Brew Day: Inked and Canela de Vainilla Inked

Today we took step 2 of 7 toawrds prepping for our hopeful investor’s dinner in the spring.  Today we brewed one of our standard beers, Inked (an oatmeal stout), and one of its Brazen counterparts, Canela de Vainilla Inked (cinnamon vanilla).  During this brew session, we worked some on our business plan, and it is getting closer to being done.  We are hoping that before the end of 2017 you will be able to buy a pint from us!

The brew day wasn’t as great as we had hoped.  First, it was actually cold in San Antonio.  Not complaining… because I complain about the heat most of the year, but still.  Cold.  Made all the hot liquids look cool, though.  Secondly, we ended up low in both our volume of beer and our Original Gravity (potential alcohol).  So, likely, Inked and CdV Inked are going to be lower than their original expectations, unless the Final Gravity ends lower (and dryer) as well. These issues of small variations will be less problematic when we have a more automated system.  As of now we are a very manual process, which means lots of opportunity to introduce human error.

We are going to be brewing a lot, and brewing more than we can serve at one investor’s dinner, so we intend to have some tastings this spring as well.  If you have an idea of a place we can serve homebrew (the rules per TABC: the location must not have a license to serve alcohol, and we need to be able to give it away in return for a “review,” so we will be asking for feedback) please email ryan@brazenbexarbrewing.com and we’ll be best buddies.

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Ryan, checking Inked on the refractometer.

Looking forward to see how these turn out… 🙂

Brew Day Playlist:
A Tribe Called Quest: We Got it From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service
Beastie Boys: Ill Communication
CZARFACE: A Fistful of Peril
Dangerdoom: Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid
Deftones: B-Sides and Rarities
Devo: Freedom of Choice
Alice In Chains: Nothing Safe

Cerveceros 2016 Home Brew Competition at La Villiata

Saturday 11/12 we were fortunate to participate in this year’s Home Brew Competition hosted by San Antonio’s biggest home brew club, the Cerveceros.  It was at historic La Villita in downtown San Antonio and it was a beautiful day for an event.

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Luck #7 (this was before the last 5 kegs had been added)

We got down there around 11:30 to deliver our keg and set up our tent and table.  We found out after setting up that some of the other competitors had other beers they were pouring from their tents, and I wish we had realized we could do that!  We would have brought some more things for people to sample other than our competition beer.  Oh well, we’ll know for next time (and besides, we’d have to buy a little more equipment to be able to o that so no loss this time).  Or maybe we’ll just fill a bunch of metal growlers! (no glass allowed)

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Mehoopany, iPA – Pic by Hunter Hinton

Our newest beer, “Mehoopany, iPA” was entered in the competition.  We were assigned #7 (out of 22 entries).  This beer is a “Northeastern style” double IPA, clocking in at 8.5% and 68 IBUs.  This style is defined as being “hazy, soft, and juicy” with a very fruit forward aroma and mild bitterness compared to most styles of IPA.  We feel like we’ve got that description pretty well locked down.

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No mo’ Mehoopany fo’ you!

Funny thing was, in the 21 other choices, there was actually another entry in the same style (they called it a New England IPA but tomayto tomahto) called Betty Hopper.  Betty Hopper was the first keg to float, and one pour later Mehoopany followed.  Then… voting. Mehoopany took 2nd place… by ONE VOTE… to Betty Hopper!  Congrats guys!

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Celebrating 2nd with Pete Alanis, Cerveceros president

Overall it was a great event, and a great chance to get out and meet people both in the creating and consuming sides of craft beer.  There were many familiar faces that we have seen around (even at some of our own tasting event), as well as many new ones.  Thanks much to the Cerveceros for putting on the event, and thanks to everyone that came out, and a special thanks to everyone that gave us feedback.  If you were there and you did not check in our beer, please do! https://untappd.com/b/brazen-bexar-brewing-mehoopany-ipa/1771072

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Here we are, about to drop our new hip-hop album?

Next up for us is a pair of Brazen brews.  We are making variants of Bogues Beauregarde, our saison.  As of now, they are named “Blue Bogues” (Bogues aged on blueberries) and “Bogues Bleus Sauvages” (Bogues on blueberries, then soured).  After those we are intending to ramp production back up because sometime this spring we would like to have a potential investors dinner where we can serve a variety of our beer paired with some food to people that might want to give us money! More to come.

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