The Baltic Porter.

For this week’s brew we’re bringing the mash tun over to Peter’s place to make a mess of his kitchen and give a break to Shean’s house (his kitchen walls have been bleeding beer). We are making our version of a Baltic Porter, and as you may remember, we reviewed the Garrison Baltic Porter last week. We are going for a high alcohol, slightly sweet beer with lots of malt flavours.

Munich malt is being used as the base malt instead of a pale or pilsner 2-row malt. Munich malt imparts more colour and flavour than the other base malts but still has diastatic power (enough enzymes for converting starch to sugar) to be used as the main malt in a recipe.

Recipe:

7.5 kg Munich malt
1.0 kg Amber malt
0.5 kg Crystal 120 malt
0.05 kg Black Patent malt

Mashed at 153 F for 60 minutes
Sparge at 164 F for 15 minutes

40 g Tettnang at 60 minutes
60 g Saaz at 30 minutes

2 packages of hydrated Saflager yeast

Let’s get this mashed!
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So I guess this needs to sit for an hour so… LETS EAT BURGERS!

Peter lives a block away from Gus’ Pub (we lived our 20’s there) and last year the Brooklyn Warehouse folks started, what many would consider to be, the best burger joint in town. In the back of our local watering hole, these fine meat loving locals spit out some of the finest cow you can find in HRM. The menu changes just enough, they keep it simple and you can buy a pint of Bridge Brewing’s special beer for the pub.

http://brooklynwarehouse.ca/
https://twitter.com/GusPub
http://bridgebeer.ca/

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We’ve both been really busy so we are too busy eating and catching up to bother reviewing the beer or the food. Bridge make some of our favourite local beers, and Ace is Ace.

When we get back to Peter’s we collect the wort. The first runnings smell amazing and are very dark.
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First review beer of the night:
Denison’s Weissbier
This beer pours light, slightly golden but little lacing. It is has a cloudy straw colour with orange tints. Slight Clove with some bubblegum on the nose. The head quickly dissipates with some foam lingering around edge of our glasses. Shean thinks he almost tastes a spice on his tongue, but he’s not convinced of spice. We pick out a strong bite from the heavy carbonation. That spiciness seems to be mostly coming from the carbonation level combined with minimal clove.

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Les Trois Mousquetaires Alt Sticke
First thing we get on the nose are fruity esters. Famously from Düsseldorf, Germany, this Quebec version of the style is woody, vegetal and sweet to taste. Nice maltiness. Dark, red brown in appearance. Lingering bitter on back of the tongue. After a few samples, an earthiness is there that has more of the woody notes as well. Bark. Bark.

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Between all this beer sampling we finished collecting the wort, got the wort up to a boil and added our bittering hops, the 40 g of Tettnang.

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Unibroue Fin du Mond
Citrus and Belgian yeast characteristics are apparent on the nose. More of these flavours as we taste. Murky blonde. Sweetness in the beginning. A tartness in the finish. A little hint of dried fruit. Shean found the finish a bit unpleasant while Peter enjoyed it. A fist fight was avoided by agreeing to disagree on this.

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Anchor Old Foghorn
A thin head forms on this strong ale. A little hop flavour. Booze barely cuts through the sweetness inherent in this brown brew. Warming from the alcohol. Sweetness is coating our mouth. Caramel candy notes.

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Boxing Rock Vicar’s Cross DIPA is our last beer of the night. We’ve had this as a night cap on another brew night and both of us pick up a bottle or two regularly when we want a delicious and hoppy beer. We are not reviewing this one. All we want to do is make the point that we really love this beer!
(Beware early reviews of this beer as it took several batches for Boxing Rock to get this one dialed in).

So after adding the Saaz hops at the 30 minute mark and finishing off the boil, we cool the wort and get it into a glass carboy with a blow off tube. SINGLE STAGE FTW!

The starting gravity is 1.084 which is exactly what we had planned (again we don’t know how this keeps happening) although we ended up with some extra wort.

We’ll be taking a brewing hiatus over the holidays, but we’ll be hitting a party very soon where we’ll be tasting the Like a Motorcycle beers (see previous double brew post) and reporting on how things went.

