Archive for the ‘homebrewing’ Category

Brew You Own Beer TV moves into production

Friday, March 18th, 2011

Jason Petros and Justin Crossley for BYOB TV
Got an email last week from Justin Crossley (Brewing Network) asking if I’d like to shoot some stills during production of brew your own beer TV. Well hell yes, I’m just as curious about this show as everyone else. So I showed up Sunday morning on site to what looked to be experienced homebrewers setting up their rigs for a typical brew day. Look deeper and you saw these homebrewers had the same t-shirts, some with differents colors (read teams).
I learned a few things about the show that day and I’m excited to see the results. Think homebrewers teamed up and presented with brewing challenges along with twists to those challenges and eventual elimination. I already saw some good possibility for character development and more importantly was impressed with the producer (Mike), who looks to be a veteran of the broadcast industry. Just imagine sitting on the sofa watching a reality show about homebrewing. I’m sure my wife and kids will be thrilled as I throw something at the TV screen and yell, “why the HELL did they put THAT in the boil kettle!” or “oh you idiot, I hope you get eliminated!”.
Cool stuff and I look forward to more news coming up about the show. I hopefully will take more shots for Justin and Co. so look for those in the future here and probably BYOB TV’s facebook page. Until then click on any pic for a bigger version.

Justin and JP getting warmed upSecond day of production and the guys looked to be rested and ready to go.

Contestant Sean on Brew you own Beer TVContestant Sean….will he make the cut?

JP and Justin listening to contestantsJason and Justin making the initial rounds of talking to the homebrew teams.

Justin Crossley interviewing contestantsGetting a sense of what the “blue team” will be up to for this challenge.

Producer Mike working out a shotProducer Mike working out the next shots with the entire group.

BYOB TV show contestantsSome of faces that you will be cheering for and playing armchair homebrewer with. Who will be the good and who will be the nemesis?

National Homebrew Conference club night: a few pics from the evening

Monday, June 21st, 2010

beer boardLast Friday night was club night at the NHC convention in Minnesota. The event featured over 40 different homebrew clubs that spanned the 48 states. The majority were clubs in and around the midwest and none of these people dissappointed. From the great themes, to the jovial crowd, the food that was available, and to the massive amount of homebrew. One club in particular, correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe it was the Iowa’s Hombrewers Union, brought over 60 kegs to this event. Even if you averaged 10 kegs per club, you are still talking hundreds of kegs. I would love to hear the actual final numbers on this as I’m sure they are impressive.
With all of that, club night is a bit daunting but his year I did multiple laps around the room, trying to pick up what I missed on the last lap. I was constantly entertained from start till finish. The photo above is a basic idea of what you are up against, a decent size list of brews cross quite a range of styles. Let’s check out the pics (click on them for bigger versions):

the crowd

The crowed near the beginning of the event. There usually a nice amount of room to move around.

pork sliders
Food options at one booth…making sure that your stomach stays topped off.

taps at club night, NHC
Most clubs had very professional taps, again showing the quality that everyone puts into the event.

chili dogs at nhc
More food. This time it was chili dogs.

BN broadcast
Of course the Brewing Network was there doing what they do best: entertaining, building community, and getting the word out.

jockey boxes at NHC

Self serve jockey boxes at the Iowa Brewers Union area.

cheese at NHC
More snacks….

Iowa Brewers Union
Iowa Homebrewers Union taking the prize (the urinal tap) for bringing the most kegs to the event….over 60 kegs. A new record I believe.

urinal tap trophy at NHC
The victory parade and of course you should hook it up and put a beer on! (below).

urinal tap pour

I’ve landed at the National Homebrew Conference. Oh baby!

Friday, June 18th, 2010

Bloomington, MN looking back towards the airportWith what was really quite a smooth trip from San Francisco to Minneapolis, I have now landed in the middle of the National Homebrew Conference.
I’ve hooked up with a few friends that I have met over time and I have tried some really tasty beers. The Brewing Network put on a show from the hospitality suite and I attended the meadmaker of the Year Seminar.
The one thing I was really looking forward to in a Homebrew Conference in this area is mead, and I have not been dissapointed. The mead panel had what is probably the 5 most knowledgable meadmakers on the planet. The meads poured during the seminar were great and the standouts have been the chipotle meads. I have tried a couple and being fruit meads (melomels) they have fruit on the top with a very gentle heat on the finish from the chipotle. Absolutely fantastic.
The seminar was very well attended which shows how much mead is appreciated in this area. The atmosphere was relaxed and light hearted as the panel pretty much just took questions from the audience. The entire time, delicious meads were being poured that the panel had produced earlier in the year.
I’m writing this up prior to club night which starts at 8pm tonight. Clubs from throughout the midwest and beyond will be represented. This is basically the largest homebrew party in the world.
I need a little rest before I go but please enjoy the photos (clicky for a higher res version)

