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I found out today that this exists.  Do with this information what you will. 

Unrelated - Today, we are making the second Minicon beer.  This one is the Summit Pale Ale clone that is consistently popular wherever it's served.  It's just like Summit Pale Ale, but fresher and more delicious. 

So far, in the Minicon Bar, there some commercially manufactured beer, along with five gallons each of White House Honey Porter, Summit Pale Ale Clone, and hard apple cider.  That leaves one homebrew left to be voted on.  It will probably be posted as a livejournal poll and a general query on the Minicon facebook group.  Are there any styles that should be included in that poll? 
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Today, we make Dry Rye Roggenbier. It was in the wheat beer section at Midwest and it looked interesting. Rye beer is a European style that existed mostly before and after the Middle Ages and Renaissance, but not commonly during. As a style, it was severely restricted under feudalism.

Here's some information about beers that include rye grains, from the German Beer Institute.

Rye ales declined in the Middle Ages in large part because the absolute rulers of the day decided that certain grains, such as rye and wheat, ought to be reserved for making solid, rather than liquid bread. Especially in years with a poor harvest, the lords reasoned that the people might be foolish enough to prefer imbibing and starving to eating and abstaining. This logic was also one of the hidden motives behind the now much-hailed Bavarian Beer Purity Law of 1516, which legislated the exclusive use of barley in beer-making. Barley was chosen not just because it was deemed better suited for beer-making, but also because it was deemed ill-suited for bread-making. In the traditional feudal system of social stratification, therefore, rye was eventually restricted to being a dependable bread grain, and barley a dependable beer grain for the unwashed masses, while the more elegant wheat became the luxury bread grain and beer grain mostly for the high and mighty.

The grains for this beer are a mix of rye, wheat, barley and oats and the yeast is a wheat beer yeast. There are only two ounces of hops, most of the flavor comes from the grains and it's purported to have hints of "rye bread" flavor. It sounds very interesting.

For me, in hopes that I remember - This style prefers bottle conditioning instead of kegging.

I very much look forward to making bread with the spent grains from this one.
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Today, we make another Imperial Stout.

Russian Imperial Stout was originally brewed in London and imported to the Czars and Czarinas. It has a higher alcohol content than most beers, a feature which kept it from freezing during transport through icy Baltic waters. Most commercial beer is between 3-5% ABV. Most of the beer that we brew is between 4-7%ABV. Imperial Stout is about 11%ABV.

It's a really thick, rich and flavorful beer. Some people add twice the normal amount of yeast when brewing Imperial Stout because of the high alcohol content. This process is called double pitching. It is my opinion that such a thing would only be necessary if the brew was started in the Winter. Here's a consequence of double pitching in the summer.

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Back when I started this DW, I had a plan to focus on beer brewing. The implementation of that plan has been spotty at best, but I soldier on.

Here's the update on the status of beer in this house. Normally, we have a little more than a hundred gallons of beer in the works, all at different levels of completion. Right now we're down to the low 80's in the inventory, and ten gallons of that is reserved for Minicon. Oh noes! We're nearly out of beer!

Here's what happened. The cold basement has slowed fermentation down a bit, quite a few beers were pokey about finishing. The Girl is now 21, and we gave away a bit for her and her friends. Finally, the Minicon room party at Marscon gobbled up five gallons of Liberty Cream Ale, plus some growlerized odds and ends. The Liberty Cream would have been converted to "Butterbeer," which I don't like, though it's very popular among people who don't like beer. As a Cream Ale, it's really good, and it was a hit with all the beer drinkers. We'll definitely make that one again, and not as Butterbeer.

The odds and ends included some mead, some wine and some singles of our stronger flavored beers. The odds and ends were a premium for the party volunteers, or for people who purchase Minicon Memberships at Marscon.

Based on feedback from that party, it has been determined that still mead is less nasty than carbonated mead. The bottled, carbonated mead left from that first batch might taste better in another year, we'll give it more time. The six gallon batch that's ready to be bottled soon will probably remain uncarbonated. I'm still not a fan of mead. If we ever make some that I like, we'll have to pick up another six gallon carboy so that we can consistently have some in the works, because the stuff takes at least two years to make.

Here's what's going on with the rest. Our annual lager this year is a Czech Pilsner. It's about ready to be bottled. Hopefully, it will taste something like Elephant Beer when it's done.

We're also diligently catching up in the inventory. We recently brewed a Taddy Porter, and yesterday we made "Admiral Akbeer's It's A Trappist." The second one is based on something I saw on John Kovalic's Twitter, so it's bound to be good. There's also an IPA made with Cascade Hops (a variety of hops that is common in North America), and a Scottish Ale in the belly of the snake. If we're abusing the metaphor appropriately, those are both getting close to the butt end of the snake.

This summer, we'll probably make some thing similar to Leinenkugel's "Summer Shandy." All that's involved is a simple wheat beer with the yeasties killed, and then that's mixed with lemonade. It's tasty, but not very beer-snobbish. It'll be a fair trade off for those people who were disappointed over the loss of the Butterbeer.

We have one open primary right now. As soon as something gets bottled, we'll have another. Next up, probably a few old standard favorites. A Grand Cru, A Hex Nut Brown Ale, and a Java Stout.
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It's time for a beer brewing update on Ye Olde Dreamwidth.

Today we bottled Hex Nut Brown Ale, which was brewed in the middle of September.

Last week, we started another batch of "Butterbeer," the most requested beer we've made. Butterbeer is one that is well liked by folks who don't usually care for beer, and it's much sweeter than most beers. It's not one of my favorites, but part of the fun of beer brewing is in the sharing, so there it is.

Yesterday, we started the annual lager. This time, it's a Czech lager/Czechoslovakian lager/Bohemian Pilsner... call it what you will, it's made with the officially sanctioned Czech Pils Yeast.

This beer satisfies the BJCP guidelines for "Bohemian Pilsner". If this one turns out, it will be entered in the Minnesota State Fair. Last year's lager needed more ferment time, this year's started about two months earlier.

Fun, useless trivia - A commercially made version of this beer is sold under the brand name "Budvar," created by the "Budweiser" brewery in the Czech Republic. The style originates in the town of Budweis, the location of the Imperial brewery of the Holy Roman Emperor in the 13th century. The name "Budweiser" means "product of the town of Budweis." Last year, Anheuser Busch attempted a legal suit to claim that they owned the name of the town... or something. The brand "Budvar," produced by the Czech Republican "Budweiser" company is sold as "Czechvar" in the U.S.
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Last night we made Grand Cru.

This is one of my favorites, and also very popular. I've never shared this one and gotten a "Hmmm... no, I don't care for that one at all." Reactions range from "ZOMG Awesome!" to "I like the hoppy one more, but this is okay too."

It is a Belgian style, sort of like Fat Tire but not. I assure you, it's delicious.

Today we bottled thirty-one bottles of the Chilean Carmenere, and five bottles of plum wine. The plum wine ended up at over 22% alcohol. I think I might have used too much sugar.

Tomorrow we bottle the Pyramid Beer! For a brief shining moment, we had every primary and every secondary filled. Now the secondaries are coming up on getting bottled, the primaries are transferring to the secondaries and it's time to make more beer.
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Another beer recipe tonight. This one is based on a clone recipe for Dragon's Milk.

We're calling it Moonglove Extract. The potential alcohol is 8.4%

It's brewing now. My first impressions are that it's not very hoppy, but still quite flavorful. It's a very thick and rich consistency, much like most stouts. It smells like sweetened leather. Is that even a smell?

Sure. It is now.

behind cut for the minutiae resistant )


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January 2017



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