Since my move to California two years ago I have been pretty lazy about cleaning my kegs. It hasn’t been an easy thing to do. I had to fill up a keg, fire up a burner to heat the water and then pump the hot water into the kegs. Well today I tried something new. I turned the heat up on my water heater and connected a 20′ length of high temp tubing to the drain tap and ran the tubing out the door to where my kegs were waiting to be filled.
To conserver water I filled up two kegs to the top and put a scoop of PBW in each of the other kegs.
Then I let each keg sit for 30 minutes to let the PBW work its magic then hooked the full keg up to an empty one and used CO2 to push the cleaner from one keg to the the other.
Then a quick inspection to make sure they were clean followed by a rinse. After two and a half hours of transferring hot PBW water from one keg to the other the water was still uncomfortably hot. After the rinse I filled one of the kegs with sanitizer and transferred the sanitizer the same way from keg to keg. This was a really easy cleaning method and a great way to conserve water. If you have a different method, let me know!
One of the perks of driving 5000+ miles on a family vacation is driving. When you fly you don’t usually have the option of bringing big things back home with you but when you are a light packer and have a Sienna chances are you will have enough room for something like this! Minus the hops of course.
It measures 36″ x 16″ and is approximately 5″ high. Made from a salvaged storm door window and two storm door screens. This can be easily made to fit any dimension because all you have to do is cut the 1″x1″ to size and screw it all together to fit any size screen or window yo might have lying around
The top window has a thin foam weather-stripping attached to the bottom side to ensure a tight seal against the wood frame. This helps keep unwanted bugs out (if you use it to sundry tomatoes or other veggies) and provides a greenhouse type of heat trap to speed up the whole process
The screens are attached using sheet rock screws every 6 to 8″ and then stacked together. The reason for two screen frames is to keep any bugs from crawling on the bottom side of your drying produce.
This frame worked great! It dried my hops in just a couple of hours of full sunlight. My three cascade plants produced several ounces of hops this year (only their second year and exponentially more than hops than last year) and I plan to use them as a dry hop for a beer that I will be brewing soon.
I just learned that the “S” and “B” word used together are trademarked and shouldn’t be mentioned together or in conjunction with each other unless I wanted a cease and desist order. Oooops! So I am going to refer to the biggest football game the NFL plays each year, you know the one I am talking about, the one that is so SUPER big that it can’t possibly live up to the hype and that most of the people watching the game are only interested in what kind of dip is in that BOWL and the commercials that air during TV breaks, as The Big Game.
Make this year really special for all of your friends that are coming over to watch… “The Big Game” and don’t serve any light beers! You know the ones I am talking about. Instead try some of the pairings below and start exploring how flavorful beers can intensify, complement or even subdue flavors in your halftime snacks.
New England Cuisine Pairings:
Oysters: Dry Stouts: The intense roasty flavors (coffee, bitter chocolate) in these stouts can briefly intensify the saline, sea tastes in the oysters while the subtle chocolate flavors and perceived bitterness cleanses the palate. Examples: Guinness Draught, Beamish Stout, Oyster stouts are a double whammy (Rogue, Dogfish Head)
Mussels: Witbiers: The mild wheat and subtle spice and/or citrus flavors can complement the mussels especially if they were steamed in that particular beer. The beer’s flavors won’t cover up and of the mussel flavors, however, the elevated carbonation and dry finish will cleanse the palate. Examples: Hoegaarden, Allagash White, Avery White Rascal, Unibroue Blanche de Chambly.
Dunkin’ Donuts: Chocolate Frosting Glazed: Milk/Oatmeal Stouts, Brown Porters. The sweet chocolaty flavors and velvet textures found in these beers are perfect matches for donuts with or without chocolate frosting but why would you want to eat a donut with out chocolate frosting? Examples: Sam Adams Cram Stout, Left Hand Milk Stout, Young’s Oatmeal Stout, Fullers Porter.
