Helles batch that was on Big Dog’s Imperial Pilsner WLP 830 yeast and it tasted nice. Fairly dry and a touch bitter but good malt aroma.

3. King Kong Ain’t Got Ish On Me Belgian IPA – Both sides (WLP 400 & 410) cranked along pretty well. This was my 2nd experience with 410 aka Belgian Wit II. My first experience involved some open fermenting and a near cat fatality. Despite leaving a solid amount of head space, this second experience was quite similar. I awoke to a big yeasty mess. The cat escaped unscathed but the airlock on the left launched out of the carboy on the far right:

airlock launch

It took me a moment to realize just how serious things had gotten:

yeast on ceiling

Those spots are yeast and hops on the ceiling. We have very high ceilings. It’s probably at least 15 feet high at that point. I figured running the Wit II at a fairly well-controlled 67-69 with ample head space would take care of things. No need for a blowoff tube. Man was I wrong. If you ever want to murder someone by fermentation, fire up some well placed Wit II fermenters and give it a day.

Regardless, I have high hopes that the Belgian IPA on the WLP 400 Belgian Wit will be delicious.

4. It’s A Celebration Bitches! Smoked Dubbel – The brewday didn’t go too badly. The Briess Cherrywood Smoked malt smelled like gorgeous hickory smoked bacon, so I think it should play well with the Dubbel flavors. The one problem I did have was that it was 11pm and I ran out of propane just as my boil started. Sane people would go to a local store for more. I decided to fire it up in 4 pots on my stove:

no propane no problem

Figuring out the hopping was a little goofy, but luckily I only needed to hit it with 1oz EKG. My volume and gravity ended up pretty money and the wort smelled and tasted great, so we’ll see what the split of WLP 530 Abbey Ale & WLP 575 Belgian Style Blend can do with it. I chose those 2 because the 530 will be more dry and spicy and the 575 should be a little more ‘general Belgian’. It’s hard to know which side I should put my money on for coming out the best.

5. Kohatu For Dummies Pale Ale – I brewed this beer today and I think it has real promise. The Kohatu is 6.8 AA and not super over the top but it definitely has some intriguing pine & tropical notes. It’ll be fun to see all 50 IBUs of it shine on a pretty stripped down pale ale base. Unfortunately WLP 001 California Ale has been in high demand at U Bottle It lately, so I went with the 2 vials of WLP 006 Bedford British I was saving for a potential session IPA re-brew. I figured that if it worked for Purring Kitten, it’d work in the hoppy pale.

6. Wag The Dog Northern English Brown – This beer has still not been brewed. I’ll be brewing it tomorrow after work on either WLP 005, 006, or 041 depending on availability and if I’m in the mood to split it and acquire more 3 gallon carboys.

7a. Fuzzy Bunny Slippers IPA – The plan was to enter this hop-riffic homage to homebrewing and being able to get such coveted hops. I Burtonized the water so it’ll be interesting to see how hard a hop bomb hits with extreme IPA water (using 27 grams of gypsum) and 104 IBU of lupulin goodness. Here’s Fuzzy running into the kettle & first wort hopping:

citra fwh

Funny enough, I got up at 6am and brewed this beer (and obviously first wort hopped) and on my way to work in the afternoon I listened to Jamil’s latest style show on Double IPA. It turns out Jamil makes very solid points on why he thinks the practice is total BS and I have been converted. No more first wort hopping for me unless it’s a big Double IPA where I’m cramming hops everywhere I can.

7b. U Hop It IPA – I told my buddy Gary at U Bottle It that I’d put 7 entries in the contest and he said I should brew U Bottle It’s U Hop It IPA kit and enter that. Mind you I designed the recipe and have quite a bit of faith in the power of Simcoe, Columbus, Falconer’s Flight & Chinook. The problem with this plan is you can only enter 1 beer per subcategory, so 14B American IPA just became off limits to Fuzzy Bunny Slippers. All in all, I’m excited to put my U Bottle It mini-mash IPA recipe in the competition and see how it stacks up. Plus this will be the first time in 3 or 4 years that I’ll get to brew a mini-mash beer. Also, I’ll be using all RO water as usual but I’ll be building my water to the Vegas water profile which lends itself well to pales and IPAs with its friendly Sulfate to Chloride ratio. Here’s the kit on the shelves (next to Hop Delivery DIPA that I also made):

U Hop It Kit

Anyway, I’ll give detailed recipes and notes on anything that wins or scores well. Also, there’s another contest coming up through SNAFU that I already have 7 entries in. The SNAFU competition will consist of 2 categories: Best ‘big’ beer (OG over 1.060) and best use of hops. I’ll be sure to share more details as things develop. I’m planning on trying to uncap, re-yeast & prime a few bottles of both my Throw Up The Dub Dubbel & Agnostic Tripel. Both beers are about 15 months old and taste quite nice, other than their continuing lack of carbonation.

Other than all these competition beers, I’ve been scheming up a Nelson Sauvin hopped Oatmeal Belgian Blonde which I might brew at Clyde’s on Sunday. I’ll either do that on Wyeast 3711 French Saison or White Labs 500. I also need to brew a Berliner Weiss sooner rather than later because I want it in my kegerator and I need to perfect a recipe for my wedding in March!

Alright friends! I’m tired from early brewing so I’m headed to bed. Be well and prosper!

Nevada State Homebrew Championship!

Hello heroes!

I just registered the maximum of 7 entries for the upcoming Nevada State Homebrew Championship so that I can represent my club, SNAFU, to the fullest! The bad news is only 2 of the beers are brewed so far and everything is due in Reno by October 19th. My entries as of now are:

1. Purring Kitten Session IPA – 23 Specialty Beer – Both sides of the split batch have been on dry hops for 5 days now. My only concern is freshness once the contest is judged on November 2nd. I might try to re-brew this a couple weeks before the entry deadline.

2. Helles Too Good For You – 1D Munich Helles – My third batch of Helles should come out well. We’re just finishing up a 4 day diacetyl rest and lagering started today.