Buy some local beer this Xmas.
http://atlanticcanadabeerblog.wordpress.com/2013/12/16/atlantic-canadian-beer-blogs-holiday-buyers-guide-2013/

Happy Holidays, and once again…

Cheers from Mashed in Hfx!

Mashed in HFX Weizens up. (to Hull with it)

While it has yet to be officially posted online, the Garrison Brewing competition this year will be a Weizen/Weissbier (wheat beer http://www.bjcp.org/2008styles/style15.php#1a). We thought we’d start early as we are new to this style of beer (as far as brewing goes)

This week’s brew is a recipe that Shean put together called “Blick Aufs Meer” which translates loosely to either “Sea View” or “View of the ocean”

Blick Aufs Meer

2.78 Kg Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM)
1.61 kg Wheat, Flaked (1.6 SRM)
500g Rice Hulls (0.0 SRM)
1.00 kg Munich Malt (9.0 SRM)
1 pkg German Wheat yeast (Wyeast Labs #3333)
10g Hallertauer (60 min)
10g Hallertauer (20 min)

Estimated Original Gravity: 1.051
Est ABV 5.2%

To be honest neither of us are big fans of wheat beers, so this is definitely new territory.
The goal with this batch of straw coloured gold is to figure out what we can tweak and adjust for our actual competition brew submissions. According to German law at least 50% of your recipe needs to be wheat, and the rest a pilsner malt, given that German pils is also a 2 row, Shean decided a Canadian 2 row would likely do the trick for the first rough run. The next batch will be a tad more pure and use nothing but Germany’s best malt, but for tastes sake we wanted to have 2 different samples to compare and see if we could pick out the difference between the Canuck and German varieties.

On to the evenings tastings!
A great place to start given the recipe

The Schneider Weisse Hopfenweisse

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Starting with the nose it comes off very yeasty and it has a really nice head. Murky and straw coloured. Light clove, hint of grass and a good bite on the back end. A seriously lingering bitter which is surprising. We happened to be having some Chinese food during the tasting and it pairs really well with the tartness of the plum sauce.

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http://www.troududiable.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shawinigan_Handshake

Not very strong on the nose, but notes of pineapple. Pineapple! pineapple! pineapple! We would almost want to say this is strictly a malty fermented pineapple juice but saying that would rob it of complexity that came forward as we sampled this. Medium body, very little head retention. Fairly malty but not overwhelmingly so. As the beer warmed up a bit this beast became an entirely different offering. The pineapple started to fade and the yeast flavours came forward, a bit more spice showed up as well and the mouthfeel was evened out by the bite in the finish. All in all, a very pleasant experience. A brew that any prime minister could be proud of (excluding the obvious sweater-vest wearing conservative).

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The colour really grabbed us on this IPA. A nice dark copper-amber. Notes of resin, and hop oils on the top of the mouth. It has a good malt backbone and caramelly tastes, and is fairly dry on the finish. Spills well on a brown sweater. Medium body, light citrus and a hint of pine. It also spills well on grey pants. It tastes like antlers on a bear. 😉

Side note:

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Learning to pick out different notes when tasting beer is an ongoing experience and we are each still expanding our abilities here. We didn’t notice the brief description on the side of the bottle until AFTER we had given our mutual 2 cents. 2 copper pennies if you will. As it would turn out, we actually might have an idea what we’re talking about. We were pretty happy that our combined notes matched up to the commercial description. Shean described the copper colour, resin and dry finish while Peter picked out the pine, caramelly backbone and hop oils sticking to the top of his mouth. Everything matched up precisely with what was written. We’re pleased to announce that as it would turn out, we’re not totally full of it.

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The Garrison Baltic Porter

(Obviously, as the night went on, we decided to get creative with our beer photos.)

Sweet molasses aroma and also boozy on the nose. Molasses continues in the taste with dried fruit.
We named off figs, dates and (a little) plum. Great sipper.

Baltic Porter was developed as a style in response to the Russian Imperial Stout that was being shipped through the Baltic area to Catherine the Great and her court. It was developed into a dark, sweeter beer brewed (usually) with lager yeast instead of the ale yeast used in the imperial stouts that were made and shipped from Britain.

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Propeller Revolution Russian Imperial Stout.

