Brew Day: Lupulus Texensis

I was thinking about it last night, and realized that I never posted the Brew Day Blog from our most recent beer, and this is gonna be a cool one!  Back in the spring I thought “I wonder what kind of yeast lives on bluebonnets?”  How much more Texas, and how much more San Antonio could a beer be than one fermented with bluebonnet yeast?  So I tossed some bluebonnets that were growing in my neighborhood in some unfermented wort and let it sit for a few months.  I saw some bubbles in the first few days so I knew we had something on there… not sure if it was something good or bad, but we had something.

Started early, so some morning coffee from my Branchline cup.

Started early, so some morning coffee from my Branchline cup.

Our new burner, with 72,000 BTUs of sexiness

Our new burner, with 72,000 BTUs of sexiness

I ramped that up with a yeast starter and made a quick 1 gallon very simple pale ale.  And it was tasty.  It’s most definitely a strain of Brett, but I’m pretty sure it’s not Brett B or Brett C.  Once we had proof of concept, we decided to go with an all-Brett (all-bluebonnet) IPA.  Since hops are Humulus lupulus and bluebonnets are Lupinus texensis, we decided that our bluebonnet IPA would be Lupulus Texensis.  Now, because this was already a week ago, I was able to get a taste on Sunday when I was checking the gravity (looks like LT is coming in around 6.75%) I am excited to say that it’s even better than I hoped.  It’s sweet up front, with a soft bitterness, then a healthy – but not overwhelming – funk on the back end.

Vorlauf!

Vorlauf!

Using some new hops on this one

Using some new hops on this one

I am excited to have an IPA that is going to evolve. It’s being dry-hopped right now and should be pretty hoppy by the time it goes in the bottles.  I expect that for the first few months it will be a nice, sweet, hoppy and somewhat funky beer.  With some time on it I think we will see the hops fade, and the funk become more pronounced.  It will be nice to have an IPA that will evolve with time and not have to be consumed as soon as possible… I wonder what LT will be like in a year?  On a related note, I got a taste of #150 (it’s taking on beautiful flavors in the barrel) and #105 which was pretty damned good for an incredibly green barleywine.  Things are looking good!

The last of the hops go for a dip

The last of the hops go for a dip

A little taste... loving the color

A little taste… loving the color

Brew Day Playlist:
That Handsome Devil: That Handsome Devil
Wick-It the Instigator: Grindhouse Basterds
The Pharcyde: Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde
Dangerdoom: Occult Hymn
Aphex Twin: Come to Daddy

Brew Day: #150

First off, just in case anyone was wondering, our last beer is #lovewins – as in: hashtag love wins.  This beer is number 150.  Back before the time of Twitter and social media, that symbol used to be a sign signifying number… or time to start playing tic tac toe.  So this beer is #150 because it is going into  Ranger Creek’s .44 Rye Whiskey barrel #150.  When we acquired the barrel, we knew we had to make something worth of going in it, so we decided on a big, badass barleywine.

Look at that color... it's even prettier in person.

Look at that color… it’s even prettier in person.

Vorlauf

Vorlauf

If we hit our numbers as planned, this beer should be 12+% and should be pushing close to 100 IBUs.  Our intention is to let it sit for a few weeks in the barrel (since this is a much smaller barrel, it will take on those flavors much more rapidly that the beer would if it were sitting in a full-size vessel), then bottle condition until at least the new year.  Then we’re going to see how things play out over time.  Who knows; maybe when we open our brewpub publicly there  could be a bottle or two of this popped in celebration!

Manny soaking in the scents of barleywine-to-be

Manny soaking in the scents of barleywine-to-be

Passing the time during the 120 minute boil

Passing the time during the 120 minute boil

The brew day went pretty well overall, except when we ran out of gas while heating the sparge water!  That probably is why we got such good efficiency, as I continued to sparge with wort while Manny went to get more propane.  Other than that one hiccup, everything went exceptionally smooth.  We also decided that since we were brewing a barleywine, we were going to drink some barleywines, including a vertical tasting of Real Ale’s Sisyphus.  It was a good day.

With such a high amount of expected alcohol, aerating the wort was especially important on this one

With such a high amount of expected alcohol, aerating the wort was especially important on this one

It's a big'un!

