Monday, November 17, 2008

Brew Out

Just a quick note to express what a joy it is to brew in the company of other brewers.

Sunday, I hosted a get-together with some other local Phoenix brewers. This is the third time that we have gotten together with an ad-hoc group that we have been calling BATF which stands for Beer Acronym to Follow.

When you are the host of a brew out, your entire brewing routine goes out the window. You are constantly making sure your guests have what they need to get started and you are drawn to observe their methods and chat with them about brewing.

I brewed an Centennial IPA based up on a Two Hearted clone I saw on the web. Took forever to get my strike water to the right temp, still missed my desired strike, did an ad-hoc decoction, about the only thing I was able to brew by the numbers was the coffee.

Still, between the 3 of us, we cranked out 25 gallons and my OG was right on. So as the host, you take pride in the entire endeavor which overall was a success.

As an added bonus, we finally got to sample a parti-gyle beer we created during our last brew out. The beer was the result of the second runnings of a Barleywine grain bill. The wort was a combination of my runnings and those of another brewer. The host of the last event donated hops (we forget which) and was responsible for fermenting, kegging and carbing.

The beer turn out to be very good. We threw it in the pool to keep it at serving temperature. Tomorrow we plan on bringing the final 2 gallons of it to our local home brew club meeting.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Ubiquitous Zymurgy

The most useful tech tools are like pets- they begin to resemble their owners or at the very least mold themselves to their habits. The brewing tool that I have been using quite a bit lately is my Internet connected LG Dare. There are many reasons why I chose the Dare over, say the iPhone, but that discussion for another blog. Although I do not have a photo of a doughed-in mash tun as my wallpaper, the Dare is molding itself for my desire to access the culture of beer at my whim, whenever I want.

As a beer connoisseur and someone that wants to become a BJCP
judge, I use the phone to take pictures of the beer places I frequent and the beers that want to critique. I use the phone's text/email function to post the photos to my brightkite account, which in turn updates my Twitter account. For those not familiar with those names, the free web services allow me to post information and pictures about the things I am doing in near real-time. So in the case of beer I can post a picture and some tasting notes on the beer. Here is an example post.

Friends and other followers on twitter can post their thoughts on my session or ask questions. Whenever I throw a beer post on Twitter, I am potentially drinking with over 100 other beer brewers, beer bloggers and writers and online drinking buddies.

With my phone, I am always connected to the BJCP style guide to help with my tasting notes. I found a mobile friendly version here:

I can check in to my favorite Home brewing site
and ask a brewing question, or attempt to answer a few or just gloat about the fact that I am drinking a Russian River Pliney and they are not.

Perhaps in the future, if my interests expand into mobile video, I will look into sites like Qik so that I can stream video from my phone. Today that idea seems a way off. I am happy with my medium-sized mutt right now and I don't feel the need to upgrade to a pure-bred.

If this sounds interesting to you, you can follow me at