The first thing we noticed on the aroma was sweetness and alcohol notes on the 8% ABV brew. We immediately pick up chocolate (baker’s chocolate perhaps) in the taste of the beer once we got past sniffing our glasses. A solid, lingering bitterness in there. Leather and tobacco hints were not hiding too hard from us. There was something else we couldn’t put our finger on which we will now refer to as glittinous***

We believe, and it is somewhat hard to tell from year to year through recollection only, that this is superior to last years version of the Propeller RIS.

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We put the Weizen into the primary fermenter and recorded the starting gravity as 1.050. Right where we wanted it.

We’ll of course let you know how it turned out in a few weeks time.

Until next time, cheers from Mashed In Hfx!

***From this day forward, any flavor or aroma we can’t quite put our finger on will be described as glittinous

Mashed in Hfx gets SMaSHed

A SMaSH is a an acronym in the craft beer/homebrew community for a Single Malt and Single Hopped beer. The acronym was coined by a group of dedicated brewers at the popular home brewing forum HBT (http://www.homebrewtalk.com). A SMaSH brew is a way to really get a feel (taste) for any base malt and any hop variety. We wanted to try something simple but still try some new stuff. This will be the first of our Mashed In Hfx brews with first wort hopping.

http://www.howtobrew.com/section1/chapter5-1.html (scroll down)

Shean called Centennial for the hop and Peter recommended Maris Otter (UK 2-Row) as the malt.

We’ve brought along our friend Jonathan Primack as our first guest brewer, to maybe give a third opinion on the goings on, and add a few hilarious one liners to break up our puns.

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The brew:

Centennial SMaSH

6.5 kg of UK 2-Row (Maris Otter)

30 g centennial – first wort hops

16 g Centennial – bittering

30 g Centennial – flame out

60 g Centennial – dry hopping

Yeast:US-05

As you can see it is a very simple single malt, single hop offering. Shooting for 5.5-6% ABV.

Remember our first amazing post? REMEMBER!!?? Well tonight we got to sample our first duel brew that we had called the Tidehouse Brown.

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We pick up quite a bit of fruit esters on the nose. The roastiness is light and the finish drops off soon. The Northern Brewer and the East Kent give off a nice earthy taste. The dextrine (Cara-pils) malt provides that creamy, textured mouth feel. It is light to medium in body and fairly close to what we had planned. It is off though, just a tad. Totally drinkable session beer, just not where we want it. We’ll come back to this sometime but for now its a pretty decent first run on the new gear.

The Big Spruce Competition: Jonathan and Peter both brought over some samples of their entries. Jonathan’s is a more balanced example of the America IPA style while Peter’s came out more aggressive in aroma and bitterness. Each offering is a solid product, and therefore we feel that it might come down to the tastes of whomever judges this competition as to which one gets the better evaluation.

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First wort Hopping: What does it do?

We are adding 30 grams of the Centennial hops to the first wort we are drawing from our mash. As this wort is not up to boiling temperature and the same pH level the hop flavour extraction is different than when added during the boil. As the hop material is still boiled it still adds to the bitterness obtained from the hops during the boiling period.

Shean’s Oaked Espresso Stout:

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Aged for 3 months

All three of us agreed this was a solid brew from a guy who’s really just getting going. The nose is very rich in coffee and alcohol. You can definitely smell the oak but its faint. You smell espresso but taste chocolate. Warm mouth feel but hits the tongue cold. Good sweetness in the middle but not too syrupy. No cherry but… hmm… cherry? SHEAN HIGGINS IS THE GREATEST BREWER EVER AND THE SEXIEST MAN ALIVE! (that last part was added by Peter)***

Now back to the SMaSH!

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Another 16 grams of Centennial hop pellets are being added at the 60 minute start of the boil to add more bitterness to the wort. We are adding another 30 grams at the last minute of the boil to add more flavour from the hops. After primary fermentation is completed we will dump another 60 grams of this hop to add further flavours as the dry hop.

Ok, proper review time.

We keep trying to forget this one. The Rare Bird “Pale Ale” strong beer.

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*AHEM*

This bird doesn’t fly.

