Galaxy Pale Ale

On March 29, 2012, in Craft Beer, Homebrewing, Recipes, by Mark Ranes
Galaxy Pale Ale Tap Handle

Galaxy Pale Ale Tap Handle

A few years back, my homebrew club, The Central Valley Brewers Guild, ran a club experiment where we all brewed the same pale ale recipe and then a couple months later brought our brews to a gathering to compare results.  The idea was to see how our process affected the final brew, rather than the recipe.  The results varied quite a bit, showing that how you do things while brewing has as great an effect on the resulting beer as do the ingredients.  It was eye opening!

I really enjoyed the version I brewed and I’ve brewed it several times again in an effort to have a non-aggressive pale ale on tap for visitors.  The last time I brewed it, Don Oliver, Brew Master of Dust Bowl Brewing, was kind enough to share five ounces of Galaxy hops pellets for dry hopping.  I had really enjoyed his Galaxy Pale Ale and particularly his Red IPA, both of which rely on Galaxy hops, so I was hoping that dry hopping with them would bring some of that character to my pale ale.  It did – and it was a hit!  I served up a keg at our annual neighborhood Halloween party this year, and revelers blew the keg!  I’ll be staggering the dry hops over several days and this time maybe backing down an ounce to reduce some of the fruitness the Galaxy hops bring to the ale.

The recipe for my Galaxy Pale Ale is as follows:

Galaxy Pale Ale
10-A American Pale Ale
Author: Mark Ranes
Date: 3/30/12

Size: 10.56 gal
Efficiency: 75.0%
Attenuation: 75.0%
Calories: 211.53 kcal per 12.0 fl oz

Original Gravity: 1.063 (1.045 – 1.060)
Terminal Gravity: 1.016 (1.010 – 1.015)
Color: 8.8 (5.0 – 14.0)
Alcohol: 6.25% (4.5% – 6.0%)
Bitterness: 44.5 (30.0 – 45.0)

23.0 lb (86.8%) American 2-row – added during mash
1.5 lb (5.7%) American Munich – added during mash
1.0 lb (3.8%) Carastan Malt – added during mash
1.0 lb (3.8%) 2-Row Carapils Malt – added during mash
1.5 oz (15.0%) Simcoe (13.0%) – added during boil, boiled 60.0 m
0.75 oz (7.5%) Cascade (5.5%) – added during boil, boiled 10.0 m
0.75 oz (7.5%) Centennial (10.0%) – added during boil, boiled 10.0 m
1.5 oz (15.0%) Cascade (5.5%) – added during boil, boiled 1.0 m
1.5 oz (15.0%) Centennial (10.0%) – added during boil, boiled 1.0 m
2.0 ea Whirlfloc Tablets (Irish moss) – added during boil, boiled 10.0 m
1.0 tsp Wyeast Nutrient  – added during boil, boiled 10.0 m
2000 mL Starter White Labs WLP001 California Ale
2.0 oz (20.0%) Galaxy (12.4%) – added dry to secondary fermenter, Day 7
2.0 oz (20.0%) Galaxy (12.4%) – added dry to secondary fermenter, Day 10

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NHC 2011 Day 2 – A Marathon, Not a Sprint!

On June 18, 2011, in Homebrewing, Travel, by Mark Ranes
The CVBG Crew the NHC Club Night

The CVBG Crew the NHC Club Night

Day 2 of NHC 2011 brought several new, amazing beers to my lips.  In my first session, I had the opportunity to taste Firestone Walker’s Saucerful of Secrets, a dark Belgian ale that has been mellowing in bourbon barrels for three years.  It was incredibly smooth and even with its high ABV, very very drinkable, even at 9:20 in the morning:)  I also enjoyed a Firestone Walker double IPA, some Pliny the Elder and another Russian River IPA, Hop 2 It, which uses a new still unnamed experimental hop.  Today I attended the following sessions:

Cooking with Beer with Sean Paxton, The Homebrew Chef

Historical Extreme Beers with Mitch Steele of Stone Brewing

Pragmatic Brewing with Denny Conn

The White Labs Hangover Kit!

The White Labs Hangover Kit!

The highlight of the day was Vinnie Cilurzo’s keynote address.  It was captivating hearing about the early days of his brewing career – the struggles and successes, and then the development of the Russian River Brewing we all know today.  On top of it all, Vinnie is a down to earth, humble man.

Tonight’s social event was the annual Club Night, where homebrew clubs from across the nation offer their best homebrews out to NHC attendees.  The best ale I had tonight was Nathan Smith’s double IPA, from the DOZE booth – a big, spicy IPA, but dry and lacking the overpowering sweetness that too many IIPAs have.

We enjoyed Club Night for about an hour and a half and then retired to our room for some much needed sleep:)

Yum!  Firestone Walker's Saucerful Of Secrets - at 9:20 am

Yum! Firestone Walker's Saucerful Of Secrets - at 9:20 am

Oh, yea!  This is going to be good!