3. King Kong Ain’t Got Ish On Me Belgian IPA – 16E Belgian Specialty – My IPA with Mosaic & Pacifica hops on WLP 400 Belgian Wit yeast (inspired by a Big Dog’s cask I did) will refuse to be humble or humbled.

4. It’s A Celebration Bitches! Smoked Dubbel – 22B Other Smoked Beer – I’m using the Briess Cherry wood smoked malt and plenty of Aromatic malt for this adventure. Depending on carboy availability I might split it on 2 different yeasts. Chimay yeast AKA WLP 500 is back ordered, so I’m currently looking at WLP 575 as my first pick and WLP 530 as my second.

5. Kohatu For Dummies Pale Ale – 10A American Pale Ale – A single-hopped pale ale with this new New Zealand hop variety. Kohatu is said to give off pine and big tropical fruit, so we’ll see how it turns out.

6. Wag The Dog – 11C Northern English Brown – Inspired by Big Dog’s award-winning Red Hydrant, but using Maris Otter base malt and WLP 006 Bedford British yeast.

7. Fuzzy Bunny Slippers IPA – 14B American IPA – A wonderful mix of Simcoe, Chinook, Galaxy, Nelson Sauvin, Mosaic & Citra. I can’t see how it won’t be the bee’s knees.

So as you can see I have an ambitious brewing schedule ahead of me and I’ll be entering beers in 7 different categories, 4 of which I have yet to win an award in. I still have beers like a Berliner Weiss & a re-brew of 100% Brett IPA on the schedule, but I could only get quick turn around beers into the contest.

Also, I’ll soon be brewing this mini-mash gem:

grantsaisonkit

I’d love to get a contest going to see who could brew the best version of this kit. Shoot me a message or drop by the store to get this party started.

Also, I want to give a shout out to the Austin, Texas craft beer scene as a whole but especially to Jester King, Real Ale’s Scots Gone Wild Sour Scotch Ale, Live Oak’s Rauchlager, and the all TX beer-featuring Craft Pride on Rainey Street. I recently got to spend a week back in Austin and I will definitely miss all of the above.

Here’s my crew having a gay old time at Jester King (the release of Atrial Rubicite certainly helped):

jesterkingfun

Alright, this hero is out. I’ll probably be brewing the IPA and Belgian IPA in the next couple days just to get going on all these entries.

Be well and prosper y’all!

Working @UBottleIt and Brewing Like Crazy!

Hello friends!

I’m sure some of you are aware that I just worked my first week at my favorite homebrew store in the world, U Bottle It! I can’t tell you how happy I am to work with Gary and Heather every day. Not to mention the warm and fuzzy feeling it gives me to hook you fine folks of Las Vegas up with your winemaking & homebrewing needs.

Five gallon partial mash kits (designed and assembled by yours truly) for an Oktoberfest as well as a Pumpkin Spice Ale are now available on the shelves and hopefully I’ll get our Holiday Ale & ‘Grant’s Saison’ kits finished up tomorrow.

I’ve never taken much notice of any dry yeasts, but Lallemand’s Belle Saison looks quite interesting and I’ll definitely fire it up on the ‘Grant’s Saison’ kit in the coming weeks.

Above all else though, I really want to express my gratitude towards Gary & Heather at U Bottle It for welcoming me with open arms and wish my good friend Tom Harwood the best of luck in his new position as Assistant Brewer at Big Dog’s. I look forward to drinking a Big Dog’s Rye IPA very soon. 😉

The beauty of working at a homebrew store is that I’m getting a great opportunity to live and breathe homebrewing again. In the last month I’ve brewed 3 Helles lagers, a Russian Imperial Stout, & my Purring Kitten Session IPA. You’d think a beer that did as well as Purring Kitten would’ve been on the agenda sooner, but I was waiting for the seasonal WLP006 Bedford yeast to be available again. And I’d been a little busy. Or something like that.

Anyway, I thought I’d share some info on my latest brews:

Helles 7/28

–          I used the recipe from Brewing Classic Styles.

–          Mashed around 150-151 with 75% RO & 25% Brita filtered & boiled Vegas city water. Sparge was all RO. Salts added were 7g CaCl, 4g Epsom salt, & 2mL lactic acid.

–          I used 1.3oz of German Hallertau for bittering to 19.2 IBU.

–          My gravity came in at 15 plato (1.061) and my efficiency was 88% so this bad boy could easily be  1% ABV or more above the style guidelines.

–          I also set the timer incorrectly on my phone for my first hop addition and ended up boiling considerably longer than 90 minutes. The result being that I think my color is a little too dark.

–          I brewed spur of the minute so didn’t have a starter of the WLP838 made up. Therefore (because Jamil says pitch big for lagers), I pitched 2 vials of WLP838, 1 of WLP833, & 1 of WLP830.

–          Finally, this was my first time using my freezer & Johnson controller in this temperature range so the first few days it was getting as low as 44 until I got it a little better dialed in. Now it floats at 49-54.

Helles 8/4

–          I used the same water profile, grain bill, and mash temp as the previous for comparability.

–          Of course this meant I was going to end up with another 15 plato beer if I got similar efficiency. Of course I got 88% again.

–          I bittered with 0.7oz of Motueka for 18.9 IBU because my Hallertau smelled a little passed its prime.

–          I pitched WLP830 that I took directly from the fermenter of Big Dog’s Pinscher Imperial Pilsner. I pitched a pretty healthy amount and could smell considerable hop aroma from Pinscher.

Helles 8/15

–          Knowing that I was getting pretty high efficiencies helped me to design this beer a little better. I got 85% efficiency and ended up with a 1.050 beer. This might actually be a real Helles!

–          I used 86.8% Pilsner, 7.9% Vienna, & 5.3% Munich and mashed at around 150.

–          The mash and sparge water were all RO and 8g CaCl, 7g Epsom salt, & 2mL lactic acid were added.

