Wednesday, August 31, 2011

So long, and thanks for all the hops.

Palisades and Ahtanum hops fresh off the vine and onto my drying rack! I plan to use most, if not all of the Ahtanum to dry hop my fermenting pale ale.

Thanks James!


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

"Life is too short to drink bad beer" - West Richland Beer & Wine Store

I don't know why it has taken me so long to post something about this place, The West Richland Beer & Wine store. It is the Columbia Basin's premiere beer store!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Ohio Brew Week scoring sheets are in!

The only West Coast entry to place, Down at the Delta ESB came in 3rd in the English Ales category at Ohio Brew Week 2011 home brew competition (a BJCP sanctioned competition) and the scoring sheet is here

One of the main reasons to enter a Home brew competition is to find out what you are doing right as well as what you are doing wrong. Your beer is judged by strangers who have no idea who you are, or who brewed the beer they are judging. They are also not your encouraging friends and/or family members who stroke your ego and tell you how great your beer is, although, that is nice too. A home brew competition is supposed to be judged by qualified, objective, and educated judges who do not care if they hurt your feelings.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Hop Harvest 2011

The largest hop of the harvest
The 2011 Reed hop harvest tally is in: 10.3 ounces of Centennial Cones. I was hoping for 16 ounces, but I think I have enough to flavor 5 gallons of fresh hop pale ale, which I will try to brew tomorrow.

8/27/2011 - The 10.3 ounces became 3.6 ounces after sitting on the drying rack for 24 hours.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Benton-Franklin County Fair home brew results are in!

The Benton-Franklin County Fair home brew competition results are here

The Reed Brewing entry results:

Down at the Delta ESB - score 39 - Blue Ribbon
PolusWeizen - score 43 - Blue Ribbon - (highest scoring entry in the entire competition; however did not place a best in show...)
St. Expeditus' Gold - score 35.5 - Red Ribbon - Best label!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Raw Ra Reed Ale

Raw Ra Reed Ale, for the lack of a more creative name, was brewed today for the Yakima Fresh Hop Festival home brew competition. I have never brewed specifically for a competition before and this one requires me to step out of my comfort zone. The main unique requirement of the festival's home brew competitoin is the use of fresh hops, and also only American Pale Ale to IPA styles are accepted. This is all about showcasing the HOP!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Mace Mead Works

The family took a trip to Dayton Washington to attend the grand opening celebration of Mace Mead Works. I will not begin to claim I know anything about Mead. My only Mead example before today was a 'too sweet' homebrew I thought was ok; however, not at all memorable. The three examples I sampled today really surprised me in that I was able to pick up fruit flavors, especially in the dry offering all from just yeast and honey. Reggie Mace, Owner and Mead designer, offered a sample of mead pulled from an oak barrel, which added a bit more complexity and depth. I would put Mace Mead Works mead up against any of the award wining white wines produced in this area.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Malted milk stout is in the keg

The malted milk stout (still needs a name) is in the keg!

There is actually 23 ounces of malted milk powder added to the boil (10 minutes).

The sample I tried today had a bit too much roasted malt bitterness on the back end, but it isn't carbonated yet and way too young to make a judgement.

How is 'creme brûlée stout' for a name, thanks Jennifer.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Tower of Power

Cheers to the new kegerator tower. A sweet double 'perlick' faucet stainless steel tower has replaced my plated plastic tower featuring a single bacteria catcher faucet.



Saturday, August 13, 2011

Malted Milk Stout - Rack to secondary

Racked the Malted Milk Stout (still need a better name for it) to secondary today. I was off before on the gravity. Today I read 9 brix, which is more like where it should be, 1.018, and that puts it at 6%. I tasted it and it tastes terrific. The malted milk totally gives a creamy fullness, almost buttery, mouth feel. There is a great balance between bitter and sweet. I think this one won't last long.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Bottling Day!

The county fair homebrew competition is coming up next week, and tonight was a good night to bottle the latest rendition of Down At The Delta ESB. In the glass on the top of the kegerator is the stuff I am bottling.

Portland Beer Week (Aug19-28)

Portland Beer Week (Aug19-28)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Update - Malted Milk Stout

Airlock bubbles have slowed to a crawl and the refractometer tells me I am at about 7.25 (1.007) brix with an original gravity of 1.064 and that gives me an ABV that is a big 7.49%

Sunday, August 7, 2011

White Bluffs Brewing

White Bluffs Brewing - Richland Wa
White Bluffs is my go to Brewery to get my 'Beer Nerd' on. There is typically a few beer nerds at the bar talking about beer and brewing, while an array of beer enthusiasts of all ages, colors, and creeds fill the rest. The Brewery is family owned and operated by the Sutherlands. Brewmeister Mike Sutherland has the taste and style to make the great beer that has gained a devoted following. Yours truly even helps brew, when I have a free Saturday morning and not brewing my own.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Horse Heaven Hills Brewery - Prosser Wa

Spent the day in Prosser Washington. I was able to do something I have been meaning to do for months, and that is to stop by Horse Heaven Hills Brewery. I was really impressed with the quality of beer.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Pop the top

Ok so I forgot to set up the blow-off before I went to bed. The pressure of the fermenting wort blew the little red cap at the end of the airlock off, which is now missing. There are dried spots of wort on the kitchen countertops, floor, and ceiling.

The plus side is that fermentation has really taken off and I do not anticipate under-attenuation!


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Malted milk stout - Brew Day

Malted Milk Stout
So I should start off by saying I typically do not enjoy Stouts and Porters. They always taste like some sort of bitter something or other and people repeatedly do the "Extreme Bitter" that is found everywhere. I do; however, really like Guinness and Iron Horse Brewery's Irish Death, made in Ellensburg Washington. In my opinion it is much more 'extreme' to find the balance rather than hide flaws with hops and other bittering sources.

This was a pretty good brew day, began at 6:00am and finished at 11:30am, which does include clean-up. 

First runnings - 1.063

Malted Milk Stout

Brew day is now, 6:00am PST!

I typically begin early in the morning and be done by noon, especially since it has been 100 degrees outside by mid-day this week.


  • Yeast starter is bubbling away and ready
  • grain is milled thanks to White bluffs
  • 9 gallons of Walmart spring water (really need to make my own)
  • 1/2 full propane tank
  • 26oz Malted Milk, last 10 minutes
  • clean and sanitized carboy
  • brew sheet adjusted for equipment and grain temps (78 in the garage)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

New beer labels

I have finally taken the time to produce labels for PolusWeizen and Down at the Delta ESB.