Click HERE to listen to my New England Patriots halftime paring segement on Bo’s Man Cave! (link will open to a file on HopHeadSaid.com)
New York Cuisine:
Pizza: American Pale, Amber or Brown Ales: Any of these beers will have elevated hops, alcohol and carbonation which will help cleanse the palate. Also, all of these beers use a similar base malt and that malt imparts a toasty flavor that will resonate with the pizza crust. If the pizza is especially savory (lots of cheese) go with a pale ale. If the pizza has caramelized toppings then try an Amber because the malt used will resonate with those flavors as well as provide a residual sweetness. If the pizza has meat (every pizza should) then go for a brown ale as the grilled meats will resonate with the darker malts used in brewing. Examples: Pale Ales (Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Stone Pale Ale, Full Sail Pale Ale) Amber Ales (North Coast Read seal Ale, Anderson Valley Boont Amber), Brown Ales (Big Sky Moose Drool, Lost Coast Downtown Brown)
Bagels and Lox: Ideally, pair with Bohemian Pilseners sometimes called BoPils but any quality pilsner will do. Do not get these confused with the Bud, Miller or Coors these are American style lagers. The malt used in brewing a pilsner will has a soft grainy flavor that will resonate with the bagel while the spicy hop flavor will add a new layer of intrigue to the salmon. The crisp dry finish will cleanse the palate of the cream cheese and the prominent salmon flavors. Examples: Pilsner Urquell,
Cheesecake: Pair BIG beers with this desert! These pairings will blow your calorie allotment for the week so throw your calorie caution to the wind or go home! Pair Imperial IPA’s with caramel or candied toppings. The malt used in these sweet IPAs will resonate with the caramel. Pair Imperial Stouts with chocolate or dark fruits toppings or fillings. The chocolaty/coffee flavors in these beers will resonate with these fillings beautifully. Examples: Imperial IPA’s: Firestone Walker Double Jack, Great Divide Hercules, Moylan’s Hopsickle. Imperial Stouts: Great Divide Yeti, Avery The Czar, Oskar Blues TenFiddy.\
Click HERE to listen to my New York Giants halftime paring segement on Bo’s Man Cave! (link will open to a file on HopHeadSaid.com)
Don’t forget to vote for your favorite brewery! Leave your team or conference pride/loyalty out of this and choose the brewery you think has the best beer. The polls will close this Sunday at noon (PST). So far the polls have correctly picked 60% of the playoff games lets see how this week turns out!
Brewery Super Bowl: Brooklyn Brewery v. Sam Adams (Poll Closed)Brooklyn Brewery 41.67% Sam Adams 58.33% Comments (0) Share ThisCreate Your Own Poll
14B. American IPA
Examples: Titan, Furious, Stone IPA, Two Hearted Ale
Serving Temp: 40°- 45°
Glassware: Pint Glass, Mug
Aroma: Think citrus (grapefruit), resinous pine, or even tropical fruit. There may be a slight sweetness present from the malt but the hop aromas will most likely cover up those aromas.
Appearance: Colors will vary from medium gold to a reddish copper but they will all be clear unless they have been dry hopped and then there may be a slight haze. Because the malt used has very little dark color the head will be white to off white and should persist.
Flavor: IPA’s are all about the hops (bitterness, flavor and aroma) and so there will be medium to high amount of hop flavor and bitterness that will reflect the American hop citrus qualities (citrusy, floral, resinous, pine). Malt flavor will be low to showcase all the hop characteristics.
Mouthfeel: You can expect a medium body with a pleasing mouth puckering bitterness (think grapefruit) that helps to dry the beer out and creates a thirst quenching, refreshing beer.
Food Pairings: Cheese: Pepper Jack. Meat: Fish, smoked salmon. Cuisine: American, Mexican.
HopHeadSaid: I love IPA’s! They are refreshing when it is hot out and their warming alcohol keeps you warm when it is cold. These beers pair well with many foods especially savory or sweet foods. The bitterness and alcohol help cleanse the palate of savory foods like cheeses or fried foods and the bitterness also helps keep the sweet foods in check. But if you want to spice things up a bit drink an IPA with some spicy salsa. The bitterness momentarily emphasizes the spice but the alcohol helps to refresh the palate just like a tortilla chip.
Style 2A: German Pilsner (Pils)
German Pilsners pour light yellow and crystal clear while the all malt recipe produces a long lasting white head. Pilsners have a medium-light body and dry finish. They are crisp and bitter with a pronounced noble hop -herbal or spicy- aroma and flavor. The low matiness, dry finish and medium to high carbonation accentuate the perceived bitterness of these beers. The German Pilsner is lighter in body and color than the other two Pilsner subcategories.
Information courtesy http://www.bjcp.org
Vital Statistics: OG: 1.044 – 1.050
IBUs: 25 – 45 FG: 1.008 – 1.013
SRM: 2 – 5 ABV: 4.4 – 5.2%
Commercial Examples: Victory Prima Pils, Bitburger, Warsteiner, Trumer Pils, Old Dominion Tupper’s Hop Pocket Pils, König Pilsener, Jever Pils, Left Hand Polestar Pilsner, Holsten Pils, Spaten Pils, Brooklyn Pilsner
Bolded beers are my personal recommendations.