Sickly sweet. Candy Candy Candy. Pretty bad actually. We’re glad its rare. No hop aroma and you really can’t taste much aside from malt. Side Note: The top realm of alcohol by volume (ABV) for a pale ale is supposed to be roughly 6.0 while this is 7.5. The “hint of hops” they refer to just isn’t there. Jonathan: “They must have designed this on take your kids to work day.” It really was sickly sweet. We hate to be so negative on a local brew, but come on guys, come on. Take some advice. *Wink*

Next offering to the beer gods is Uncle Leo’s Red:

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*Clank*

Not much hop on the nose, mostly caramel malts. Restrained hop aroma with the malt dialed in. Light roasted flavours (very light). Not as sweet as a typical style Canadian red, not hoppy, kind of in the middle. Medium body. Well rounded, its hard to classify it as a red. Had you poured this a brown, we’d call it a light brown and be very happy with it. All in all, a great product from a great local brewer.

Side note: At this point in the evening we found out that Peter Lionais has not only not seen The Terminator but has also never experienced the wonder and beauty that is Terminator 2. This also means that for many years he’s been missing a great deal of references to said films in popular culture. It may not be brew related, but we thought you all should know as it is pretty embarrassing.

250px-Terminator-2-judgement-day

“Milk is for babies. When you grow up you have to drink beer.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger

Goliath

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Triple

Yeasty and lemon on the nose. Seriously peppery aromatics. Heavy spice, light malt. Slight citrus but only on the back end. Very nice. Great summer sipper. Pair it with some white fish, and maybe a spinach salad.

The Citrus Hystrix IPA

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Sour citrus smell. Woah! This is a very different beer. Rye? Lemons? Like a soured beer but not a traditional sour. Lemon, tangerine… woah. How many citrus fruits were we ready to name off. All of us had immediate smiles. Really enjoyable brew, however there was an insane amount of flotsam in the second two pours as evidenced in the picture below.

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Its where they keep the flavour

Our SMaSH has seemingly come along fine. We held our temps and the mash went well. An OG of 1.060 was our aim and we hit that. We only got 22 L instead of 23 L, but that’s good enough for the folks we roll with, or at least the ones that count.

We’ll try to not bore you with the basics of all grain brewing, we just assume if you’re taking the time to read this week after week you know what’s up. We’ve been getting a lot of hits from California, the U.K, Texas, etc… and a surprising amount of interest from the Maritimes which makes us happy. We’re still not entirely sure what shape this blog will take but what we do know is that we’re excited to brew beer and stoked to share our experience with the process. The only real goal we have right now is to brew, review quality beer and learn.

Tonight was a really great time. Good food and many laughs were had, Thanks to Jonathan for stopping by to talk shop for the evening.

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Again, cheers from Mashed In Hfx and the always smiling Jonathan Primack!

***No, Peter did not add that.

Left Breton Organic Conspiracy Imperial IPA

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When chatting with Jeremy from Big Spruce at the Ladies Beer League Cask Fest he mentioned the newest one off beer they had brewed, the Left Breton Organic Conspiracy Imperial IPA. It’s definitely a mouthful.

Realizing that Big Spruce does their Halifax deliveries on Tuesdays a plan was hatched to have a growler taken to the city with their kegs and delivered to Peter at work. Peter (the kind soul that he is) waited to meet up with Shean before cracking the seal.

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The story behind this beer is that a bunch of organic hops were brought by Crannóg Ales during a visit to Big Spruce and were then used along with hops grown at the Big Spruce hop yard to make this Imperial India Pale Ale.

When we poured the beer we found the carbonation low but the growler had been held on to for a few days. Right away we were picking out candy and pine flavours. It had a malt sweetness to start with, along with the hop candy flavours but the bitterness stuck around so long it definitely won the battle. Peter was trying to nail down the candy flavour and offered hard strawberry candies as the flavour we struggled to explain. Shean wondered who he was working with, yet again.

We were so curious about the interesting hop flavours that we had found hard to explain that we fired off a message to Jeremy, who quickly got back to us with the following details:

Galena was used for bittering.

Cascade and Chinook were added at flame out (end of the boil).

Cascade and Willamette were used for the dry hop.

The alcohol by volume (ABV) was 7.4%.

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It is an enjoyable and very intriguing brew.

Rumour has it that Stillwell Beer Bar now has it on tap, so it would be in your best interest to head on down and grab yourself a pint.

Cheers from Mashed In Hfx!