It’s a big’un!

To try to be sure that we’d not have any troubles getting through the fermentation process with such a high alcohol content, we pitched quite a bit of Safale-05 and then supplemented that with some Super High Gravity yeast.  Between the two we should sail right up to that 12.6% or so that we are expecting #150 to finish out at.  We look forward to sharing a bottle with you, but until then… Cheers!

Brew Day Playlist:
Prophets of Rage: Zen Gravy
Rage Against the Machine: Demo, Rare, and Live
TOOL: Ænima
NoFX: Punk in Drublic

Tasting event: Boardwalk on Bulverde

Hey everyone! On Saturday we had our 2nd public tasting event, this time at the awesome food truck park Boardwalk on Bulverde (14732 Bulverde Rd).  If you haven’t been there before, this weekend is their FOOD TRUCK THROWDOWN, so sounds like a good time to check it out!  The event was nice.  We had a shaded bar area, we got to use our banner for the first time, we served a BUNCH of beer, and we got a BUNCH of feedback!

Our set up, with our fancy schmancy new banner

Our set up, with our fancy schmancy new banner

Beers, waiting to be graded by the masses

Beers, waiting to be graded by the masses

We had a decent sized crowd that came in waves, so we’d have times with a lot of people at the table, and times with none.  This crowd also had a lot more interaction with us than the last crowd, which was made up more of people we knew.  This time there were a lot more people we didn’t know personally hanging out, and I feel that made for more honest and valid feedback.  Speaking of, the feedback was sort of what we expected.  The beers that we thought needed the most work got the lowest scores… but nothing scored “low”!  We were amazed once we tabulated the forms as to just HOW HIGH the people at BoB rated the beers!  Thanks guys and gals! *blush*

Our BoB Feedback...

Our BoB Feedback…

Fallen soldiers

Fallen soldiers

We also met some cool people that want to help us in the future with getting the word out, as well as some representatives from Four Corners Brewing Company, who brought us some of THEIR beer.  You guys rock!!!  We got to sell some glasses, and with the money we took in from that we ordered stickers (so you too can have your BBxB sticker soon!)  Other than the fact that it was SUPER DUPER HOT, this was a really fun event, and we want to thank everyone for coming out.  On top of that we had 50 new Facebook followers in less than 24 hours, so the word is getting out!

Ryan and Manny take a beer break outside the tent

Ryan and Manny take a beer break outside the tent

Awwww BoB, we love you too!

Awwww BoB, we love you too!

Speaking of getting the word out, we just applied to be a part of the Break Fast & Launch program, which is a “culinary business accelerator,” in other words they help us get going quicker.  If you could do us a solid and go here and tell them how cool you think we are, that might help us get in the program!  Anyone in the San Antonio area looking to get one of our glasses, email BBxBRyan@yahoo.com or BBxBManny@yahoo.com and we’ll make that happen.  In the meantime in-betweentime, we’ll leave you with the video Ryan made for B F & L.  Until next time…

Cheers!

Cheers!

 

Boardwalk on Bulverde

Hey everyone!  Just a reminder that THIS SATURDAY, 7/18, we will be at Boardwalk on Bulverde (14732 Bulverde Rd) giving out free beer samples!  All we ask in return is that you give us some feedback (on the handy dandy feedback forms that will be provided), and if you really like it, social media love is always nice!

Agrio Inked, looking all Agrio and stuff

Agrio Inked, looking all Agrio and stuff

We will be pouring Nebula (Tripel), Bogues Beauregarde (Saison), Cap’n ‘Murica (Pale Ale), Tetahi e Waru Tekau (Double IPA), Inked (Oatmeal Stout), Something Wild This Way Comes (Sour), and we will be premiering Agrio Inked (Sour Stout) and Monogamous: Citra (Single Hop IPA)!  And it’s all free!!!  We will also have some glasses for sale separately, but there is no obligation to buy anything to get free beer.  The beer is free, the glasses are on their own.

Monogamous: Citra is ready for your tasting enjoyment...

Monogamous: Citra is ready for your tasting enjoyment…

We hope to see you there.  FREE BEER.  FREE.  BEER.  FREE BEER!!!

