Ohio Governor Signs Bill That Benefits Craft Brewers

Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed a controversial brewery bill Tuesday afternoon that benefits craft brewers and was blasted by Anheuser-Busch InBev.

The legislation creates a new liquor permit for breweries that make less than 31 million gallons a year. The new permit, called an A-1c, will replace the A-1 permit for small brewers and reduce their annual licensing fee from $3,906 to $1,000.

Craft brewers have praised the legislation, saying it will allow them to invest more money into their breweries.

Want to read more? Please click…



Your Hydrometer is Lying to You

Note: while this article if from a wine blog, certainly hombrewers can find useful information too.

One of the most useful pieces of kit that a winemaker can have is a hydrometer. Simple devices, they are closed cylindrical glass tube weighted with steel shot at one end (steel, not mercury or lead like some sources claim). Inside the tube is a piece of paper with a scale of numbers, usually running from 0.990 to 1.100, in increments of 0.002. Because the sealed tube is hollow, it floats in liquid. Because it is weighted, the heavy end points down, ensuring that the scale is upright and readable.To use it, you carefully place it into your wine (works on beer too) and read the scale where the liquid touches the tube.

Many people, when asked what a hydrometer does, will answer, ‘Measures alcohol’. Some will say, ‘Measures sugar’. Neither answer is true. Hydrometers compare the the ratio of the density of the liquid to the density of water, and that’s all. It’s what we can do with this reading that’s useful to us.

If we use a standard home winemaking hydrometer on our must before fermentation, the liquid will be very high in sugar, and thus will have a density higher than that of pure water. Depending on the wine type, it could by anywhere from 1.070 to 1.110 times as dense. After we pitch yeast and the fermentation is ongoing, the sugar will be metabolised into carbon dioxide and alcohol. As the sugar levels drop, the density of the must will go down and the hydrometer won’t float quite as high. This drop shows us the progress of fermentation–which is why it’s important to record the initial gravity reading, so you can compare it. More on this below.

Want to read more? Please click…


A Beer Judge’s Diary: The Hop Experience


Written by Ken Carman

beerjudge-258x300 (1) One of the more problematic things to really achieve as a judge is decent palate education. You can’t do it by simply drinking more beer. In fact, unless you drink a lot of defective beer, and styles you’re not fond of, and otherwise great beer that’s considered off style: drinking more may be counter-productive when it comes to educating the palate. An occasional defect session run by your homebrew club is great, except these are flavors, aromas and other parameters you need to be very familiar with; time is not your friend: memory fades, can even change.
 The summer before I took the BJCP test again, every week I would stop by Yankee Spirits in Sturbridge: or wherever my tour took me, and buy a beer. Then I would pollute it with Butter Buds, corn juice from a can of corn, Chloraseptic: anything that might mimic a beer defect. I started with NAs and worked my way up to Russian Imperials and Double IPAs.
 Clubs often have off flavor seminars, or club meetings where polluted beer is served: “polluted” with a defect kit offered by the BJCP containing vials of concentrated defect solution that; if you sniff them straight, really are quite “vile.” Beer could be left out in the sun, beer might be very, very old. You too can drink cardboard beer: yum!
 We do whatever nasty thing we need to do to beer to experience the defects we need to be looking for when judging beer.
 Note: I also recommend sessions, to provide just one example, where Anchor Porter, in a label-less bottle, is served as an American Amber and participants tell everyone why this is, or isn’t, an American Amber, or a Dry Stout, or…
cclogo  A few years ago I brought a case of Sam Adams single hop series: where they took their Latitude 48 and made several versions with only one hop each, to a Music City Brewers meeting for all to try. I think we found it educational… so I was already interested in being able to understand how different hops affect beer. This concept seems to have been filtered into something called The Hop Experience, where homebrewers can take a very simple beer, usually a light beer, and put different hops in it.
 Enter Clarksville Carboys
 Millie and I are members of Music City Brewers, but we live closer to Clarksville than most Davidson County residents: out towards Ashland City. I used to live even closer in Cheatham County part of Joelton and worked for a while in Clarksville. So when we found out there was a homebrew club in Clarksville, Tennessee, we decided to visit occasionally, when we had a chance. Our first visit was about a year ago, and three weeks ago we got to visit again. That’s when James Visger, president, told us about their plan to do The Hop Experience. We’re into beer education, so we couldn’t resist. Continue reading “A Beer Judge’s Diary: The Hop Experience”

Beer Profile: Barrel Aged Hoppin Frog Christmas Ale #2


Profiled by Ken Carman for professorgoodales.net

Beer-Profile1-258x300Nose: oak, a little sweet. Mouthfeel sweet with some oak clinging to the roof of the mouth. Bourbon in still in the mix, but lighter. A little bourbon cling, but not as dominant. In #1 barrel aged the spices were obvious, though background. In number two I think the oak, with the bourbon almost perfectly counter balanced, made the spices kind of disappear.