Cask Beer with the Ladies Beer League

Sunday evening and we made our way to the Stubborn Goat, Halifax’s new Gastropub. They were the venue for this great event organized by the Ladies Beer League. With our beer passports in hand we quickly got to having our glasses filled and checking out the casks getting tapped.

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Peter started with Hell Bay’s Dark Cream Ale while Shean got his first pour from the Propeller cask of dry hopped IPA.

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The Dark Cream Ale was very nice in cask form having tried the bottled version a few weeks back. The low carbonation really made if feel nice and creamy in your mouth. The IPA was not so impressive as the dry hops (Chinook and Zythos Blend) were a bit odd and not really enjoyable. Interesting but not a hit.

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We were both fans of the Boxing Rock Brown Ale. It had a wonderful aroma and tasted great as well.

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We were also really happy with Bridge’s Belgian Apricot IPA. We had tried the Belgian IPA the previous evening so it was interesting to compare to this fruit infused version. The apricot gave a nice addition to the flavours already there but were not overpowering in any way.

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We had also tried the Garrison Winter Warmer the previous evening so got to compare the cask conditioning of that beer too.

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We had some fun chats with Jeremy from Big Spruce. The Glenora infused Sideways Stout was fantastic. The Glen Breton single malt whisky was used well and the dry hops (Chinook maybe?) made this beer a delicious drink. So good that although the beers provided by Bridge and Boxing Rock really impressed us, and were both possibilities for our vote for best beer, we ended up both casting our votes with Big Spruce. We were happy to see that we backed the winner.

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We thought we would grab a Stanley Cup style pose from the winner.

We had a great evening of trying the 7 beers as well as chatting with the brewers and beer fans there that evening. Thanks again to the Ladies Beer League on organizing a fantastic event and helping to grow the Halifax beer culture. Find out more about their events at https://www.facebook.com/LadiesBeerDrinkingLeague

On the note of the growing Halifax beer culture we couldn’t help checking out Stillwell Beer Bar who opened this weekend.

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The space is really nice and it appears they swap out the kegs on tap frequently so you will find new options the next time you visit. After a couple of glasses here we were ready to hit the hay after busy couple of evenings making and enjoying beer.

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Cheers from Mashed In Hfx!

Round two, two rounds.

Second week in and we are already getting ambitious. We decided to try getting two brews put down during one session. We are also still trying to nail down our brewing style with our equipment but so far so good.

We have been thinking about making beer for our pals in Like A Motorcycle. http://likeamotorcycle.bandcamp.com/ and this week we’re jumping in.

Peter likes to make puns. So first off…

‘Like A Motorcyc-Ale’:

Peter: I was thinking I could make some rock n’ roll beer for a house show at their motorhome. The plan for this one was a dark coloured but light bodied and easy drinking ale. Dark like engine oil but easy drinking.

Shean: If you’re brewing for a house show you’ll want a session beer (easy sipper) and at least one stonger brew  (I typically call them “Bangers”) My Double IPA is a serious banger. What I’m looking for in this brew is a medium to full bodied, fairly hoppy, strong ale. Shooting for 9%abv. I’m not just looking to get a person drunk, I’m wanting it to be a very balanced drunk.

First sample of the night:

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Sir John A’s Honey Wheat

The Gahan: Very light in body, low ABV. We made the mistake of starting the night off early with some heavily spiced meats and and strong flavoured cheeses. No real review here as our palates were pretty much destroyed. Very minimal yeast flavor (but it was there) light on the Honey. No real aftertaste.

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The Grain

Peter’s Like a Motorcyc-ale

4.56 kg Canadian 2-Row malt

0.76 kg Black Patent malt

0.76 kg Cara-Pils malt

0.76 kg Chocolate malt

0.36 kg Crystal 30L

35 g Northern Brewer at 60 minutes

35 g Northern Brewer at 30 minutes

30 g Cascade at 10 minutes

30 g Cascade at 1 minute US-05 American ale yeast

Next up to bat…

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Na-no nonsense here. 😉

Bridge Brewing Co: We’re big fans of these guys and what they bring to the local beer scene. This Belgian Style IPA has great malt on the nose and heavy citrus up front. The yeast is well balanced and the back end is a serious bitter. The bitter is really prominent on the tail. Holds up well with the old cheddar and peppered meats. Swirl this around your mouth, let the bubbles pull those fats off of your tongue. A hint of apricot, but very minimal.

