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Hard road ahead... - February 2013 Archives

travels with ender

dunkel ps
Posted Thursday, February 21st, 2013 by ender

I had two people independently tell me it had a very porter influence... I smiled both times, and said, it's me... that's really my beer.

Well, why didn't you make a porter...

Had to say it... "Then you'd have my recipe."


Dunkel update
Posted Thursday, February 21st, 2013 by ender

Primary fermentation finished and my diacytel down, day 16 (was massive, unchartable on day 3),dumped my yeast, and will do small dumps here and there so it's just beer, thinking about itself. Could have crashed it at day 12, but i'm playing it safe, still a bubble in the blowoff at day 12..

i've got a very dry, roasty tasting beer on my hands. (was very pleased with myself today...) not lagery stinky tho... but bitter smoky... so it's very DT.

i'm hoping goose gives me the 45 days i want for lagering in the tank, i mentioned that up in the office today and the woman who runs when things go out, looks at me and says... "From TODAY?...." and i'm like yeah... 45 days from today... and she shakes her head and says "you're killin me smalls..." lol.

I used a czech pils yeast on this one... because i've gotten a very dry finish out of it before. Used a LOT of carafa II and got it to like 50 lovibond... so it's way darker than the average dunkel, but with the name of dark traveler, it'll be excused... I retried the local faire of dunkels and it was tasting similar to hirter morchl dunkel, but dryer, a bit darker... and very refreshing... hoping the carbination brings out more sweetness, but we'll see. abv is coming in around 4.9% so not too bad stylewise, but when you're shooting for 4%... thems are the breaks.


santa rosa and the marin headlands
Posted Saturday, February 16th, 2013 by ender

So to start off... some travel notes.

Do not rent a car if you're going to stay in san francisco or the bay enviormens. The rental of the car is sickeningly cheap but the burn of that is when you check into your san francisco hotel... you'll get charged 30 bucks a day for a car that'll sit there. Learning the hard way is best, so please ignore my suggestion. The bart and muni transports got me around to within a few blocks and when it didn't the buses did the rest. Pair that with a hostel stay and you're good to go. I did priceline this past year and got the best western on 7th... not the best of the best westerns i've stayed in... better food at the other one i stayed at, but it had a pool... heated pool... lifesaver.

if you're not signed up for southwests email blasts... last year round late sept/early oct... i got hit for the big 40 sale... 40 percent off flights for select dates in jan/feb... flew for 190 round trip. Flying into oakland instead of sfo was fine... oakland was easier to navigate as far as airports...

so things to think about.

So land in oakland, rental car place is not in airport, bussed out to rental, get car... go.

On the way and just driving around in 50 degree weather... ran into these bits which made my trip more tbs.



My first stop was fairfax and iron springs.


After the novelty of the overwhelmingly awesome selection of draft beer, you start to pass up the lagunitas's and bear republics of cali for the smaller breed... and as i've been to most but not all of them yet... iron springs, not only recommended to me by friends and other brewers, but having had their specialtes, was wanting to have their regular line up and pub offerings. Tho very much the tourist i am... i passed it up, meaning i missed it when i drove by it, but knew i was close, so i parked in their downtown and got a lay of the land... wanted some beer and Gestalt haus presents itself...


The bike themed, germanish sausage beer bar was quite inviting... long bar, picnic table seating, wide open spaces, good swag representing cali breweries from now and then with the occasional pabst or classic german brewery from times past.

It had a good vibe, but really good patrons as there was a conversation going about germinating a pub nite there at the gestalt house, although as quoted by the patrons most well educated beer drinkers knew everything already so beating a local team would be a true challenge... and in that first bar i found some good conversation and tasty beer... was a super local taplist, nothing crazy, but everything fresh and good. Exact place i needed to be...


Spied this... sketch by the hardcore vaughn bode... very awesome.

Got a lay of the land and realized i had overshot by a block... not so bad.Was ogling left when i should have been staring right... adjusted... and found iron springs.


