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

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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

Brew Day: Drie Door Negen Nevel

This past Sunday we brewed what could be one of our “standard” series of beers, Drie Door Negen Nevel.  This is a Belgian Tripel, but made a bit BBxB by using Australian Galaxy for the aromatic hops.  I (Ryan) decided to go this way because the Belgian yeast, when fermented at the right temperatures, usually gives of fruity esters.  I wanted to compliment these esters with a tropical and fruity aromatic hop.

A Belgian golden by a Texas brewery seemed like an appropriate compliment to brew day. All images © 2015 BBxB

A Belgian golden by a Texas brewery seemed like an appropriate compliment to brew day. All images © 2015 BBxB

Mashing it!

Mashing it!

Overall the day went well.  I had help from Robert, a friend from work who wanted to try out all-grain brewing, and was interested in making a tripel, so DDNN was born.  The name means “3 by 9 Nebula” in Dutch… 3 for the 3 Galaxy additions, 9 for the expected ABV and Nebula as a synonym for Galaxy that sounds better in Dutch (rolls off the tongue better than “Melkeg”).

The vorlauf as we get the wort prepared to boil

The vorlauf as we get the wort prepared to boil

Robert drops the bittering hops into the hop spider

Robert drops the bittering hops into the hop spider

There were a few small setbacks here and there.  I forgot to add the sugar in until a little later in the boil, but I don’t expect this to be an issue.  I also broke my hydrometer… so we’re gonna have to guess on the ABV on this bad boy!  I am really looking forward to see how this one turns out, as Manny and I have been working on filling out our Standard series so that we’ve got a sold baseline to experiment from.

The bittering hops... and a sadly empty glass.

The bittering hops… and a sadly empty glass.

The Spider, doing it's thing.  I hope this will lend to clearer beer.

The Spider, doing it’s thing. I hope this will lend to clearer beer.

Two weeks from now, we will brew again, and I’m thinking it might be time for the return of And The Answer is: None. None More Black. so that it can be ready for our adventure in the 3rd week in June!

Brew Day Playlist:
Atmosphere: God Loves Ugly
Queens of the Stone Age: Era Vulgaris
Tenacious D: Tenacious D
SCG: Naughty Brilliant
Sublime: 40oz. to Freedom