Thursday, November 12, 2015

Shiner Strawberry Blonde

As I sit down to grade quizzes with my red pen, I pour a strawberry blonde ale from Shiner. It's nice, but I think they may have let the strawberries get a little too ripe for this batch. This is certainly not my favorite beer, but still, I'd rather drink this than most other liquids. "In wine there is wisdom. In beer there is freedom. In water there is bacteria" (Old German Proverb).

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

You Be You Imperial Stout

First of all, let me say YUM!!!  Luxurious flavors of bitter sweet chocolate fill your mouth with ooey goodness and just the instant before your tongue and teeth get sticky feeling from all the sweetness, a bit of hops let you swallow cleanly. With color and viscosity close to molasses on a November day, this Imperial Stout is definitely thick and rich enough to be a sipping beer. It slowly accompanies me through a review of my materials for teaching English as a Second Language. These old notes are bringing back memories of skills and practices that may come in handy soon.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Sheer Madness

I've enjoyed and highly respected a number of offerings from the Kalona Brewery, so it was a real treat to stop by for a visit. The brew pub has a classy look and feel, and the staff was nice and helpful. Lewbricator was the beer that made me a fan and so I tried this other wheat on their tap list. Hoppier and less caramelly than the outstanding Lewbricator, still it was for sure a hit in my book.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Shiner Ruby Redbird

On Halloween we wait for the bell to ring and we give treats to little princesses, witches and ninjas, while we snack on roasted pumpkin skins and I wash them down with this refreshingly tart and sweet liquid treat.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Squash Ale

Tonight I prepared for my family a meal of fall flavors: acorn squash stuffed with sausage and apple. I paired my share with a homemade squash ale. I've been holding back on this batch, thinking it might not be fit to drink by anyone but myself, but as time passes, I think it's aging nicely and the flavors are coalescing. As you can see in the photo, the head is weak, but it is getting bigger with each bottle I pour. I've given a couple to family and friends, and I'm waiting for their feedback.

The recipe for the stuff squashed is available on request. The recipe for the beer is as follows:

3.3 lbs light malt syrup
1 lb amber powdered malt
32 oz corn syrup

2 oz Cascade hops

Grains:  8 oz. 90L, 8 oz. Cora Pils

3/4 cup molasses

8 lbs butternut squash
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground allspice
½ tsp ground nutmeg

Clean and cut up the squash. Bake it at 350 degrees for one hour. Smash and put it in a strainer bag.

Follow usual instructions for beer making from extract. Include the spices and molasses in the last 30 minutes of the boil. 

I added 1 oz of the hops early in the boil and 1 oz in the last three minutes for aroma.

Then steep the smashed squash in a strainer bag in the hot wort for 20 minutes only.

Cool to room temperature and add yeast as directed by the labeling on the yeast packet.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Parsonage Pale Ale

This single hop homebrew showcases the Cascade Hops that grow in our backyard. Friends have been gracious with their compliments of this one, concluding with these four appreciative guys in Missouri who sipped on the last of the bottles as a compliment to smoked lamb chops raised in the backyard of Pastor Rottmann's parsonage in Versailles, Missouri.

Leonard Poppe, Caleb Koch, Erik Rottmann, and me.

Here's a shot of the dry hopping I tried on this batch:

Looks yummy, doesn't it?

Pinedrops IPA

After a long day and a lot of work we are ready to enjoy our smoked ribs and German potato salad. Our friend from Cole Camp, Jeff Kuddes, brought a smooth crisp herbal IPA to wet the way for the ribs to go down really well.

Hoptober Golden Ale

Watching the smoker do its good work on a mess of ribs, we broke open a box of New Belgium's Folly to find this pleasing drink of sweet malts and herbal hops. Good beer and good friends help pass the time as we work on good food.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Domaine DuPage Fremch Country Ale

This morning was our first frost of the fall. I spent quite a bit of the day outdoors and now it's so nice to settle in for the evening with some soup and a beer. This excellent brew has some caramel sweetness and a bit of berry tartness.