Brew Day: #lovewins

Back on June 26, 2015, history changed.  With the ruling by the SCOTUS, legal marriage has been re-defined.  For both myself (Ryan) and Manny, this was a very welcomed decision as we both have people that we love that now have more options in their lives.  Love is love.  In celebration of the decision in general, and specifically for my friends Michelle and Cindy who went out DAY 1 in Texas and did what they have been wanting to do for a very long time, we decided to brew a celebratory beer.  Michelle and Cindy both like Amber Ale, and BBxB had not made one of these yet, so it seemed a perfect fit.  However, since we’re not going to do anything too plain, and because love is spicy, we added some rye and some spicy hops (Nugget and Cluster) to make our Rye Amber Ale, #lovewins.

It's super-hot in the garage in San Antonio in July, so we built a redneck AC unit out of a cooler, fan, tubing, and ice.  And it worked!

It’s super-hot in the garage in San Antonio in July, so we built a redneck AC unit out of a cooler, fan, tubing, and ice. And it worked!

The color on our first runnings was really nice... this should be right spot on visually.

The color on our first runnings was really nice… this should be right spot on visually.

The brew went really well, without any of the normal pitfalls.  No spills, no mess-ups, just a great brewday.  We hit our temp in the mash, added a mash-out step, did a 2 batch sparge, ended up with slightly more wort than expected, but then after boil off we were almost exactly where we wanted to be.  The hops both smelled great (this is our first beer utilizing Nugget), and Manny picked up a new probe thermometer, so we didn’t have to stand over the sweltering pot!

HJops go in...

Hops go in…

Hops in a "sock"

Hops in a “sock”

We’re really looking forward to letting you all try this one.  The Amber ale was my starting point with craft beer, and if this recipe turns out good it could eventually be a part of our Standard series.  The rye addition should not be overpowering, but should add a bit of complexity and depth that I often find lacking in Amber ales, and paired with these spicier hops I think we are going to end up with something really nice.  Unfortunately it won’t be ready for our 7/18 event at Boardwalk on Bulverde, but Agrio Inked (our sour stout) will be, so we’re excited about sharing that one with you all!  Until then, cheers!

Um... yeah.  Saggy.

Um… yeah. Saggy.

Right about where it should be :)

Right about where it should be 🙂

Brew Day Playlist:
Aesop Rock – Skelethon
Queens of the Stone Age – …Like Clockwork
Skulastic – Skulastic
Snot – Snot
Tenacious D – Tenacious D

Our First Public Event!

Hey everyone!  Thanks to those of you who made it out to Home Brew Party on Bandera for our first public event.  We really enjoyed meeting you and getting your feedback on the beers!  It seems overall we were well received, but there are some things to work on.  That’s exactly what we wanted to know – what can we make better, and what is working right now.  When we have these events, it’s not to make ourselves feel good or pat ourselves on the back, it’s to get good, usable feedback.  Feedback is a gift, positive or negative, so we were glad to get a lot of responses that weren’t just “It’s great!”

What we were pouring (plus Monogamous: Simcoe made it out there too)

What we were pouring (plus Monogamous: Simcoe made it out there too)

Feedback is a gift.

Feedback is a gift.

A few of the peeps that made it out... Hi Nicole and Troy!

A few of the peeps that made it out… Hi Nicole and Troy!

We had a decent sized crowd, and gave away the majority of the beer we brought with us.  The next event is Saturday, 7/18, from 3 – ??? at Boardwalk on Bulverde (14732 Bulverde Rd, San Antonio, TX 78247) and we’d love to see you there.  Please tell your friends.  The more people we can get there, the more honest feedback we can get, which will do nothing but make our beers better for you when you actually have the ability to buy some!  In the mean time, FREE BEER.  We will again have our 1st edition glass for sale for $6 as well.  Manny and I hope to see you, and your friends, and your friend’s friends… cheers!

Bottles as far as the eye could see.... if you are very short sighted.  Let's just say: bottles.

Bottles as far as the eye could see…. if you are very short sighted. Let’s just say: bottles.

Cheers from BBxB to you!

Cheers from BBxB to you!

Come try our beer! For free!!!