–          I hopped with 0.8oz German Opal for 18.1 IBU and threw in the remaining 0.2oz at 5 minutes.

–          Once again I was without starter so I put together a Franken-Lager blend of WLP802, WLP820, WLP833, & WLP862.

Here’s Helles 8/15 cranking away:

promising helles

Russian Imperial Stout 8/19

–          I did this as a ‘demo brew’ for my friends Sean & Andie last Monday and this was my first stout.

–          The grain bill was 77.1% Maris Otter, 8.6% Roasted Barley, 5.7% Special B, 3% Caramunich, 2.9% Pale Chocolate, & 2.8% Chocolate Malt.

–          I bittered with German Polaris for 63.7 IBUs, flavored with Meridian for 7 IBUs, & used 1.5oz Polaris at Flameout. I got such interesting minty ice candy flavors from Polaris the last time around, so I’m hoping those turn out well in a stout.

–          I mashed around 154 and built the water to resemble Dublin’s. The mash was 25% filtered Brita, 75% RO with 1.5g Gypsum, 0.5g Cacl, & 7g Chalk added.

–          I ended up pitching 3 aging vials of WLP090 San Diego Super & 2 vials of WLP001.

Purring Kitten Session IPA 8/23

–          I made a few changes on this re-brew. I was mashing at 151 but found out 15 minutes in that my probe thermometer was reading 3-4 degrees low. I heated to actual 151.

–          I kept the salt additions similar to the last go round but did a 90 minute boil instead of 60.

–          I used all RO and added 5.5g Gypsum, 3.5g CaCl, 8g Epsom salt, & 4g Chalk.

–          My grain bill was 64.7% 2row, 14.7% Goldpils Vienna, 5.9% Flaked Wheat, 5.2% C-40, 3.6% C-60, 2.9% Aromatic, & 2.9% Carapils.

–          My starting gravity was 1.048 versus 1.044 last time. I also spilt the batch on WLP006 Bedford (which I used last time) and WLP002 English Ale.

–          I substituted Chinook for Centennial in the recipe and upped my flameout additions.

–          I also found my probe thermometer untrustworthy with lower temps as my big bucket of water and fermentation was actually running 4-5 degrees cooler than I was being told. Therefore the Session IPAs started pretty low and the Russian Imperial Stout was fermented on the cool end of its desired range instead of the high end.

Here’s my magical bucket of water, frozen water bottles, & fermenting beers:

high tech fermentation

As per usual, it’ll be interesting to see how everything turns out. I should mention that I have been drinking my year old Farmhouse Oktoberfest (on WLP670 American Farmhouse) lately and it has some really interesting funky citrusy Brett notes to it. I can barely tell it ever started as a rich malty beer because now it drinks a little thin with a chewy almost ropey Brett finish.

I should also mention that hopes of heroicness have been revived! I went through the BJCP style guidelines today and picked a style from each of the 23 categories that I would like to brew. That set a lot of wheels in motion but the first recipe resulting from that exercise was a Smoked Dubbel for category 22B Smoked Beer as well as a 16E Belgian Specialty entry (possibly with some Brett B).

My other brews in the works are: a Berliner Weiss, a Belgian IPA using WLP400 Wit yeast and Mosaic & Pacifica hops (because the cask I did of dry hopped Wit at Big Dog’s smelled so awesome), a re-brew of my Sink Spoon Brett Rye IPA (that I will send bottles of to Joseph), & my French Bulldog Rye IPA on Wyeast 3711 French Saison yeast. Just because I’m no longer with Big Dog’s doesn’t mean I can’t brew the beer I had on deck!

I know, I know. A lot of 16E Belgian Specialty and 23 Specialty. I’m making weird stuff as per usual. My general tastes in beer and desire to innovate will probably mean I re-punch those categories award-wise a fair amount (hopefully).

Finally, for anybody who has been doubting my assistant brewer’s work ethic and helpfulness, here’s a picture of her watering a plant while we were brewing:

watering plants

Alright, I’m off to hunt for more fermentation space on Craigslist. Be well and ferment clean my friends!

Helles Obsession Continued…

Hi heroes!

I know it seems like I only have the Munich Helles style on my brain lately, and to some extent that is true. I have 3 batches brewed up and fermenting and I already have the ingredients to make 2 more. Nevermind how I’m going to find the space for them all in this freezer.

helli

But there is hope for all you non-Helles fans. I’ll be re-brewing a few versions of my Purring Kitten Session IPA to (hopefully) have ready for a big competition in Reno on November 2nd. Also, I cleaned out all the old (non-Brett or sour) yeast vials from my refrigerator (and combined them with all the trash can-destined expired Wyeast smack packs I got from UBottleIt) and made a monster 5L starter.

franken starter

The blend has 15 different kinds of yeast and is 24 vials & packs total. 7 Belgian styles, 1 German, 5 American, & 2 British. I’d like to do a big weird Russian Imperial Stout or Barleywine and then add honeycomb sticks (from Black Swan) soaked in bourbon. I’ll have to see how the starter wort tastes before I waste time brewing a beer for it though. I’ll also have to use the bathtub or my ghetto (yet award-producing) swamp cooler-ish Walmart container to keep fermentation temps under control, as I doubt any of the 15 yeasts want to work with 49-54 degrees.

UPDATE: The Franken-starter wort tasted pretty meaty. I did not have confidence in its ability to do the job.

With all that said, I bought some Helles beers to drink and talk about! I can hear the applause now! Mind you all of these beers were purchased warm on well-lit shelves, so any impressions I have may not reflect how I’d feel about the beer in a fresher and more properly-treated state.

helles lineup

Weihenstephaner Original Premium90 on Beer Advocate – Very light color, light bready nose with little to no hop presence, very little hop bitterness, pleasant rounded finish with just a touch of malt character. Very easy drinker. If anything I almost want a little more out of it. But all in all a very nice beer.