Let’s get mashed!

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We’ve been steadily adjusting our strike temperatures to make up for the heat loss we’ve been experiencing. It seems to have paid off.

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La Trappe: Shean had this one a couple of times before but Peter hadn’t so we dove in. Great work. Super yeast with subtle pleasant fruit but nothing fruity like you would expect. Well malty once swirled about the mouth. A nice and creamy textured finish. The middle is a slight linger of a bitter but not overpowering. This Trappist is a thing of beauty.

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2 mash tuns=2 beers.

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The Hacker Pschorr

Next to nothing on the nose. Nothing to bring home to mom. More sweet than bitter. Crisp and tiny bitters on the back end. Hardly noticeable. If they sold it in an 8 pack of cans and we were going to some dude-brah’s awful bachelor apartment for a round of darts and ultimate fighting or whatever, we might be into this. Too bad we’re adults, this one is clearly for children. We normally wouldn’t be so harsh but these guys aren’t local so we doubt we’re hurting any feelings. To be honest, the only reason we picked this up is because we couldn’t get to premier wine and spirits so we had to settle for the NSLC’s weak selection (that’s another entry all together).

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Hot Hot Heat

Shean’s Like a Motorcyc-ale recipe tentatively titled “Sipping Away”:

LAMDIPA

2.64kg 2row

1.48kg Maris Otter

1.30kg Dextrine malt

1kg Munich Malt

.70kg of Aromatic malt

.50kg Crystal 30L

70g centennial Hops (60 min boil)

45g East Kent Goldings (30 min boil)

25g Cascade (10 min boil)

25g Cascade (dry hopped)

2 pkg American Ale yeast

Estimated OG:1.087

Actual OG hit: 1.080 (pretty happy with that)

IBU:87

SRM:12.2

Estimated abv: 9%

I would have liked to have had a yeast starter ready for this guy but it had been a very busy couple of weeks so I didn’t get the chance. Here’s hoping there is enough of a cell count in those two packs to do the trick and hit my target.

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The Winter Warmer

This year’s offering from Garrison is a bit spicy and maltier than last years warmer. Full of raisins and lingering dried fruit. The spices are dialed in right on the mark. Both of us are a big fan. We felt the need to take this one outside and turned our sparge water boil down so we could take some time with it. If you’ve got a fireplace, light it before popping this cap. Both of our noses are a tad stuffed so its been difficult to pull the aromatics but there is something there that we can’t place. Either way, solid work on Garrison. Reminded us both of a spruce beer that Peter had made about 2 years ago.

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A steamy Peter

As it would turn out, attempting to put down 2 brews in one evening where you haven’t even started your strike until 8pm, is challenging. We were still up and brewing around 4AM. In the end, we ended up just pasteurizing Shean’s LAMDIPA by heating it up high enough and got the boil going first thing in the morning. Timing was an issue as Shean needed to be somewhere by a specific time so we didn’t get the chance to properly cool the wort. Total bummer. If you just let your wort cool slowly without using a chiller (or pile of snow, icepacks, etc) it can cause some problems and potentially give you some chill haze. Ideally you want to bring that temperature down very quickly.To compensate, knowing we were going to be rushed, we added a little bit extra in the way of Irish Moss hoping that it will help. Here goes nothing.

That’s it for now, we’re off to a Ladies Beer League event at the Stubborn Goat Gastropub.

We’ll report back soon.

CHEERS! *raises glass*

-Shean and Peter

Two nuts make a brown.

The two of us (Peter and Shean) have been friends now for several years and the antics surrounding our shared brews have always been palatable. This blog will be devoted to the beers we make, the beers we love, and the culture of beer lovers that unites our city.

Brewing for us used to be a way of saving some cash or trying to make the strongest beers possible for house shows and parties. Those days are over. These days, we brew for the love of the craft, and to improve the quality of our beers and skills.

For the most part, we’ve been brewing separately for years; now… we are brewing together.

Once a week, every week, we’re going to brew up a batch of all grain fun. We’ll sample some of the best suds this town has to offer and report back to you. Friends, family and fellow brewing enthusiasts: THIS is MASHED IN HFX!