We are really excited to announce the first two opportunities to try yourself some BBxB!  Wednesday, July 1st, at Home Brew Party Bandera (8407 Bandera Rd, Ste 103) from 5-8 https://www.facebook.com/events/411086812419558/ we will be pouring Bogues Beauregarde, Cap’n ‘Murica, Inked, and Nebula from our Standard series. We will also have Tetahi e Waru Tekau, and a limited amount of Something Wild this way Comes from our Brazen series.  Glasses will be for sale for $6!

TexasBBxBBexar

Our next event will be on Saturday, July 18th, at Boardwalk on Bulverde food truck park (14732 Bulverde Rd) from 3 – ??? https://www.facebook.com/events/1622071531394881/ and we will have the same beers, and possibly Monogamous: Citra if it is done in time!  Hope to see you soon!

Brew Day: Monogamous – Citra (and FREE BEER events!!!)

I (Ryan) have a week off from work, and since I didn’t really get a chance to go anywhere, I’m dubbing it my Beercation.  Let me be clear, that is a vacation WITH beer, not a vacation FROM beer!  A good friend from high school (in Germany!), Chris, came to town as well.  Chris has recently started brewing himself, so we decided that one of the activities while he was here is that we would do his first all-grain brew day, and I decided that I’d try my updated malt bill for Monogamous.  This time it’s Monogamous: Citra.

Our nice digital thermometer broke, so we had to use the manual one (which means sitting over a hot pot in a hot garage...)

Our nice digital thermometer broke, so we had to use the manual one (which means sitting over a hot pot in a hot garage…)

Chris stirring the mash

Chris stirring the mash

I built a yeast starter a few days earlier of Conan aka Vermont Ale yeast (aka the yeast that is in Heady Topper), and on Wednesday we got to it.  This was a pretty uneventful brew day… no major spillage, no major accidents, and the drinking was a bit more reserved on this one.  That is partially because of past experience, and partially because it was hot as hell in the garage.

Mmmmmmmm... Citra!

Mmmmmmmm… Citra!

...and Turbinado!

…and Turbinado!

We ended up getting a little lower volume than expected from the mash/sparge, and it ended up boiling a bit longer than expected, so the overall volume of beer was a bit diminished.  The OG ended up a tiny bit lower than was anticipated as well, but not significantly so.  I have high hopes that M:C is going to be a much better IPA than Monogamous: Simcoe was.  Once I get the malt bill dialed in to exactly what I want, I will eventually re-visit Simcoe hops and see the difference.

In goes Conan, the beer barbarian!

In goes Conan, the beer barbarian!

Fermenting away!

Fermenting away!

And you can come out and try our beers… SOON!  Really!  It’s official!!!  Wednesday, July 1st, BBxB will be pouring FREE BEER and selling glasses at Home Brew Party Bandera (8407 Bandera Rd, Ste 103) from 5-8 https://www.facebook.com/events/411086812419558/ and on Saturday, July 18th, at Boardwalk on Bulverde food truck park (14732 Bulverde Rd) from 3 – ??? https://www.facebook.com/events/1622071531394881/ Hope to see you there!

Brew Day Playlist:
Red Hot Chili Peppers – The Uplift Mofo Party Plan
Soul Coughing – Ruby Vroom
Reel Big Fish – Turn the Radio Off
Saul Williams – The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust

*Double* Brew Day: Tetahi e Waru Tekau (aka 81) and Cap’n ‘Murica

So in getting prepped for our event later this month, we decided to double up on this brewday and brew 2 different beers that use the same yeast, so we could ferment them at the same time.  First up was version 2 of Tetahi e Waru Tekau aka 81, our Imperial New Zealand IPA.  The last time we brewed 81, it was a combination of American and NZ hops, but in trying to go with a NZ theme (the name is the Māori word for 81) we changed the hop bill to Pacific Gem, Pacific Jade, and NZ Hallertau aka Wakatau.  This time around we also upped the variety of hop additions to make a more interesting beer.

Vorlauf on 81.  All images © 2015 BBxB

Vorlauf on 81. All images © 2015 BBxB

The crazy hopping schedule.

The crazy hopping schedule.