Believe it or not, I don’t think I’ve ever had this beer. I love their Hef and I fell in love with this style a while back, but I guess ‘Original Premium’ never led this horse to Helles. Come to think of it, I only knew this was a Helles because I was looking for more examples of the style on Beer Advocate.

The ‘rounded’ malty finish on this that I so enjoy leads me to believe that ignoring the Munich water profile and going for a Chloride to Sulfate ratio that favors a more malty finish (according to John Palmer) could be the best approach. However, I likely will brew a basic Helles with ‘Munich water’ just to see if I can prove his point.

Paulaner Original Munich Premium Lager84 on Beer Advocate – Another very clear light golden beer, very similar nose to the previous with just a touch of baking bread, finish deviates a little as it is a touch drier with a little more hop character and perhaps a little oxidation.

It almost seems to have just a hint of banana or vanilla in the finish as well. This is another very enjoyable beer. I’d be happy as a clam if either of these first 2 beers were the keg pouring at a house party. I’m really impressed by how well these really light lagers hold up to age and less than ideal temperatures. It makes me want to go re-visit Germany sooner rather than later. Get the futon ready Mike ‘Basucher’ Werner!

Stiegl Goldbrau Premium Lager – 80 on Beer Advocate – So it would appear that Stiegl Leicht is actually their 3.3% Helles and I was lied to by a tiny placard at my local beer store. This is apparently a Marzen/Oktoberfest. It’s certainly darker than the first 2 beers, more carbonated, and has a little more pronounced toasty malt character. This is a prime example of why you have to be fairly beer savvy to even discover this style, let alone be able to reliably hunt it down. All in all, this is not a bad beer and pretty light for what I associate with an Oktoberfest. Unfortunately I don’t know the German word for ‘tweener’.

Mahr’s Hell89 on Beer Advocate – This is a beer I’ve very much enjoyed as an occasional treat lately as it is $6 for a Euro torpedo bottle. I get a touch of not quite skunk, but something a little off on the nose from this bottle. The flavor and finish are still nicely malty and rounded with hints of vanilla. This is another Helles that steers me toward brewing with minimum hop presence and a water profile that plays up the malt and rounds out the flavor.

On a side note, I’m glad I’m forcing myself to have all of these beers in one sitting as I’ve discovered I like Weihenstephaner better than Mahr’s. That means I can switch from $6 bottles to $9.50 six packs. Who says beer blogging doesn’t pay?

Moosbacher Lager81 on Beer Advocate – Possibly a shade darker than the others, nose is pretty light in all departments, pretty light finish with once again hints of malt and vanilla.

It seems to be lacking a little malt oomph in the finish that a couple others had. Although a blind taste test with a style this subtle would be pretty daunting. As I drink more of it I’d say find the cheapest Helles you like and stick with it. $9.50 for a Weihenstephaner sixer still leads.

Ballast Point Longfin Lager81 on Beer Advocate – Wow! My previous impressions of this beer have been that it had a touch too much hop character and finished a little dry for a Helles. This bottle I’m drinking seems pretty heavy in the DMS department. The BJCP guidelines describe aroma expectations as:  “Low to moderately-low spicy noble hop aroma, and a low background note of DMS (from Pils malt).” This is pretty big cooked corn in flavor and aroma. Not my favorite, but again this isn’t typical of the last 3 six packs I’ve had of this beer.

Hofbrau Original85 on Beer Advocate – Another very clear beer, might be a slight bit darker than some of the others or might be my weird lighting by my pc, well carbed, don’t get a ton in the nose (maybe a little malt & the tiniest bit of smoke) but the finish has a solid malt presence, water profile may be cause for a slightly less rounded finish than others, a little better hop presence in finish too. I find this beer perfectly enjoyable, but then again I’m a few Helli in.

Spaten Premium Lager83 on Beer Advocate – Not much skunk despite the green bottle, finish has a little more hop and not the same roundedness of some of my preferred brands, not quite as pleasant as a number of the others.

I’ve found I like my Helles malty without being under-attenuated or cloying and pretty absent in the hop department. Even trying to differentiate between these beers has given me a great appreciation for the difficulty level of brewing one well. I’m considering dry hopping a Helles, and while Citra is awesome with everything, I debate trying a noble hop or a new German hop like Opal or Saphir.

Finally, I want to say cheers to my friends at Tenaya Creek Brewing Co. I’m pictured here drinking a growler of their Local 702 Pale Ale. Genius marketing and a very good beer. Party on my brewing brethren!

tenaya 702

Moving On From @BigDogsBrewing!

Hello fellow heroes!

The big news of the day is that as of last Friday afternoon, I am no longer with Big Dog’s Brewing Company. I wish my former employer all the best and look forward to collaborating with them in the future. I plan to stay heavily involved in the local beer scene so stay tuned for what I get into next!

I will certainly miss taking pictures like these:

saison

thirsty dog

I also want to extend my gratitude to Kurt Wiesner, Sergio Meza, Nick Tribulato, Dave Otto, my buddy Sam & the entire Big Dog’s Draft House staff. It was a fun 8 months where I learned a lot and I will forever be grateful for the opportunity.

The especially good news from all of this is not only that I’m quite confident in many of my brewery-related skills now, but that I can start trying to win homebrew awards again! I also look forward to getting more involved with my homebrewing brothers and sisters at SNAFU again!

I’ll be brewing 3 more Helles recipes over the next week or so and that will bring my total Helles count to 5. I might have to lager a couple of them in kegs just to get everything to fit in my freezer. I’ll be playing around and testing the limits of the style to a certain extent (I think). I’m doing one with only Pilsner malt & Honey malt and another with half a pound of rye. I’ll also try small bittering additions with hops like Citra & Galaxy (instead of the usual German hops) to see what effects that might have. I doubt they’ll all come out competition-worthy, but they’ll certainly be nice to have on my kegerator!

Alright, I’m off to get my kettle and a couple carboys cleaned up! Be well my brewing brothers and sisters!

Munich Helles Is The Mission

Hi all!

