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Category: beer

…that pure alcoholic experience.

On the way home from work this afternoon I stopped and traded a couple of used (but still good) Schwalbe Racing Ralph 29×2.4″ tires to Paul (Jlr13) from the MMBA Forum. One of the beers he gave me was Red Horse Beer, a Filipino beer that he said tastes like being a teenager. Except this was a normal size bottle, not the 500mL more commonly drank by youths.

This is much tastier than a typical 8% malt liquor, and I’m enjoying. It’s cold, somewhat sweet, and fizzy. I like it. It’s what I thought Baltika 9 should have tasted like. I can’t help but be amused at the About Red Horse Beer section of the brand’s home page:

“Red Horse Beer is your extra strong beer that brings you that pure alcoholic experience. It is not your ordinary beer – rebellious and flavorful yet bold and intense. It is sweet and bitter smooth, giving you a fueled kick. Excite yourself with this deeply hued distinct tasting beer.”

Yes… that pure alcoholic experience.

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Fat Head’s Trail Head Pale Ale


This past Tuesday I headed down to Ray’s in Cleveland for some mountain biking. As per usual this was a fun time, and afterward we went out to one of the local breweries for food. Having to drive back home I only had one beer (a nice IPA), and brought back this growler of Trail Head Pale Ale from Fat Head’s Brewery and Saloon (Beeradvocate).

I have a strong, visceral dislike for this company’s logo and branding, but they make some tasty beer and food. The served portions on the food are a bit ridiculous (one appetizer is easily enough for five people and the sandwiches — Headwiches — are good for two), but it’s very worth stopping at. It also happens to be just off of a highway on the way back to Michigan which is a nice plus.

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Four Fresh Kegs


Since the beginning of the year I’ve been brewing a batch of beer roughly once per week. This evening I kegged all four and now the beers are sitting in the garage chilling before I begin force carbonating them. I’m still trying to decide if I should purchase the ~$25 of extra fittings required to inject CO2 via the outlet tube — something which will likely decrease carbonation time — or just go with the previous method of pressurizing the head of the keg and waiting. The former should have the beer soundly ready to go within a week, the latter has taken 2-3 without occasional shaking.

The four beers shown here are an Double IPA and Dunkelweizen, both Brewer’s Best kits, a Chocolate Stout (a Cap ‘N’ Cork kit), and Hopeful Pale Ale, a slightly smokey and citrus-y idea that I put together with the help of one of the folks up at Cap ‘N’ Cork. After tasting them during kegging I’m pretty happy, and I’m particularly looking forward to trying the Hopeful IPA because it seems to have been a success.


Hopeful Pale Ale

After a fun day of bike riding and working on a friend’s computer I brewed a pale ale using some leftover hops and dried malt extract. My hope for this was a low-ish alcohol (< 5%) very slightly smokey but otherwise American Pale Ale-ish beer.

The recipe for is as follows, and I intend to update this page indicating whether or not I like how this came out. I intend to ferment this beer in primary until it’s pretty much done, then immediately keg and force carbonate it. I have three other beers aging in secondary, and my hope is that this’ll be a nice-when-fresh beer that’ll will play a part in allowing me to fill all four empty kegs at the same time.

Here’s the ingredient list:

  • 6.6 pounds Golden Light LME
  • 11 ounces Extra Pale DME
  • 1 pound 10°L
  • 2 ounces Weyermann Smoked Malt
  • 0.5 ounce Simcoe hops at 60 Minutes
  • 0.5 ounce Simcoe hops at 15 Minutes
  • 1x Whirlfloc tablet at 15 Minutes
  • 1 ounce Citra hops at Flameout

This was a typical full volume boil, with the crushed malts steeped for 30 minutes in 2 gallons of water then sparged with 1 gallon.