Once we had the boil going, we cleaned out the mash tun (and for about the first time ever, EVER, we didn’t spill a bunch of grain on the ground… or on my feet!) to get prepared for Cap’n ‘Murica.  This is our Pale Ale that is dry hopped with Citra.  It was our first Homebrew Competition entry, and it took 3rd so that’s not too shabby!

Mashing the CM

Mashing the CM

Hops go in... tasty elixir comes out

Hops go in… tasty elixir comes out

Today we used dry yeast that we did not do a starter on, and that was a first-in-a-long-time.  I think next time the starter will most certainly be made, because both beers took quite a bit longer to get going than I’d like (81 more so).  Our original gravities ended up a bit low on both brews, but not too too much, so we’ll see if there’s a significant difference in the end.  This is why we’re brewing so much now: to get our recipes dialed in.

The tastiest of steam...

The tastiest of steam…

...makes the tastiest of steam baths!

…makes the tastiest of steam baths!

And recipes… if you want to come try some… you can.  Soon.  You can even buy a glass if you so desire.  See our Facebook page for more details!!! http://www.facebook.com/BrazenBeXarBrewing

Limited edition (144) first BBxB glass, available for $6

Limited edition (144) first BBxB glass, available for $6

Brew Day Playlist:

Suicide Machines – Destruction by Definition
That Handsome Devil – Jungle Book
Jurassic 5 – Power in Numbers
Atmosphere – Seven’s Travels
Clutch – Blast Tyrant
MC Frontalot – Question Bedtime
NOFX – White Trash, Two Heebs, and a Bean
Wu Tang Clan & Jimi Hendrix – Black Gold

Brew Day: Inked & Agrio Inked

As we prepare for our event next month (more info soon), we are getting various recipes put together for feedback.  Today Manny and I brewed our new Oatmeal Stout, Inked, and it’s sour brother, Agrio Inked.  This is an Oatmeal Stout with a dose of Piloncillo sugar, and Agrio is the same recipe, soured with hill Country souring bacteria.  Both Manny and I are big fans of sour stouts, so we have grand aspirations for Agrio Inked.

The mash has started!

The mash has started!

Brunch of champions: doughnut holes and Lagunitas Imperial Stout!

Brunch of champions: doughnut holes and Lagunitas Imperial Stout!

The brew went pretty smooth overall.  We started early so that we could be done early.  Since we were making 2 versions of the beer, we shot for 8.5 gallons total.  5.5 will be Inked, and the other 3 will be Agrio Inked.  Of course there was the occasional slip up… but overall relatively smooth.  The biggest issue we had was the STUPID FLIES that would not leave us alone!  I had to dump two glasses of beer (well, not full glasses) because I found flies going for drunken dips.  Stupid flies.

Poured a little out for homies.  That's our story and we're sticking to it.

Poured a little out for homies. That’s our story and we’re sticking to it.

We were really excited with the color we got on this one.  Should live up to it's name.

We were really excited with the color we got on this one. Should live up to it’s name.

The mash tun could not be *much* smaller and still work, but we made it through with only a few burns here and there.

The mash tun could not be *much* smaller and still work, but we made it through with only a few burns here and there.

In the end, we were at about exactly the amount of wort we expected.  The OG actually ended up a bit higher than expected so either we read it wrong (possible), we got a lot more from the mash than expected, or the math was wrong somewhere.  Stupid math having to be a part of everyday life in everything.  We’ll see where it ends up… we were expected about 6.4% but I think it will be higher.

One of the San Antonioan ingredients in Inked

One of the San Antonioan ingredients in Inked

The final outcome...

The final outcome…

Until next time… CHEERS!  And we’ll hope to see you in person next month!

Miller Clear?  No.  Gotta make sure you don't get dehydrated on brew day! Cheers from BBxB to you!

Miller Clear? No. Gotta make sure you don’t get dehydrated on brew day! Cheers from BBxB to you!

Brew Day Playlist:
Tool: Salival
Smashing Pumpkins: Zero EP
Tenacious D: Tribute EP
Louis Mackey & Thirtyseven: No Humans Allowed II – Yesterday, Tomorrow, and You
MF DOOM: Live from Planet X
Handsome Boy Modeling School: So How’s Your Girl?
DJ Shadow: The Private Press
From Beyond: One Year & The Colour Out of Space