First, big thanks to everyone that came out and survived the downpour(s) at Summerfest on Saturday. We raised the bar again for best day in Draft House history, so needless to say I’m excited to try and help kill it again for Dogtoberfest.

Anyway, on Thursday I’m hoping to brew a Helles here at home. It will be both my first brew in the new place & the first lager I’ve ever brewed. I’m shooting for brewing 3 or 4 different recipes in the next couple weeks, but we’ll see what brewing life brings my way.

Assuming any of them turn out good I’ll either have a few of my certified judge friends grade them, ship them off to contests all over the country, or both. Mostly I’ll drink them.

Before I go any further I do want to acknowledge that my interest in this style was almost exclusively kindled by my good friend & brewer at Joseph James, Weston Barkley. If he weren’t a pro brewer himself I’d be tempted to stage a fake Big Dog’s Pro-Am contest just to be able to brew his Helles recipe on a large scale. And drink it on a healthy scale too. I’ve reached out to him to see if he has any interest in sharing the recipe for you fine folks.

Assuming Weston won’t come to your house and brew a Helles for you, I’ve found Mahr’s Hell to be a pretty nice (albeit not cheap) replacement.

The first book I look to whenever I want to brew a new style is Brewing Classic Styles. The second is usually Designing Great Beers. I strongly urge you to buy both books as they are very useful references and they support very worthwhile people. I’ll post a few relevant pages of both and hopefully my favorite brewcasters and my Cicerone Godfather don’t get too upset.

Here’s Jamil & John Palmer’s Helles recipe. I’ll likely brew it as is first to have a baseline:

bcs_helles

Here are Ray Daniels thoughts on the style, a couple loose recipes, & a Munich water profile:

daniels_recipes

daniels_chart

daniels_munichwater

Daniels seems to have taken a little more hop forward approach, which is something I’ll steer clear of to start with. If anything I’ll keep the bittering charge around 18 IBU & do a whirlpool or dry hop addition of something fun & fruity. Motueka comes to mind. The other thing that stands out to me is the Munich water profile that Daniels shares. A 2:1 Sulfate:Chloride ratio should make for a more dry & bitter tasting beer if anything Jamil & Palmer have taught me is true.

In one of their water shows around the 27 minute mark they discuss water profiles for Czech pils, German pils, Helles & Dortmunder Export. Helles is discussed specifically at the 33 minute mark. My notes from listening say:

Munich Helles – Med mineral content water, 50-70ppm Ca levels, now you want Chloride to dominate more than Sulfate, softer less bitter, build Ca level with more CaCl. 

Palmer isn’t very specific about what ratio should be shot for so I’ll probably shoot for 1.5 times more Chlorides than Sulfates. I’ll also use RO water directly from Big Dog’s so that whatever water profile I end up with is as close as possible to doing a 15bbl batch. I’ll likely also sparge with RO as a scientific-minded buddy of mine thinks that is the way to go. Any mineral additions meant for post-mash will go into the ‘kettle’.

It is at this juncture that I wish I were the R&D brewer for some place like White Labs or New Belgium. I’d love to try the same recipe with a ton of different yeasts, water profiles, fermentation temps, etc. We’ll see what I can get my bad self into. My freezer will only fit 3 or 4 carboys at time. It’s a hard knock life.

As I said, the first recipe I brew will be Jamil & Palmer’s:

90.9% Pilsner, 6.8% Munich, 2.3% Melanoidin. (Single infusion mash at 150 as a protein rest & various step mashing procedures would be difficult to pull off at Big Dog’s.)

Other notable grain bills are Ray Daniels’ (I’m assuming Ayinger Helles malt is close to Pilsner):

77% Pils, 10% Wheat, 10% Carapils, 3% Belgian Biscuit AND 80% Pils, 11% Carapils, 9% Munich

Daniels definitely seems to hop a touch more aggressively, as he addes 20 & 5 minute additions.

I also found a recipe on Homebrew Talk that looks interesting and the NHC site has recipes for Gold medal winning Helles recipes from ’07, ’11, & ’12.

Also, I re-listened to a little bit of the old Brewing Network Jamil Show Helles episode where Jamil & Jon Plise started discussing the merits of protein rests, carafoam, etc. A very worthwhile listen if you’re crafting your own crack at the style.

Hopefully all the resources I’ve hunted down are pretty good for pointing not only myself, but anyone else interested in brewing this style in the right direction. I personally think the style has some potential openings for some good old Americanizing with dry hopping, but that’ll come in due course.

Finally, I’ll be going with Jamil’s recommended yeast strain WLP 838 Southern German Lager for the first brew. White Labs rates it perfect for the style.

I also have WLP 830 German Lager (which rates a 2 of 4 for Helles by White Labs) and WLP 833 German Bock Lager (which rates a 4). It’d be interesting to brew the same recipe on all 3 strains, although I doubt I’ll have that level of discipline.

Well, that’s all the Helles talk I have for now. I’ll report back when I’ve started cranking out brews!

I’ll leave you with a pic of my lady Rachel AKA Penguin and our good buddy Sarah doing some solid day drinking at the new Pizza Port location in Carlsbad (which is awesome by the way).

new pizza port

Be well brewing brothers and sisters!

Long Long Overdue Update

Hello again friends!

Big time apologies to everybody that was following along and has been left hanging for forever and a day. Time flies when you’re working in a brewery, doing festivals, attending local beer events, and trying to keep your sanity.

Beyond feeling bad about not updating at all, I feel especially bad that my award-winning goals have been hampered by my guilt with regards to entering homebrewing contests. Assuming I could continue racking up awards (an iffy assumption at best), I don’t like the idea of knocking a budding homebrewer’s entry down to 2nd, 3rd, Honorable Mention, etc. I’ve got my foot in the door and plenty of confidence (according to our Head Brewer Dave), so what do I have to prove in the homebrewing realm?

With that said, I do want to start homebrewing more regularly again. I’ve got my chest freezer back in action at the house and I’m itching to make a Helles, whether professionally or at the homebrew level. Well, it will be back in action once I bottle the 4 funky homebrews I have cold crashing in it.

