Simcoe IPA Brew Day

On December 3, 2008, in Family and Friends, Homebrew Gadgets, Homebrewing, by Mark Ranes
Brew Sculpture

Brew Sculpture

Last Friday’s Simcoe IPA brew day was uneventful.  This was batch 72, and I spent at least a little time thinking about how to make batch 100 a special brew.  The OG came in a little low at 1.064, and with a full six ounces of Simcoe hops in the brew, I’m expecting a very flavorful brew, with a piney taste similar to the Columbus IPA.  I’m looking forward to putting these two brews side by side.  Next up in the single hop experiment is an all Summit IPA.

Simcoe Hops - Lots of Simcoe hops!

Simcoe Hops - Lots of Simcoe hops!

Everything came off like clockwork, and I even enjoyed the change of brewing further out on the patio.  Usually I brew under the patio cover and have easy access to counter space, all my brewing stuff and electricity (and proximity to the taps, too:).  It was kind of pleasant to have the late fall leaves drifting down on me while I brewed.  This is my favorite time of the year to brew.  The weather is cool for brewing and my fermentations tend stay right at the correct temperature without too much extra effort.  Fall is brewing season for me.  The day reminded me that even though I enjoy the social aspects of brewing, I also very much enjoy solo brewing – things just fall in line like they should, and I tend to be more on my game.

Mmmm!  IPA!

Mmmm! IPA!

I had several visitors at the end of the brew day. Becky, Eric and Evan visited for a while, Brad was my Iceman, and Steve and Maggie hung out and enjoyed a couple brews (well, Maggie was actually Steve’s DD:).  Steve brought me a cool new cleaning tool that was the result of an idea he’s had rolling around in his head for a while.  I’m actually looking forward to cleaning a couple carboys and trying it out!

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You Find Out Who Your Friends Are…

On October 27, 2008, in Craft Beer, Family and Friends, Food, by Mark Ranes

…when they bring beer from 3000 miles away that you’ve been wanting to taste for years!

Stephen and the Ladies

Stephen and the Ladies

This Saturday evening, we hosted a dinner for our best buddies to join us for dinner and ales in lieu of our neighbor’s annual Halloween party.  John and Robyn throw the best Halloween party, but after five years they took a year off.  We decided to host a dinner party and I put some tri-tip and shrimp in the smoker, and everyone else brought their best to support the meal.

Bell's Two Hearted Ale

Bell's Two Hearted Ale

But the best of the evening was the ales that Maggie brought back from Washington DC – particularly the Bell’s Three Hearted Ale I’ve been wanting to taste forever.  Maggie brought back well over a case of ale through airport security, and even educated the TSA as to the virtues of homebrewing!  You gotta love someone that can do that 🙂

Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA and Bell's Special Cream Stout

Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA and Bell's Special Cream Stout

She and Steve showed up with lots of Bell’s Two Hearted Ale (and left me a six-pack), some Bell’s Special Double Cream Stout, some Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA, some Weyerbacher Simcoe Double IPA and a bomber of Legacy Brewing’s Hoptimus Prime Double IPA.

Weyerbacher Simcoe Double IPA

Weyerbacher Simcoe Double IPA

The Two Hearted Ale was wonderful (and my clone was pretty much spot-on:), but the highlight of the ales was the Simcoe Double IPA.  It has an ass kicking malt bill, balanced out by a piney, resinous hop character.  Steve and I are committed to try and brew this beast using my Blue Flame malt bill and subbing in Simcoe hops all the way through the brew.  I may brew this on Veterans Day.

Legacy Brewing's Hoptimus Prime

Legacy Brewing's Hoptimus Prime

All in all, the evening was a great mix of friends, good eats and wonderful brews.  The whole evening was like an Old Milwaukee commercial –  it doesn’t get any better than this!

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