Monday, August 26, 2013

Pleasant Porter - Batch 16

A lot has changed since my last blog post and last batch of brew. The lull was due mainly to the fact that me and my family have relocated from Charlotte, NC to Mt Pleasant, SC. I didn't want to have a bunch of beer to pack and move so I laid off for a while. This summer has been amazingly crazy, leaving the town we grew up in for a completely new life! It's awesome, but I've missed my home brew. I suppose the family and friends left behind are missed a bit too ;) That said, the home brew is back! Last night I bottled my first batch since the move, a robust porter. Because Holy City Brewery here in Charleston has already taken the name "Pluff Mud Porter", I have dubbed this batch Pleasant Porter after our new home town. Now the hard part, finding some new drinking buddies in the new hood to share my brew with!!

Cheers to embracing life's constant change!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Homegrown Hops - Harvest Is Near!

I have been scouring these trellis' for flowers the last month. The hops have climbed brilliantly but we are late into the typical North Carolina harvest period. I was beginning to think these first year plants weren't going to produce. Checked it out this past weekend (9/16/12) and there they were, the sand spur looking blooms I've been reading about! Success! The flowers are only on my cascade plant, hopefully the centennial follows suit real soon. I am hoping to get enough from this year's crop to flavor and dry hop batch #16.

Quick update on batch #15, MyCentennial.  The beer is AWESOME! Best beer yet! I have definitely decided that my best brews are those with high ABV. Maybe it's the buzz I get from drinking them or there is more to mask my brewing definciencies. Whatever the case, from here on I am brewing big beers so expect a buzz from Luke's Brews!

Cheers to homegrown hops and homebrew!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

North Carolina Craft Beer Boom

Just this year, three prominent craft breweries have announced they will be expanding into North Carolina. Sierra Nevada (Asheville), New Belgium (Asheville) and Oskar Blues (Brevard) will all be operational by early 2014.

Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale has long been my "staple" brew and is widely recognized as a pioneer in the craft brew movement. Two years ago, anywhere outside of Colorado, asking your waitress, "Do you guy's have Fat Tire?" would likely garner quizzical looks and a no in response. Now, it doesn't need to be asked...New Belgium is everywhere! Oskar Blue's can be given a lot of credit for the recent "craft in a can" explosion and Dale's Pale Ale is superb, a must try for anyone who hasn't tried it before.

These three craft brew behemoths expansion into North Carolina along with all of the North Carolina grassroots breweries (60+ as of June 2012) have our state recognized nationwide as a craft brew hot bed. This is exciting news for the future of craft beer in North Carolina.

I envision around April 6, 2020 there will be an announcement of a new craft brewery opening in the Blowing Rock, NC area. It's name....LUKE'S BREWS!!

Cheers to dreams and NC craft beer!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Batch #15 - MyCentennial

I came home from a weeks vacation and immediately got back to work! Although it is work, it's the work I enjoy...homebrew! Just before leaving for the beach, I added Centennial hops to the secondary for dry hopping. This Centennial hop addition was the fifth addition of this same hop varietal in this brew. MyCentennial and all of its Centennial hop additions will hopefully create a beer mimicking Bell's Two Hearted Ale and Founder's Centennial Ale. It's a robust IPA checking in at 6.5% and the first IPA I have brewed since batch #11. MyCentennial should be ready to drink around the first week of August.

The last couple of batches have been decent, but not anything to rave about. Both of those batches are of the lighter variety so for the next few batches, I'm going BIG! Perhaps an imperial stout of double IPA is on deck for batch 16...stay tuned.


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Home Grown Hops

My hops are climbing! I planted hop rhizomes the first week in May and they are starting to climb the trellis. I have Cascade and Chinook varieties that will be perfect for flavor and aroma. Hops are usually ready to harvest in August, so a fresh homegrown hop fall seasonal will be on tap!
Cheers to home grown hops and homebrew!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Here's 1.4. Summer!

Batch 14, Here's 1.4. Summer, is in the bottle and will be ready to drink this weekend. This is a very similar recipe to 4 Summer Ale, a basic American Wheat Ale. Should be a good session brew pefect for warm weather consumption. I added a bit of a twist to a few growlers while bottling. We had some blueberries laying around so I decided to drop a few in for a fruit twist. Fruit flavors usually take well to wheat beers so hopefully the blueberry additions will mesh. Adding it at bottling won't change the taste of the brew too much, but should add some nice aroma. Father's Day is this weekend so I'll be tasting the results of the blueberry experiment and likely brewing batch 15.

Cheers and Here's 1.4. Summer!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Hiatus Is Over - Lucky 13

It's been an uneventful couple of months on the brew front. Batches will be coming in bunches this summer to keep up with days at the pool, beach vacations and cook outs!

Batch 13, called Lucky 13, was brewed a couple of weeks ago and is currently dry hopping in the secondary fermenter. This was brewed to be ready for the celebration of my brother in law Matt's graduation from Clemson. (I call it "Lucky" with Matt's parents in mind as this signals their riddance of one of two out of state college tuitions!!) Lucky 13 is a simple pale ale similar to Bass. I'm hoping for a lighter, easy drinking brew to share at graduation. It should also be well suited for warm days by the water to kick off pool season!!

Speaking of pool season, batch 14 will be brewed with Memorial Day in mind. A long weekend at the beach will require a couple mini kegs of another light, session beer. 4 Summer Ale was a good brew, perhaps my first repeat recipe is in store!

Whatever is brewed next is likely the last homebrew without fresh grown hops from my back yard. I planted a couple of varieties of hops two weeks ago which will hopefully be climbing the trellises and giving hops to pick and add flavor and aroma to future brews. The vines haven't even come out of the ground yet so at this point, that's wishful thinking. If they grow, we'll have homegrown hops for homebrew!!

Cheers to Matty D and the summer days ahead!!