Before I give updates on all the sour & Brett adventures I have going in my homebrewing, I do want to update everyone on Dog Gone Saison. The last couple kegs are just getting finished off (if they haven’t been already) at Velveteen Rabbit & Public House. Although we do have one 5 gallon keg of Limoncello-soaked soft maple wood aged Dog Gone. Who knows when that strange animal will make an appearance. While I am a big fan of a lot of the honeycomb products I’ve been playing around with from Black Swan Cooperage, the Limoncello may have been a bit ambitious.

Anyway, I’m excited to unveil the new Dog Gone Saison label! That’s right! Expect that bad boy in 22oz bombers sometime in the future! Don’t panic. It’s still going to be around 6.6% and not 9.1% as the sample label indicates.

Here are some unpaid celebrities who are also excited about Dog Gone:

Dave Otto – Big Dog’s Head Brewer

dave modeling

Sergio – Big Dog’s Director of Ops & Killer Chef:

sergio saison

Serg gets bonus points for wearing the Dog Gone shirt while presenting his Dog Gone goblet! Even if that was the one-off Citra dry hopped keg.

Mike Fischer – Brewery Volunteer, Beer Enthusiast, & General Good Guy:

mike modeling

In all seriousness though, I am contemplating some changes to Dog Gone for Version 2. If I have my way we’ll still use WLP560 Classic Saison Blend, reduce the flavor/15 minute addition of Liberty, filter/fine/long cold crash the beer this time, maintain the 6lb Citra whirlpool addition (or change it to a mix of Liberty, Citra, & Nelson), and possibly dry hop part if not all of the batch. I’m also thinking I may cut the 5.6% wheat and reduce the 2.6% honey malt in the grain bill. I know, I know. The beer was fairly successful, but I want it to be perfect. And perfect is it being the best Brett-free Saison I’ve ever had. Brett is still not yet welcome in the Big Dog’s brewery by the way. If we can’t get Liberty I may use NZ Motueka. Hell, this may be quite a different (but delicious) beer. 🙂

In other news, I did want to make sure to update all the open-ended homebrew donking around I have going on.

– The 9/15 Wit with WLP410 got hit with Brett B. It smells great but still has a pellice. That was the beer that blew the lid off its bucket and open-fermented in my living room for a night. I’m letting it continue to do its thing.

– The 6/28 Rufus Saison that was hit with a Brett B & Brett L mix is a touch thin with a good amount of horse blanket to it. I dry hopped it with 2oz Citra and plan to bottle it soon.

– The Galaxy Belgian IPA I brewed with a buddy from Australia and then later hit with Brett B was tasting and looking quite dark and oxidized. I added a vial of Flemish Ale Blend I had in the fridge just to amuse myself.

– The 6/14 Dubbel that I added all those sour & Brett dregs to over a year ago has a wonderful Jolly Pumpkin-esque nose to it. Flavor is a touch more subdued and has a hint of acetone. It’s currently cold crashing.

– The Lime Saison with limes still floating in it and Lambic Blend added 3/26 still tastes like Pinesol’s new lime flavor. I might hit it with some cherry puree just for the hell of it.

– The 3/30 13 Rye IPA (brewing pictured here with recipe borrowed & altered from my buddy Tom) with one vial Cal Ale & 2 vials Brett B Trois has some sweet maltyness, good tangy rotten pineapple & mango characteristics and recently got hit with a 6oz dry hop. Mosaic, Citra, Simcoe, & Galaxy. It’s crashing and should at least smell great.

– The 1/1 Ahtanum Saison wasn’t too bad. I just left it for too long. I dumped in a vial of Brett B.

– The 8/24 Hef that I dry hopped with Nelson and then soured on 12/3 smells great. The taste has some sweaty/meaty notes. I dry hopped it with 2oz of Citra and now it’s cold crashing.

– The 6/23 Brett C Tripel that tasted like Tijuana bathroom has been soured and has an interesting sour & burnt toast nose. The flavor is sickly sweet with a sour finish. I’ve been thinking plums might be a fun addition.

12/25 Dank Dog Saison was rather underwhelming. I don’t know if it was the quality of the Liberty & Columbus hops I had or the combo but it just wasn’t even close to what I wanted it to be. I had a few people say they liked it but there were just being nice.

The other fun thing I’ve been doing at Big Dog’s is making all the casks. The real ale/firkin/cask program has been going for a couple months now and it’s been a fun playground for me. I’ve loved getting to trying different creative firkins tapped at the Draft House every Thursday. Disaronno soaked oak on Black Lab Stout for an Embers beer pairing dinner, Dirty Dog IPA dry hopped with Citra for Khourys, and Wild Turkey American Honey soaked oak on El Perro Diablo (Belgian Golden Strong) for Firkin On Paradise’s Anniversary party this Friday 7/12 have been some of the highlights so far.

I also got a chance to make a special firkin for my 31st birthday party thanks to our generous owner Kurt Wiesner. It was Dirty Dog IPA aged on Yellow Birch wood and it was delicious.

The Birthday Cask all loaded up:

bday cask in car

Putting the soft spile in:

soft spiling

My good buddy Matt (the newest bartender at Viola’s Tavern & Gaming) tapping the cask:

matt tapping cask

And here is an outtake of good ole fashioned cask fun with my buddy Sarah:

casking with sarah

One of the most frequent questions I get asked at Big Dog’s is “What are you doing next? What’s in the works?” It just so happens I have a few things in mind. As I’ve mentioned, I very much want to make a Munich Helles. It’s a very wonderfully drinkable beer style that should work with 100+ degree temperatures and Helles and I have a thing going on lately. Besides that, I’m itching to use Wyeast 3711 French Saison on the professional level. It’s easily my favorite yeast and I think it could make both a wonderful light Lime Saison and an awesome Farmhouse IPA with Chinook & Nelson. The boys from Jester King have been kind enough to give me plenty of good advice and the next crack I get at the plate will likely use French Saison yeast.