OG: 1.053

Here’s to hoping it comes out nicely…

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Kuhnhenn’s Solar Eclipse


Danielle wants me to use up the special beers that have been sitting in the fridge for a while, so tonight after a ride on the trainer I opened up this bottle of Kuhnhenn Brewing Company‘s Solar Eclipse. This is a barrel aged imperial stout, aged from 2009 to 2012 before being sold. My good friend Brian gave me this bottle a while back, and I’d been saving it for a special occasion. I guess that was tonight, to celebrate a nice weekend with friends.

At 18% I’m sipping this slowly (it was opened at 9pm and isn’t gone nearly two and a half hours later), but that seems appropriate for a beer like this. As it warms and sits the flavor changes, and I’m enjoy it the whole way through. This really is good, and something I’d like to get more of. Thanks, Brian!

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New Holland Cap Font Changes

After purchasing a six pack of New Holland’s The Poet a couple days back I noticed that the font used inside of the caps has changed. It’s gone from the distressed font seen on the right (to and ing) to something much more boring (Tulipdone, and earthy).

Judging by the change to the markings on the plastic cap liner I suspect that the cap supplier changed as well. Perhaps they had greater restrictions on the fonts used for printing the inside of caps. Oh well.

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Grimm Brothers Brewhouse Sooty Brother Grätzer Ale

After trying the Magic Mirror I had one bottle of Grimm Brothers Brewhouse beer from Erik and Kristi left, a bitter, smoked wheat beer of a style known as Grätzer (lots more history here).

This is pretty tasty, and has me thinking about trying to do some sort of smokey beer with wheat for my next beer. Maybe just something like a lighter wheat beer with a bunch of smoked grain for steeping… The two flavors go together much better than I’d expected. Not that I anticipated this beer being anything other than great (everything I’ve had from Grimm Brothers has been great), but this is really hitting the spot.

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Golden Ale, Red Ale

Today I was able to keg, chill, filter, and carbonate my latest two beers, a golden ale (left) and a red ale (right). I’d brewed these from Cap’N’Cork recipe kits over the last couple weeks by first fermenting the golden ale then brewing the red and racking it on to the trub (leftover hops, yeast, etc) from the golden. This resulted in the red fermenting extremely quickly and both beers being ready to keg this morning. I transfered each to kegs (pulling these samples in the process), put the kegs to chill on the porch, and around 10:30pm they’d reached 37°F and were ready to filter.

They’ve since been filtered with a 1μm water filter, force carbonated, and while they need a bit more CO2 they are generally ready to drink.

I’m happy with how both of these came out. They were simple to make, fast to brew, filtered to something fairly nice, and taste good. That’s about all I can hope for. I’ve now got four drinks on tap (Hard Cider, RyePA, Golden Ale, Red Ale) and should probably think about making something a little more special to age and put on tap once one of these run out.

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Grimm Brothers Brewhouse’s Magic Mirror

In the autumn of 2011 when returning from a trip out west Erik and Kristi brought me a bottle of beer from a brewery I’d previously never heard of, Grimm Brothers Brewhouse in Loveland, Colorado. This beer is a limited, imperial version of their Snow Drop ale (a Köttbusser, made with honey and molasses) that’s been aged in oak, and apparently only 1200 bottles were produced. Erik had told me that it’d be good aged, so I put it on a shelf in the basement and let it sit for a year.

Earlier this week I figured that Christmas would be a good time to open it, so after family doings were over and dishes were done I opened it up. You can see it here, poured into a Poto MBA glass that I acquired at the Triple Trail Challenge. Refrigerator temperature was a bit too cold for this beer at first, but as it warmes up I’m really enjoying it.

I think that this beer is quite good, but reading various reviews online there don’t seem to be many people who share my like of it. All of the reviews that I’m finding are 2011, though, so I suspect the recommended aging did the trick.

Earlier this year Erik and Kristi went on another trip out west and were kind enough to bring me another tasty looking bottle of beer from the same brewery; a smoked smoked wheat ale (Grätzer) called Sooty Brother. I love smoked beers and I’m really looking forward to this, but it’ll wait for another day…

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