Iron springs brewery of fairfax ca was in full effect, Beer was whirlpooling ready for coolin... mashkettle cip was in effect, taproom was a quarter full and i was ready for beer. Did a sampler there and what do i find... i like the ipa's, porter and stout were weak, and the wine barrel aged biere de garde was tasty and good for a brewpub.

I hit mostly appitizers at the pubs and breweries to keep myself afloat... grilled cheeze with green tomatoes and bacon was the food of the day there. Overall fairfax is out of your way if you're running to santa rosa to russian river... but not out of your way if you're looking for a comfy spot to drink good and new to you beers.


After that... it's head to santa rosa time. So i'm looking at the list of spots in santa rosa and i'm like huh.. not that many beer stores... was hoping to find the one stop miracle beer store that i could buy packaging from and fill and fedex on the way back to san fran so i wouldn't play the bottle collection game around town... that didn't happen.

Bottle barn happened...


They have a decent selection of local beer... which i thought interesting... the imports are weak, the out of state beer is weak, the locals are plentiful, but they have few specialties... was looking for some sparkling ales around town and was saddened there weren't more special beers at that store with the beer nerd ratings it gets, BUT... they do have a good selection of bottle shippers so if you're in the santa rosa area and you hit the russian river and you find yourself with a case of bottles... hit the bottle barn, it's got packaging... steal some of the northwest brewing news, newspapers as well.

So i was non plussed. This place is back in an industrial district and is about a block down from where your gps actually says it is... cruise that industrial drive, it's there... just very subtle.

So what happened after i checked into the hotel...

Went to russian river, there was a line... so i went to third street, had a beer or two... still a line... Flavor, still a line, and a few other pubs... and around 8 got in line... got into rr by 8:45 and had the younger and it kicked for the day 10 min later... so i had another 8 pints of other fine beers... poor dave.

i've been to russian river before, i've had pliny before... i'm kinda like meh, because it's another ipa and i've had it... if it were narke starksen--- whatever... i'd have killed everyone in line to get their allocation.

The breakfast recommendation from dan was great. At dierk's parkside cafe, I had buttermilk/cornmeal pancakes cooked in bacon grease and some really kickass local apple something sausage. and a shitload of coffee. This place was better than dottie's and plow... but not by much...

I felt i needed to walk around santa rosa...


this'd be my 4th visit there and i had no idea of the identity of the town... so i turnt off the gps and wandered a bit and stopped and shot pics and stuff,,, it's something i do... and something i recommend. If you miss doing stuff on your current trip... do it next time.


so after that i knew it was too early for lagunitas, but i passed by there and things have gotten so big... but pressing on... stopped at the marin headlands before pressing forward to drop my luggage and goods at the hotel and return the car so i could start the main adventure in san francisco... to be continued...







Dunkel update...
Posted Wednesday, February 6th, 2013 by ender

brewing went well today... really happy with the way things are tasting wort wise. Took about 7ish hours from soup to nuts to get it in the tank... one revorlauf... the pump speed got a bit fast toward the end of last wort and i started pulling hulls. So manually slowed it down and it ran off like a champ... i'm thinking it should round off at 5%ish... well see what a month and change brings... i have a lab to monitor it for me. i'm a fan of weyermann dark wheat, it tasted really good.


the night before my dunkel...
Posted Tuesday, February 5th, 2013 by ender

and all thru the house, not a creature was stirring, even the one in my head...

i'm embarking on my first production beer, "dark traveler",  even tho it's limited to chicago, i'm excited. and nervous...

i mean, i worked on the two more weeks, physically brewed it... of which i'm tasting when i get back from san francisco... (haven't tasted it since october, and it was getting good then) but I formulated the dunkel. it's all me... formulation, brewing, yeast choice, lagering time... it gives me a big brewer boner, and grips me with fear.

the dunkel is obnoxious and unorthodox... semi non tradional... it's got oats in it, it's using a czech pils yeast, low mash temp.

we'll see how it goes.

cheers to homebrewing... and beer... and tbs.

i'll update how it goes.