Style 2B: Bohemian Pilsner
Bohemian Pilsners are for people who would like a more pronounced pilsner malt taste yet crave the crisp balance of the noble hop spiciness. The hop flavor and bitterness is present only to balance the perceived maltiness that is accentuated by the medium body and carbonation. The medium to medium-full body and lower carbonation levels allow the sweet malt to coat your mouth before they are cleaned away by the lazy carbonation and spicy noble hops. This beer should still pour crystal clear and have a long lasting white head.
Information courtesy http://www.bjcp.org
Vital Statistics: OG: 1.044 – 1.056
IBUs: 35 – 45 FG: 1.013 – 1.017
SRM: 3.5 – 6 ABV: 4.2 – 5.4%
Commercial Examples: Pilsner Urquell, Krušovice Imperial 12°, Budweiser Budvar (Czechvar in the US), Czech Rebel, Staropramen, Gambrinus Pilsner, Zlaty Bazant Golden Pheasant, Dock Street Bohemian Pilsner
Style 2C: Classic American Pilsner
Unfortunately, this version of pilsner has a big hole to climb out of. It was originally brewed by German immigrants was nearly wiped out by prohibition. After prohibition this style started to incorporate adjuncts like corn or rice to lighten the body and decrease the cost of production. This led to the “watering down” of this style. It has, however, made a comeback with the increase of craft breweries and brewpubs so be sure to try one next time you see it on tap.
These pilsners will have a sweet, grainy maltiness or sometimes a corn-like sweetness, if corn was used. They will have a moderately high hop aroma with no fruity esters. American Pilsners are moderately hopped with noble-like hops that produce a smooth bitterness but not a harsh aftertaste. Generally they will pour crystal clear with a deep gold color and lasting white head.
Information courtesy http://www.bjcp.org
Vital Statistics: OG: 1.044 – 1.060
IBUs: 25 – 40 FG: 1.010 – 1.015
SRM: 3 – 6 ABV: 4.5 – 6%
Commercial Examples: Occasional brewpub and microbrewery specials
Any beer glass that has thick glass and could double as a coffee cup (the larger the better) is a mug in my book. I consider American freezer mugs, dimpled English pint mugs, German steins and the giant 1L Oktoberfest seidel a part of this category. Because of their size these glasses are appropriate vessels for many different types of American and European Ales or Lagers that have low or medium alcohol content.
These glasses are great for keeping your beer cool and are especially well suited for outdoor drinking. The thick walls help to insulate the beer against the ambient temperature and the handle makessure that you aren’t warming the beer with your hands. I especially like the steins with toppers for outdoor drinking as the toppers help to keep pesky fruit flies and bees out of the beer
The tall slender cylindrical shape of the stange makes it a perfect glass to for Altbiers, pilsners and lambics. The narrow size allows the drinker to fully admire the clarity of the aforementioned beers. The height draws out the cascade of bubbles that are lazily making their way to the top. The narrow opening facilitates a thick head and channels the delicate aromas of the altbiers and pilsners directly to your nose
Chances are you have a couple of these in you cupboard right now and they can make great glasses for beers that have high ABV’s and big flavors. The tapered opening condenses the head and channels the aroma right to your nose. The large bowl allows you to warm the beer a bit in your hands and the warming releases more aromatics and flavors. The smaller size (still smaller than a pint glass) is an appropriate serving size for big beers. Probably the least legitimate reason but possibly the most fun is to fill that pretty, pretentious glass with some big, bad, bastardly beer!
This glass is designed specifically to showcase the clarity of pale colored beers specifically lagers. These glasses are commonly found in two different sizes (8oz and 12oz) but their geometries are similar. The narrow shape of the glass allows the drinker to see through the beer and enjoy the cascade of bubbles lazily drifting up from the bottom of the glass. If you are looking for a new pilsner glass look for one that has an etching at the bottom. The etching will increase the amount of bubbles rising from the bottom and all those tiny bubbles will be releasing small amounts of aroma long after the initial pour. The slight taper at the top of the glass is much smaller than the average pint glass and so it can facilitate a dense head if poured correctly. These glasses are a little thicker than most and this helps to keep lagers at their optimum serving temperatures longer. Pilsner glasses also have a taper towards the bottom which creates a thicker and relatively heavy “foot” for the glass to stand on. This foot increases the stability of the glass and dresses up its appearance.
Flutes aren’t just for music or champagne anymore. Flutes are the perfect glasses for the sparkling sour beers from Belgium and wild ales from America. Bottle conditioning and/or wild fermentations often produce beers that are highly carbonated and can pour with champagne clarity and effervescence and exhibit the same bubbly reaction when poured into a tall narrow glass. These are also perfect sizes as the sour and wild beers can be quite acidic and (you guessed it) sour and larger glasses can be too much flavor for even the geekiest of the beer geeks.