No brewing this week, but we are still working on a few of our beers.  Keith moved the California Common, Dampfmaschine, into the secondary fermentor yesterday and also dry hopped it with Northern Brewer & Perle.  I can’t wait to taste this when it’s done.  As you can see, the yeast cake was pretty large.  We can thank our mashing schedule and oxygen aeration system for that – I think.  Is there really any way to know for sure…brewing is a science, but it’s also an art that has been consistently progressed by accidents and unforeseen variables.  I like accidents…That’s what she said.

Here are a few more pictures of the dry hops and carboy.  Keith moved the carboy from the freezing garage to his “warmer” bathtub.  It’s like we are making moonshine or something.

The Holiday Abbey ale is coming along too.  I racked recipe B to secondary tonight and found the attenuation lacking.  The beer is still pretty sweet, but it may be acceptable for Christmas time.  Who knows what the potion will do.  I’m really excited for this one.   If all goes well we will have a great new Chimney Sweeper…but we shall never forget the first one and all the good times it brought to us.

Speaking of Abbey Ale, run out to Trader Joe’s and grab yourself a few of the annual Trader Joe’s Vintage Ale – 2010.  This is an incredibly great tasting and affordable Abbey Ale brewed by the Canadian Brasserie Unibroue.  If you know Maudite, Trois Pistoles, or La Fin Du Monde you’ll probably really like this one too.  I remember the first time I tried it…I didn’t like it at all.  This was before I had acquired my taste for good beer.  Sometimes a complex and flavorful beer can be too much to swallow if you don’t understand what your drinking.  What have we learned.  Kip is an elitist beerhole.  And how!

In other news, Matt has challenged me to make an incredible extract recipe while he builds and incredible all grain recipe.  I wonder what will come from this.

Great things!  Matt has also been hard at work on his Station Fire CDA.  For all those that do not know what a CDA is…I don’t either.  Just kidding.  CDA is Cascadian Dark Ale, which is also know as a Black IPA, which is a bit oxymoronic – BLACK Indian PALE Ale. It’s like a black and tan only where not in Ireland.  Reality check, Black & Tan (Guinness w/ Harp or similar) is not a real thing in Ireland.  When Katie and I tried to order it while we were there we were asked to follow the bartender outside as he rolled up his sleeves.  We proceeded to ask every bartender in every bar in every city we visited…all responded with threats.  They do however order Guinness with a head topper of Smithick’s or visa versa…just the foam though.  I digress…fortunately for me I’ve got nothing else to say – John does though…

The following is from the mind of John Rockwell:

bRuinslayer in the home stretch!

Our seasonal Amber/Red IPA that coincides with the annual football matchup between USC and cross town rival ucla is upon us once again.  For that past three weeks the beer has been in primary and secondary fermentation at a modest 68 to 72 degrees. Last night we decided to keg the beer in preparation for this saturday’s game.  Since we only have four days until the beer must be ready to serve, naturally, we are force carbonating.

The transition from carboy to keg was one of the smoothest endeavors yet at my downtown loft, where we have only done a small handful of beer related activities.  In addition to kegging, we also bottled six 12ozer’s and primed with a dash (2/3 teaspoon) of sugar.  On a side note, since I have only one keg this also marked the death of Snoopyberry which had previously been on tap. Not to worry, there was only a tiny amount of Snoopyberry left.

Now the beer is carbonating in the kegerator at a chilly 38 degrees. We are employing the tried and true ‘pressurize to 30 psi, shake the keg, absorb CO2, pressurize, shake, and repeat” method. Hopefully this yields great results. Also, it’s about time I replace the regulator on the CO2 tank. It leaks and I work around it by only leaving it on for a short while but that’s no fun. Maybe Santa has a regulator in his sleigh this year!

Fight On! Beat the bruins!

Thanks John, Keith, and Matt.  Fight on Everyone.  

P.S. if you want a beer tasting contact us on facebook or drop a comment here.  We’ll see what we can do/arrange.

About John Rockwell

John Rockwell is a co-founder of LA Ale Works and contributing writer to Bierkast. He has been home brewing for over seven years and is a certified BJCP judge, "Bring me your beer!".

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