Oh, yea! This is going to be good!

Vinnie Cilurzo giving the 2011 NHC Keynote

Vinnie Cilurzo giving the 2011 NHC Keynote

Vinnie Cilurzo, Mark and Steve

Vinnie Cilurzo, Mark and Steve

I'll Have What He's Having!

I'll Have What He's Having!

Steve and Maggie Supporting Dust Bowl Brewing

Steve and Maggie Supporting Dust Bowl Brewing

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Such a Slacker…

On June 5, 2009, in General, Homebrewing, Technology, by Mark Ranes
Grain Handprints

Static electricity handprints on my milled grain tubs!

I’ve been a terrible blogging slacker lately.  I’ve brewed twice – 10 gallons of Two Hearted Ale and another 10 gallons of my house German Hefeweizen.  Unfortunately, work has been very busy as we prepare hundreds of new computers for a brand new middle school that is opening in early August.  I’m off until mid-July, but then it’s back to work earlier than usual to make sure we are ready for all the teaching staff and students as they make their way to a new campus.  I’ll be taking some time off next fall or winter to make up for the additional days I’ll be working this summer.  I hope to do something special with the time off that I normally couldn’t do because I’m working:)

Stephen and I are heading off to the National Homebrewers Conference in Oakland on the 18-20 of this month, so hopefully I’ll have plenty to report here to make up for my month long blogging absence.  I’ll try and catch up on the activities of the last month sometime next week.  Lots of exciting things have been happening with our new brew club, the Central Valley Brewers Guild.

Eddy, the Boston Terrorist, is also keeping us busy.  Thankfully, he’s been sleeping through the night for the last three weeks.  I’m much more attentive in the daylight hours when I haven’t been up watering/pooing a puppy two or three times a night!  All in all, though, we do love us some Eddy in the Lazy Brewer household!

Finally, one of the most exciting thing to hit the Lazy Brewer’s household recently is an AT&T U-verse installation scheduled for this morning.  We’ve been TiVo fans for over six years, but one of our Series 2 TiVos gave up the ghost a couple weeks ago.  With U-verse hitting our neighborhood in the last couple months, the timing was right.  I’m really looking forward to HD programming for my Pioneer Plasma (Series 2 TiVos have never supported HD programming) and even more excited about getting an 18 MB Internet pipe.  I just hope the install goes well.  I hear the TV/Internet part usually goes well but the phone part (VoIP) can be sketchy.  Kind of ironic that the phone company has trouble with the phone part!

Again – sorry for the downtime.  More info to follow next week.


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Beer Wars Movie

On April 17, 2009, in Brew Pubs, Craft Beer, Family and Friends, Food, by Mark Ranes
After Beer Wars...

After Beer Wars...

Last night a few of the Central Valley Brewers Guild folks and I went to Merced to see the movie event, Beer Wars. There were a total of 10 people in the audience for the movie, and from what I’ve read, this was pretty typical of the theaters across America. Some theaters experienced technical issues with the viewing, but our theater did a decent job of making it all happen.  I think what I took away from the movie was the absurdity of the three tier system of beer distribution in America. There are breweries, distributors and retailers. Basically, while the brewery may want to get their ale in my hands, ultimately, it is the middle man – the distributor – who controls what I will find on tap at an ale house or a retail outlet like my bottle shop or even BevMo. The distributors usually have relationships with one of the big three breweries (AB, SAB Miller/Coors), and so push the products their “parent” wants them to sell – not necessarily what the consumer wants. It a sad state.

The movie itself was interesting, but I had some gripes with it.  They seem to have chosen an questionable story line to follow with Rhonda Kallman’s Moon Shot.  It’s a caffeinated beer – focused at those folks who want to be wired and drunk at the same time.  I just can’t put this stuff into the category of craft beer.  I understand how it fits in with the theme of the movie, but then I was very confused with her efforts to sell out to the the Big Three.  She’s not about craft beer – she’s about marketing.  Hell, even her old partner Jim Koch, turned her down for financial assistance.  Sadly, much – too much – of the movie was showing her efforts to get her foot in the door at the ale house level.  I’d have liked to see the movie focus more on a couple other craft brewers than her.  Even with all this in mind, I found it uncomfortable seeing the Alstrom Brothers slam her efforts on a live stage event after the movie.  It was unnecessary.

It was still fun to see some of my beer heroes up on the big screen.  Charlie Papazian, Sam Caglione, Greg Koch, Jim Koch made the film.

My Tri-Tip Sandwich and fresh chips

My Tri-Tip Sandwich and fresh chips

We started the evening at Bubba’s Big Bad BBQ in Merced.  I had a Tri-Tip sandwich with a couple Union Jack IPAs.  The food was wondeful and Firestone never fails to please.  We’re heading back here tonight for a brewery tour of Rascal Creek Brewing, where our buddy Don Oliver is currently brewing their ales.  We’re looking forwad to getting the back story on this from Don:)  We’ll have dinner and ales again.

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