Beer-centric day (7-30-12)

This day started with a hangover and about 3 hours of sleep. I had to wake up early to get my brew day in before I dropped my son off for football practice and to stay with a friend. Todays events included. Brewing, kegging, and a beer dinner. Accompanying me to this beer dinner is my lovely wife. The beer being brewed today is a clone recipe from BYO magazine March-April 2012 edition. The recipe is 21 Amendment’s Bitter American. Im thinking about naming mine Buzzrds Brewhouse Pissed Off Gringo, that may need some work. The recipe as found in the magazine for 5 gallons is as follows:

8.5Lb   Golden Promise

10Oz     Munich malt

5Oz       Crystal 15

5Oz       Crystal 45


8.5AAu  Warrior hops (0.5oz @17% alpha)  90 Min.

6AAU    Cascade (1Oz @ 6% alpha)  15Min

1.5Oz     Centennial  0 Min

1.6Oz      Centennial (dry hop)

.88Oz     Simcoe (dry hop)

White labs WLP001

Mash at 158 F for 60 min.

Boil for 90 Min

Fermnt at 66 F

Now my recipe based on available ingredients and I am doing a 10 gallon batch.


17 lbs        Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM)          Grain        87.22 %
1 lbs 4.0 oz  Munich Malt (9.0 SRM)                     Grain        6.41 %
9.9 oz        Caramel/Crystal Malt – 20L (20.0 SRM)     Grain        3.18 %
9.9 oz        Caramel/Crystal Malt – 40L (40.0 SRM)     Grain        3.18 %
1.30 oz       Nugget [13.00 %]  (90 min)                Hops         30.4 IBU
3.20 oz       Centennial [8.30 %]  (Dry Hop 7 days)     Hops          –
1.76 oz       Simcoe [13.00 %]  (Dry Hop 7 days)        Hops          –
2.03 oz       Cascade [6.00 %]  (15 min)                Hops         10.2 IBU
3.00 oz       Centennial [8.30 %]  (0 min)              Hops          –
Repitch yeast from Scottish 70/- Brewed 7-16 Kegged 7-30

Apparently my link to my beer xml file from the Scottish expired so as soon as I find a reliable way to share them I will post them.

Now on to the days events. Brewing went smooth no bone head mistakes.Did realized that I had a CO2 leak, which still have not been able to pin down exactly to this day but I think I have it isolated. That left me planning for another 30 mile one way trip to the welding shop. I let the safety timer on the burner turn off  once but it was only briefly and near the end of the boil. Kegging / cleaning  / sanitizing the fermentation buckets in the middle of brew day sucks. From now on I will keg the day before I plan on brewing if I am doing back to back fermentation. The Scottish finished up at 1.011FG giving it an ABV of about 4.82%. So brewing and kegging and repitching took from about 8 to 4. Dropped my son off and headed home to shower and get ready to leave for a beer dinner by 5 so we could be there by 6.

The beer dinner was held at Kindling Spirits in Carterville, IL and hosted by Crown Valley Brewing . The dinner was a little different from what I expected with some being serve yourself buffet style and some was brought to your table. The opening paring was server yourself vegetables and dips paired with Farmhouse Lager. The veggies worked nice as an apatizer and the Farmhouse Lager was amazing. My first smell of the beer had just a touch of DMS and I thought “oh no another failed attempt at a light lager” I was wrong. As the beer warmed slightly the DMS went away and the light maltyness came through. Very good light start to the dinner.

Next was a raspberry walnut salad with a raspberry vinaigrette paired with Raspberry Wheat served to us. The pairing was very good. Obviously a complimenting pairing. The salad was light and flavorful and as you washed it down with the beer the sweet and tart of raspberries just danced on your pallet. It is funny how pallets differ so much I thought the sweetness of the beer stood out while my wife thought it was more tart.

Now the food and beer start to get a little heavier. On to a meat and cheese course which we served ourself buffet style. Sweet little smokies, amazing cheeses and a variety of crackers. The cheeses were very nice smoked Gouda, a pepper jack,  and another blended soft pepper based cheese were my favorite. Pairing these with the Wooden Nickle IPA worked well As the heavy fatty cheeses coated your pallet the sharp hoppy IPA washed them away for the next bite.

On to the main course. Pulled pork, smoked chicken wings, and cheddar and bacon potato salad. Featuring a BBQ sauce made with the beer pairing of Black Cabin Smoked Ale. As was explained to me by Bryan Siddle the representative from Crown Valley they use two different smoked malts in this beer. Cherrywood and Beechwood if I remember correctly. It added to the complexity quite well. I could definitely taste the beer in the BBQ sauce as well. Many of the guests noticed that if you ate a little and drank a little it restrained the taste of the smoke in the beer and the food paired extremely well with it.  This was probably my favorite pairing until….

As desert came with a lemon cheesecake and a Crown Valley’s Gunslinger Double IPA I had my doubts. I mean we had already had an IPA and the sweet cheesecake with an IPA never gonna work. WRONG holy crap was I wrong. The cheesecake was actually a cheesecake on top of angel food cake dusted with powdered sugar. Washing the thick fatty cheesecake down with the Gunslinger was an event. The citrus hops just exploded with the lemon, the sweetness of the malt complimented the sweetness of the desert, and the dry finish of the big beer cleaned your pallet and left you wanting for more. I was thoroughly impressed.

The last treat Bryan Siddel brought us was a Vodka and Moonshine also brewed and distilled by Crown Valley. Amazing Im not much of a vodka fan but but both of these the moonshine and vodka were very smooth and clean drinking, of course followed by the nice warming heat of alcohol. Thankfully my wife was driving and I was able to drink her samples as well.

All in all it was a great experience. The hosts Brian Siddel from Crown Valley, and Beer writer Shawn Connelly did a very good job of explaining the pairings and moving the dinner along. Looking forward to my next dinner event at Kindling. Writings by Shawn can be found at The Beer Philosopher and Beer Connoisseur Magazine



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