Sunday, June 14, 2015

Hibiscus Saison Brewday

Another in the long litany of summer saisons. I made a Hibiscus Saison last year, which was something of a dud—the yeast ended up being a huge disappointment, leaving me with a rather pedestrian beer—although the brightness and slight acidic sourness from the hibiscus and acidulated malt were delightful. Hence my interest in revisiting the beer. You can follow the link to read all about last year’s stupendous failure, but in this case, I’d let the past be the past. Like, move on, man. So here’s to moving on.

211. Hibiscus Saison
4 lbs. Best Malz Pilsen
2 lbs. Best Malz Wheat
1 lb. MFB Vienna
½ lb. Acidulated 

Mash @ 152° F for 80 minutes w/ 3 gallons RO water and 6 g. gypsum; collected 2 ¼ gallons @ 1.060
Batch sparge @ 168° F for 20 minutes w/ 4 ½ gallons RO water; collected 4 ¼ gallons @ 1.012

Collected 6 ½ gallons; topped off to 7 gallons, brought to a boil (70 minutes), & added:
w/60 to go: 1 ½ oz. Styrian Golding leaf 3.7% AA

w/10 to go: 5 g. Wyeast yeast nutrient

w/0 to go: 1 oz. Styrian Golding leaf 3.7% AA
3 ½ oz. hibiscus 

Let stand for 20 minutes, chilled, & racked onto saison yeast cake from 210. Barrel American Saison w/ Dandelion Root

Brewed: 6/14/2015
Secondary: skipped
Bottle: 7/10/2015 w/ 3.0 oz. table sugar

OG: 1.036
FG: 1.002

Tasting Notes: This beer is straight drinking pleasure. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Brewvet 2015: My Submission

So here it is, in all its masterful glory: my Brewvet summary for 2015. I covered 233.8 miles in eight rides, which is not too shabby, if I do say so myself. I hit a little bit of everything: a couple of breweries, a brewpub, a homebrew club meetings, a grocery store, and even managed to fit in a couple of your old fashioned hanging out on the lawn drinking beers after a bike ride. Well, really only one of those, as one was actually inside, and the other one got rained out. But the real winner—besides me for all the beer I got to drink along the way—is craft beer. And John Roche. Plus bicycling as well. Or even everyone’s fitness. So a lot of winners. And for those of you that may have missed any of the various rides along the way, here are quick, easy links to my eight different rides:

Brewvet 1: Yellow Springs Goat’s Eye IPA
Brewvet 2: Founders All Day IPA
Brewvet 3: Hoppy Brett Beer
Brewvet 4: Fifth Street Herbivore No. 2
Brewvet 5: DRAFT Homebrew Meeting
Brewvet 6: Warped Wing Tres Carnales
Brewvet 7: Blank Slate Movin’ On
Brewvet 8: Boulevard Radler

Probably my favorite part of this year’s Brewvet were the longer rides—I used the Brewvet as a chance to get out on some of the local bike trails I haven’t recently ridden. While the first couple of longer rides certainly hurt, the last one in particular was much easier. And those primed me for the 100+ mile I managed to complete a couple days ago, the first one that long in over twenty years. So thanks again to John Roche for combining beer and bicycling. It does make for good outdoor fun. Oh, and in the off chance that it is not self-evident, I “borrowed” the Brewvet graphic above from portajohn. Hope to see all of you out there next May for Brewvet 2016. 


Sunday, June 7, 2015

Land-Grant Brewing Company

One of the fun perks of traveling for bicycle racing is visiting the new craft breweries that are springing up everywhere. Today we headed to Columbus for the Tour of Franklinton Criterium. And as luck would have it for me, Land-Grant Brewing Company was right on the course. So while Elli got all her bike gear together and warmed up, I went to the brewery, ordered a sampler, and headed to the front windows to watch some bike racing and sample some beers. They only had four of the five beers listed available—they were out of Greenskeeper, the session IPA—so the beers left to right in the picture below follow the comments from top to bottom.

Creamsikölsch: Their dry-hopped American Kölsch infused with orange and vanilla. Nose carries creamsicle, as does initial flavor in the front, followed by graininess and hop bitterness. Good flavors, but a bit uneven across the profile; would be more enjoyable and balanced without the bitterness in the finish, but I am sure it does well as a summer beer. 

1862 Ale: This is their dry-hopped take on a traditional German Kölsch. It has the doughy rounded malt character of a Kölsch; it is clean and bright, with hop flavor and bitterness coming through in the middle, and some lingering grainy bitterness in the finish. Overall, a nice American interpretation of a German classic.

Son of a Mudder: Described as “a drinkable and balanced American brown ale.” Chocolate and caramel in the nose with a slight creaminess, with a medium body and mouthfeel, followed by cocoa and chocolate flavors. Bitterness comes in in the middle to final third. Balanced and clean overall, although it could use a touch more body. Very drinkable, though. 

Stiff-Arm IPA: A West Coast IPA interpretation with orange, orange pith, and pine resin hop aromatics in the nose. Orange citrus and slight candy malt in the front, followed by a clean, pleasant bitterness in the middle. Citrus and pine lead into the finish, with some lingering resin bitterness. Well-balancednot as extreme or punchy or aggressive as many West Coast IPA interpretations, which is meant as a compliment. 

Stiff-Arm was my favorite of their offerings, although the 1862 Ale was a close second. As a whole, all of their beers were clean and well-made, And it appears that cans are soon to be released, so I’ll be certain to keep my eye out for those. Especially since I’ll be spending a fair amount of time in Columbus in July!