Meadmaker of the year panel at NHC 2010
The meadmaker of the year panel.

got mead?
Mead being served thorughout the panel discussion

NHC 2010 mead panel
The panel was well attended showing the interest in mead in this part of the country.

The Brewing Network: Can you brew it?
The Brewing Network doing their thing up in the hospitality suite. The forum was “can you brew it” and it was basically an open mic for questions with plenty of entertaining stories between, Jamil and Tasty style.

Bay Area Mashers meet at Linden St. Brewing

Monday, April 12th, 2010

Bay Area Mashers Glassware

Last Thursday, the Bay Area Mashers held their monthly club meeting at Linden Street Brewing Company. Linden owner and brewmaster Adam Lamoreaux, always the gratious host and all around nice guy, Adam Lamoreaux with a rare Brooklyn Brewing beerhad two of his beers on tap for club members. Linden Street is a fantastic space and a fun easy going place to hang out.
The big topic of the night during the actual meeting portion was the World Cup of Beer. This long time BAM sponsered event was held at the Trumer Brewery in Berkeley. BAM had a record number of entries, well in to the 600 range. Entries (and medals) came and went out to several states. It is fair to state that World Cup of Beer is a national level competition at this point and I can only assume that their will be even more entries next year. The other good news is that the event ran very well and BAM got plenty of compliments from attendess. I’m sad that I missed the event but I certainly hope to make it next year.
There was leftover entry beer from the comp and members were welcome to open some and try them out. The quality was high in general and I remember trying a very clean and drinkable american pale ale and an amazing cherry wood smoked robust porter. Subtle smoke that hit you towards the end.
Of course the company was great and always good to see members I already know and to meet a few new ones as well. Looking forward to next months meeting.
For more photos, please go here.

Linden street tap handles

So Push Eject was up in the Bay Area, briefly….

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Push with 21st amendment and linden street
It is very easy to say that the great thing about beer is beer itself. Very true but what really adds life to that statement is the great people you meet through beer. This is talked about all the time amongst beer people. Yesterday was a good example.
So I learn about Push Eject through the Brewing Network. Then I find out down the road that we have a lot in common with our day jobs and other things. Then I officially met Push at NHC this last year. Then last week I get a note from him asking for information on upgrading a bunch of their systems at work. After little thought, it made sense to just fly Push up here and have him go straight to the source for his answers and have some fun in the process. So a day or two after I received his note, he had a boarding pass and was on his way up here for a whirlwind work visit. Ok, but this blog isn’t called work obsessed. So let’s move on.Shaun watermelon funk
Even though I could get Push up here on the company’s dime, it is still my duty to show a beer brother a good time. 21st Amendment is quite easily accessible from work so off we went there with some other work folks. Push brought homebrew that we all sampled at the table including his last bottle of a 5 year old barleywine that was damn good and smooth(thank you for that one!). Also a couple versions of his Mrs. P’s porter that were excellent as well(one with hazelnut extract and the other with chocolate nibs…both blended well with the porter). Since Brewmaster Shaun O Sullivan was there, he brought out what I believe was the last can of Watermelon Funk on the planet. We were all honored by this and it was a great beer. Yep Watermelon Wheat covered in horseblanket. A slice of heaven.
Time was already getting tight at this point and I wanted to try and get Push to Beer Revolution in Oakland since neither of us had been there. We went back to the office and finished up our actual business. Time was tight, I brought a 4 year vertical of Bigfoot to try and we only had time for two of them (we liked the ’10 better that the ’07…less bitter if you can believe it and we enjoyed the freshness). So off on BART we went and made to Beer Revolution. Great place, you need to go if you haven’t been there. We walk in and there was Roger and George from Triple Rock, Adam and Carey from Linden St., and Shaun O (Shaun was planned actually). Well heck, if the brewers are hanging out here then you gotta love that! Push got to sample Odonata’s Water Witch and Moonlight’s Misspent Youth. Somehow we talked Shaun into driving him to Oakland airport and that was it. Push made his flight in the nick of time.
So back to my earlier point. I have met a lot of great people and continue to meet new ones through beer. In Push’s case, we were able to help each other out business-wise but we took it one step better and made a fun day out of it as well. That doesn’t happen with your typical client. Leave it to good beers and the friends that come out of them! So to Push and the rest of you. I look forward to sharing more beers with you again in the  in the future.
watermelon funk
push eject watermelon funk

