Sunday, June 14, 2009

Who's the big winner?

Señor Brew is the big winner.

My American India Pale Ale, which I named Omega King, won first place in its category in the B.U.Z.Z. Brewoff this year. YAY!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

I Named My Kegs!!

Thank you all for your suggestions on naming my kegs. It turns out that I got the idea originally from reading a post on Russ Chibes' blog. I have to admit I filed it in my subconscious and forgot about it--even down to the part about the Simpson's characters. My only excuse is that sometimes I drink home brew while reading other home brew blogs.

But anyway, the idea for the names was right in front of me all along. Corny kegs need constant attention. They're high maintenance. You constantly have to buy things for them. They're not rock musicians...O.K. maybe lead singers. But still, here are the names for all my kegs:







Again, Brew Buds, thank you for all your suggestions. I mentioned that the winning suggestion gets homebrew. Since I picked my own idea, you all get homebrew. If you commented on the original post before today and you are local, I will give you home brew the next time I see you. If you're not in Chicago, email me at SeñorBrew (no tilde on the "n") at gmail dot com. Obviously you have to reformat that yourself--I don't want to be spammed.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Bar Keepers Friend

So Bill Pierce over at Brews and Views on the recommends Bar Keepers Friend, a stainless steel scrubby, and some elbow grease to work that corrosion out of my third free keg. Now I just have to find someplace in Chicago that sells it. I looked online, some Ace Hardware Stores had it listed, so I'll see if the local one carries it. I googled an image, it does say "STAINLESS STEEL" at the very top on the label.


It looks like the gunk at the bottom of my keg is actually corrosion. I tried the PBW soak as suggested in the comments section of the last post to no avail. I posted to the Brews and Views board to figure out if I can still use this keg, or somehow easily remove the corrosion. I'll post later with an update.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Gunk in the Trunk, I mean Keg

Hello there, Brew-buds! I'm cleaning out the (mostly) free kegs I received. Two of the three cleaned up beautifully with just a soak in an Oxy-Clean solution, but the third had to be difficult, like the French. It's got some gunk in the very bottom that just will not come clean. It's almost like the gunk has become part of the stainless steel of the keg.

I tried the Oxy-Clean soak followed by a lot of elbow grease and a carboy brush, then another Oxy-Clean soak (for a couple days) followed by more elbow grease and a super rough nylon scrubber, and then a third soak in a electic dishwashing soap solution (I heard it works well--it didn't) and more scrubbing with the scrubber.

Right now it's soaking in a baking soda/boiling hot water solution. Once the water cools to a tolerable level, I'm going to scrub it again. I'm hesitant to use a wire brush on it, I vaguely remember reading somewhere you should not do this with stainless steel. Of course, that may be my option of last resort. Any suggestions, readers? I do have some PBW (powdered brewery wash) from Five Star, but my experience in the past tells me that Oxy-Clean works better.

Let me know what you think, and while you're at it, NAME MY KEGS!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Dolly Varden India Pale Ale

I tasted the Dolly Varden India Pale Ale from Metrolius Brewing over the weekend, and I actually took the time to write down some tasting notes. So here is my impression.

Appearance: Light copper color with a touch of cloudiness, with a 100% chance of beer. White creamy head that persists, leaving a lacework of bubbles as the beer was drained. Bottle was a stubby twist-off.

Aroma: Spicy hoppiness with a hint of sweet malt.

Flavor: Predominant hop bitterness not quite balanced by a caramel sweetness. Slight toasted malt flavor.

Mouth feel: Highly carbonated. Too full in body, most likely from a preponderance of crystal malts.

Would I attempt to clone this: No. The beer, while not bad, finished too sweet and heavy. I prefer my IPAs drier. I was also disappointed that the bottles were twist-off. I couldn't reuse them to bottle home brew for competitions.