At this time I would really like to reiterate how great the Jester King guys are. They’ve been excellent hosts the 4 times I’ve hung out at their brewery, they emailed me uber-quickly when I asked for technical advice on yeast, and they make killer beer. They deserve only good things.

Speaking of wonderful funky beer breweries, Prairie Ales has made some crazy good beers lately that have me running around promoting them to death and wearing their t-shirts. Both Prairie Hop & Prairie Ale (the first a Citra & Simcoe dry hopped saison and the second a saison with Brett & wine yeast) are awesome beers. They satisfy the creative homebrewing animal in you. They are brewing what you would if you loved saisons and fruity American/New Zealand hops. And they’re in Oklahoma. And expanding like crazy. I imagine their team to be a bunch of bearded guys that you could take out drinking for a week straight and not get tired of them. That’s how cool they are. I will proudly be wearing my Prairie Merica shirt in the brewery tomorrow. I’ve never had it, but I know it has a metric ton of Nelson in the dry hop. And you best believe that’s good enough for me. We’re still sitting on 44lbs of Nelson waiting to rock the party big time with Big Dog’s Double Down Under DIPA.

The big news in the next few weeks is that Big Dog’s Summerfest is coming up on 7/20! We’ll have a bunch of fun easy drinking beers, but we’ll also have off the charts beers like BFM XV Saison (from Switzerland), Ichtegems Grand Cru Flemish Red, Stone Enjoy By 8-2 IPA, & Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA (with Mosaic & Citra).

Not to mention all the great beers we’ll have from New Belgium Brewing. If all goes to plan we’ll have Prickly Pear Saison Aged in Peach Brandy Barrels, Cascara Quad, Feijoa Tripel, Pluot, Paardebloem, & Hop Kitchen Aramis IPA pouring at the festival. I’m very excited to try the Aramis IPA as the Aramis hop is a very intriguing lemony French hop new to the market.

I must also add that the New Belgium Beer Ranger for Las Vegas (formerly with Tenaya Creek), Karl Herrera, is one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met. If I had to pick one man that was responsible for the success I’ve achieved to this point in this town it would be Karl. It makes it that much easier to support a good friend when the brand he represents is making so many new and interesting beers.

While I’m thanking people in this town I also want to thank Guy Bartmess as he leaves Triple 7 and heads to Temecula, CA to help start Garage Brewing Co. Guy was one of the first people I approached in this town looking for a job and he was very open, honest, & knowledgeable. It was my interactions with Guy that kept me upbeat and hanging around for that one opportunity to come out of the blue.

Chuck Croix of Pints Brewpub in Laughlin also deserves big time credit for training me for a solid month. Training a newbie in a professional brewery is not easy and Chuck was great at it. Chuck is both making good beer and he’s a good guy. I hope anybody that gets a chance can go down and see him and try his beer. We’ll proudly be pouring his Pilsner at Summerfest on 7/20.

Finally, I want to thank Dave Otto. He hired me as a lowly homebrewer and wasn’t even aware of my Laughlin experience. Dave Otto welcomed me into the best and oldest brewery in Las Vegas and took great care of me. I must say it’s a pleasure everyday to work with such an accomplished brewer and get to see behind the scenes on things like the recipe for War Dog Imperial IPA. I only hope that someday I can take care of Dave the way he has taken care of me.

The brewery crew (I’m in the Jester King Funk Metal shirt):

brew_crew_022113

Well, that’s all I have for now. Be well and prosper fellow brewers!

All @BigDogsBrewing All The Time: Saison, Winterfest, Holier Than Cow

Hello again my people! When I last left you there was some doubt about whether or not the Dog Gone Saison (my first pro brew) would be ready for Big Dog’s Winterfest. The following picture would lead you to believe it was ready (if you’re a pro brewer and/or think in Plato):

saison getting low

But unfortunately in the WLP560 Saison world where the beer is still cranking along at 2 Plato, it was most certainly not going to be in medal-winning form for the big festival. I was at peace with this for 3 reasons.

First, I want to start strong out of the gate as far as balancing beer quality with the reality of dealing with a business environment. I want the community to know that if I have any say, my voice will be a reliable advocate for making the best beer possible over all other concerns. If I put my brand on the line, then I’m behind it fully. I can live with people not liking my beer, but I need to know I did everything I could.

Secondly, releasing the beer when it’s ready allows us to have a separate event from Winterfest on Wednesday night! Given how much I love our little beer community and how heavily I’m invested in helping it grow, I relish getting a chance to talk to everybody about a new beer without the frantic pace of a beer festival in the way.

Finally, for the dozen or so of you that I know and were persistent I was more than happy to give you a small sample off of the fermentation tank last Saturday. Evidence of such was easy to find as there are already 5 Untappd check ins to a beer that hasn’t been released (or even cold-crashed & carbed up)! I’m sure management thinks I’m operating fast and loose, so come have 5 or 6 pints on Wednesday & leave with a growler to ease their troubled minds!

Speaking of Winterfest, it was a killer festival! I’m told it was Big Dog’s best grossing day in its entire history! I had a lot of fun and poured a ton of beer when I wasn’t busy giving exclusive 5 minute brewery tours. It was great to see so many good friends come out and have a good time.

Here’s a pic of some of the beer in the walk in pre-fest:

walk in pre fest

And here’s half of the keg & jockey box setup:

winterfest jockeys

Quite an endeavor my friends, but all a labor of love. I truly enjoyed every moment of it and can’t wait for Peace, Love & Hoppyness on 4/13!

Also, The I Love Beer Show strolled by (and heartily partook) in Winterfest. Click here for a solid 17 minutes (starting at 3:45) of your very own hero promoting Big Dog’s and being a silly beer drinking individual in general. The guys from the show were a lot of fun, definitely enjoyed the beer lineup, & I look forward to working with them in the future.