SF Beer Week: Pro Brewers hang with the Bay Area Mashers at Oak Barrel on Thursday

Friday, February 12th, 2010

Last night, Pro Brewers Adam Lamoreaux (Linden St.), Christian Kazakoff (Iron Spring), and Rodger Davis (Triple Rock) came down to The Oak Barrel homebrew shop in Berkely to hang out at the home of the Bay Area Mashers. The public was invited as part of SF Beer Week and in Oak Barrel style, Homer Smith was BBQing. I believe the event topped out at about 150 folks….way more than both Homer and Bernie expected. While they were happy by the entusiastic attendance, they unfortunately ran out of Homer’s famous BBQ.
I myself didn’t get there till about 8pm (the event started at 5pm) since I had to get the kids to bed. Fortunately for me, Oak Barrel is about a 4 minute car ride from my house.  I was greeted by old faces and new and I had a great time. In homebrew fashion, I brought some of my homebrew. In this case, a 14% spiced mead fermented with oranges and raisins. Folks enjoyed it and I got to enjoy some of Nathan Smith’s Imperial Stout (smooth and tasty, it was about 9%). Thirsty Bear Witbier was the only beer left on tap so I enjoyed a pint of it.
Of folks I know, it was a pleasure to shake hands and talk with Nathan, Roger Davis, Ed Ledger, and Homer. It was also a pleasure to officially meet Christian of Iron Springs. Of the Bay Area Mashers, I finally met both Lee Shepard and Jon Sheehan who I have seen around on Facebook.
It was great to see yet another SF Beer Week event so well attended. Bernie (Oak Barrel) is already figuring out how he is going to work next year. Hopefully more BBQ! The best news for me is I am now officially a Bay Area Masher. I paid my dues and bought the shirt of which I will wear proudly around town and certainly to Minneapolis for this year National Homebrewer Conference.
OK, on to some shots. Please click on them for a full res version as PHP code has a way of munging phots when it auto-shrinks them. Cheers!

Nathan Smith and Homer Smith
Homebrewer extroadinare Nathan Smith with Homer, Bay Area Homebrewing and Winemaking icon.

Ed Ledger and Paul

Ed Ledger, owner of Ledger’s liqours. Ed runs one of the best stocked bottle shops in the East Bay. Paul (on the right) of the Bay Area Mashers.

Lee Shepard and Nathan Smith

Bay Area Mashers Lee Shepard and Nathan Smith

Bay Area Masher brewed a beer
Bay Area Mashers brewed a beer during the entire event. Brew time was 4 hours and 20 minutes which is fast for an all grain brew! The shot was taken while the wort was going into the fermenter.

Big flame for brewing

Oak barrel’s brew setup. This very high BTU burner is capable of bringing 12 gallons of liquid to boil in 15 minutes!

The mead keeps fermenting on….

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

racked meadAs mentioned in a previous blog entry, I did my research and “brewed” a mead. The big appeal is that prep time to get to fermentation is less than an hour. This beats out a beer brew day by about 5 hours. After our second child is born, I thought sneaking in a mead every now and then would keep my fermentation lust at bay until I have time to return to the longer beer brewing day.
The photos are of the racked mead from about a month ago. The carboy is still slowly bubbling away which is really good news. My original gravity on this mead was 1.100 and at racking it was 1.036. For those who don’t know these numbers, I need to be below 1.010 for a dry mead on up to 1.020 for a sweet/dessert mead. Looks like I should get there. While “brewing” mead is easy, it does require patience since it is about six months before it is drinkable and delicious.
I plan on racking this one again and making one or two more batches on top of it. Since my father-in-law has a tart cherry farm I’d like to rack one of the batches over a few pounds of his cherries and hopefully get a truly pleasurable taste out of it in the end. We’ll see. More on this mead in a month or two….racked mead in the glass