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Peter has been doing all grain for a while now but in a ‘brew in a bag’ style set up in his apartment. Shean was ready to get into all grain at his house so we decided to team up. We threw together our first joint recipe, a brown ale, while drinking beers and checking out some brewing software. Basically this is a test for the gear we will be using for the next little while. A lot of changes will be made by the next brew, and we hope to be in full swing by spring.

Today’s Brew:

This is a pretty standard Brown Ale borrowing characteristics from both American styles and English traditions. We’ve kept it pretty simple as it is our first run with the new set up, however, things seem to have worked out ok. As we write our wort is successfully chilling.

The recipe:

Tide House Brown

5.7 kg UK 2 Row

0.5 kg Cara-Pils

0.15 kg Chocolate

0.15 kg Roasted Barley

20 g NB @ 60min

20 g NB @ 30min

30 g Fug @ 10min

30 g Fug @ 1min

30 g Fug dry hop

US-05

6.5 L @ 180F for 60min 11.25 L @ 185 for 15min

We’ll get to the brew shortly; first, here’s what we’re drinking tonight after a visit to premier wine and spirits.

http://premierwines.ca/store/

If you haven’t been, you bloody well should.

1:Boxing Rock Hunky Dory

2:Boxing Rock Temptation Red Ale

3:Sea Level Blue Heron E.S.B

4:Garrison Martello Stout

5:La Buteuse

6:Golden Cream Ale (from Shean’s Keg)

7:Old Peculiar (Keg)

8:Quintine Ambree

Our first sample of the evening was the Boxing Rock Hunky Dory.

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This pale ale is crisp with some nice citrus notes and a pleasant mouthfeel. One of two brewers thought they could taste the green tea used in this beer. The other brewer thought the first was full of it.

Shean’s excited about his first mash in with the new set up…

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Next up: The Boxing Rock Temptation Red Ale.

Definite front runner of the evening. Peter had tried it few times before, but it was a new brew to Shean. Both of us are very impressed with the overall balance of this stellar ale from one of the newer Nova Scotian breweries. Boxing Rock continues to do phenomenal work. If you get the chance, try their Vicars Cross DIPA as well.Image

Our first first runnings of our new set up and new brewing partnership. We’re expecting a pretty solid result.

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Next up: Sea Level Blue Heron E.S.B. Sea Level is always a treat to drop in on any time we’re in the valley. Shean happened to be near Wolfville recently and grabbed a 6 pack. We’ve had this beer before and we noticed a subtle difference in the hop levels. Not sure what Randy is doing with it, but it was a nice surprise. It comes off more like an I.P.A than an E.S.B. One draw back though, is the cans. For whatever reason, the carbonation level wasn’t there. Be sure to get the growlers when going through Port William..

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Of course we haven’t forgotten about our own beer, the Brown seems to be coming along well.

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Next up is the Garrison Martello Stout.

It’s good. Very good. As expected. It was good, but it didn’t stop us from mixing in some espresso to help us through the late evening.

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Garrison Stout=Good

Garrison Coffee stout=Better.

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La Buteuse from Le Trou du Diable was the next beer we split for the evening. Our thoughts on the beer were a bit split too. Peter liked it quite well. Shean thought the sweetness was a little too much for him. Maybe just in comparison to the previous beers of this session.

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Pitched the yeast on our wort. Original gravity reading of 1.045. Now for the little yeasties to do their part.

We ended our night with Quintine Ambree. Peter had actually tried this one recently when checking out the Stubborn Goat Gastro Pub and recommended it. This is the type of beer that will go really well with food. It has a slight tartness but nice balance. We are both big fans of this Belgian beer now.

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We’re both pretty excited about our new weekly brew dates, and we will do our best to bring more brew stories and beer thoughts soon. Next week we’ll be reviewing 7 different casks by some of the major maritime brewers at the Ladies Beer League event taking place at the Stubborn Goat. Tickets are now sold out, so if you haven’t got a ticket yet you’ll be missing out on a great evening.

http://www.canadianbeernews.com/2013/10/17/ladies-beer-league-stubborn-goat-present-halifaxs-first-cask-beer-fest/

That’s it for now. Shean and Peter signing off.

Happy Brewing

-Mashed in Hfx