All in all, my first fest was a great time and I have to thank all of my people that came out and supported us. I look forward to sharing many pints over the years with all of you!

My quick Big Dog’s plug is that we bottled Rebel Red the other day and it should be hitting shelves all around town soon:

rebel red

Also, it’s no accident that Holier Than Cow Dry Hopped Pale #4 with Citra & Ahtanum is tapping tomorrow to (hopefully) last through Super Bowl weekend:

more holier

Ten ounces of Citra & eight of Ahtanum (plus how good it smelled when I spilled some on my shoe while transferring) says this will be the best one yet. I’m an 11 out of 10 on the excitement scale about trying it. That’s how I know it will be awesome.

Finally, my Little Spoon, Weston Barkley had a birthday recently. As many of you may know he is my brewer from another mother and I would eagerly lie in traffic for the big guy. While silly, I thought everybody might enjoy a couple pics from his bday evening:

spoons1

For some reason a second take was necessary:

spoons2

Regardless, if you’re a friend of mine then trust me when I say you’re a friend of his and vice versa. He’s killing it for Joseph James right now as evidenced by their new beers like Citra Rye Pale, started a new blog, and is probably the nicest guy you’ll ever meet. He’s also helped me out time and time again as far as homebrewing, needing a ride home, & just being a rock solid cat I can count on. Show Weston love and buy him beer whenever you see him. He deserves it.

I also want to thank this beautiful Las Vegas beer community as a whole again. I can’t thank everybody enough and really look forward to hanging out Wednesday night.

Proost y’all!

My First Pro Brew and Updates On @BigDogsBrewing Life

Hello once again friends! My apologies for the infrequent updates. I’m often wiped after a day in the brewery. My body must still be adjusting to having to actually physically work for a living.

The obvious update that I’ve been putting off is letting everyone know how the Dog Gone Saison brew day went. It should come as no surprise that the ever ballsy Dave Otto and his trusty Head Keg Washer slash Saison Aficionado would knock it out without a hitch. No stuck mash with the rye & wheat. Hit our targets. A little dextrose in the open grant never hurt anybody. Good times were had.

Here’s the most gorgeous mash I’ve ever seen. And likely will ever see:

dog gone mash

Here’s me adding my bittering addition of Liberty hops:

liberty addition

Here’s a pic of the Citra bag before I broke into it for the flameout addition. As you can see I tend to add a little flair to the brewery:

citra bag

Anyway, January 9th was a wonderful day and all was right with the world. The next day I walked into the brewery and found this:

saison yeastsplosion

My little yeast crew was rocking the party! I was such a proud father! All was well.

However, as of yesterday we were only down to 3.6 Plato (1.014). Dog Gone has cranked along consistently for 11 days now and we need to have it ready for Big Dog’s Winterfest on Saturday. It’s going to be tight. Everybody keep Dog Gone Saison in your thoughts and prayers as it ferments its way through these difficult and rushed times.

The good news is I think it tastes great whenever I pull a sample off the tank. Banana, bubblegum, heavy spice, melon, & earthiness stage a friendly assault on my pallet. It’s young, it’s Belgian, and it takes its sweet time.

In other news, it turns out I’m not the only beer lover that would like to see Nelson Sauvin hops in the Holy Cow Pale Ale. We blew the keg in a little over 3 days. Here’s the aftermath of getting the hops out of the keg:

holier aftermath

Here’s the next version with a half pound of Citra & half pound of Cascade getting loaded up:

holier 2

And I’m proud to announce it’s serving beautifully at the Draft House as of Saturday morning:

holy cow

I’m sure you’re itching to know how the pilot program at Big Dog’s is progressing as well. The semi-good news is the first batch has been kegged:

bitter sweet

As you can see What’s My Name Dog has been re-named Bitter Sweet Dog. It was going to be called Bitter As Balls because that was Dave’s first reaction when he tried a sample, but it also crapped out at 1.021 and carries a legit amount of front end sweetness. I would describe the flavor ride as: smells great, tastes a little sweet, and holy crap that’s a lingering bitterness. We’re on the fence about serving it at Winterfest.

In the pilot program’s defense, here’s a shot of the ceiling falling in on it after a pipe in the ceiling froze:

attack on pilot batch

Massive office damage due to freezing conditions is enough for me to excuse any wrongdoing on my part for not making a killer DIPA. Speaking of disastrous pilot brews, Clyde and I had a little trouble with our Imperial Red Hydrant yesterday. If it turns out delicious then we meant to do a 4 hour boil. Otherwise it’s a prime candidate for turning into a Flanders sour project.

In other news, my homebrew saisons Dank Dog & Dog Gone Ahtanum seemed to have reached their terminal resting places at 1.013 & 1.014 respectively. A little high, but we’ll see how they taste when I bottle them up this week.

I also want to give a shout out to Iron Fist Brewing in Vista, CA. Their head brewer Chris Klein dropped in and hooked us up with a case of beer goodness, shirts, stickers, etc. Good dude, good beer, and definitely worth checking out. The Hop Dog 500 forklift is proudly rocking an Iron Fist sticker and we’re happy to show love to another small & innovative brewery.

I feel that I also should mention that much of my week will be consumed by Big Dog’s Winterfest preparations. We should have a pretty awesome and large lineup of good beer and good times can be had by all from 2-9 pm on Saturday January 26th. I’ll likely be working and not partaking too heavily, but please feel free to say hi. Shaved head, unkempt beard, big smile, 6 foot, 260 pounds. You can’t miss me.

Finally, I want to send out a big thank you to the Las Vegas craft beer community that has made me feel wholeheartedly embraced in my short time here.

I’m all about working to create an even better community and everybody I meet seems on board. From my fellow homebrewers, to our bottling volunteers, to my friends at Hooked On Hops, to the guys that come out and support me and try our wild dry hopped beers just because I ask them to. I just want to say that you guys are invaluable to me and a couple of you know first hand that if you need anything I’m a shirt off my back kind of guy. 🙂

Be well and recruit a DD y’all. Hero out.