Once again brown with great highlights, clarity good and head lingers: pillow. SRM high 20s.

I did find spices in the nose, but slight and hard to perceive. Oak is stronger, bourbon behind that. Mouthfeel is just a little more bourbon focused: sweet coats the back of the mouth. Medium body, hint of caramelization, good clarity with brown/ruby highlights. Soured orange sense, which I’m sure is the bourbon, on the palate.

What happened here is balance is actually working against us. With the bourbon just a hint on top, but the rest firmly beneath, it was superb. With the bourbon and the oak mostly in balance the spices seem less important, the oak and bourbon arguing so loudly on the palate the spices almost might as well not be there.

A very pleasing quaff, but, honestly, I didn’t enjoy it as much as the first, though it’s still is very, very good.

I wasn’t tempted at all to give this a 5 out of 5, but it still deserves 4. Maybe even 4.5, though I do feel the balance is so even the flavors are battling for attention a bit too much.


Welcome to the PGA beer rating system: one beer “Don’t bother.” Two: Eh, if someone gives it to you, drink. Three: very good, go ahead and seek it out, but be aware there is at least one problem. Four: seek it out. Five: pretty much “prefecto.”

Beer Profile: Hoppin Frog’s Barrel Aged Christmas Ale #1


Profiled by Ken Carman for professorgoodales.net

Beer-Profile1-258x300Pop the cap, sniff and I immediately get oak. This year Hoppin’s Christmas comes in three types, the regular which I won’t open until Labor Day 2013 for my beer tastings in the Adirondacks. This seemed like it may be the barrel aged oak forward, as described by the folks at HF, until it warmed up and the bourbon came on strong. The nose is absolutely: spiced. Ginger, cinnamon and some nutmeg. The brown ale nose is way in the back.

Taste: the same. Bourbon pops out as it warms, more in the taste.

Mouthfeel is medium body with bourbon cling to the top of the palate. Low carbonation leaves just a hint of tingle.

Off white, pillow, head. Clarity very good with deep ruby highlights. SRM about 20-22. Nice perfect brown. The magic here is it is so multi-dimensional. The body is medium on the lighter side of, but bourbon and spices make it seem like more. Bourbon sweetness hangs after rest of the flavor fades.

Sipping on this is like savoring a fine light bourbon. The spices are way in the background but the bourbon first, the oak second, the sweet brown malt third and then the spices as a firm after thought. This is a perfect balance for what they were shooting for, and it definitely made me think “Christmas,” even in April. We’ll see next time how savory the oak forward Christmas Ale is.

I was tempted to give it a 5 out of 5. So I did.


Welcome to the PGA beer rating system: one beer “Don’t bother.” Two: Eh, if someone gives it to you, drink. Three: very good, go ahead and seek it out, but be aware there is at least one problem. Four: seek it out. Five: pretty much “prefecto.”

That Condensation on Your Beer Can Might Not Be a Good Sign

beer-news10We’ve all seen a cold beer can sweat in the summer heat. Now, a new scientific study reveals the surprising effect that layer of condensation has on the temperature of your beverage.

If you’re familiar with evaporative cooling, there’s a chance you guessed that moisture keeps your can chilled. After all, when people sweat, we experience a cooling effect. Transitioning from a liquid phase to a gaseous one requires the input of energy; as the beads of moisture on our skin evaporate, that energy comes from our bodies in the form of heat, cooling us in the process. So is this what happens to a chilled beverage on a hot, humid day? Nope. In fact, it’s the exact opposite.

Want to read more? Please click…


Ph Readings Of Commercial Beers

IMAG0613Ph Readings of Commercial Beers

Written by Brandon Jones for embracethefunk.com


Assume all readings are taken at room temp (apprx 70 degrees F). I calibrate my ph meter fairly often, but don’t always show that here.


When I am able to do so…Gravity readings will also be recorded starting 8/25/2012. Thanks to everyone who suggested the idea! Please understand that some rare beers or beers I only have a small amount of, I just can’t sacrifice enough to de-carb for the reading.

  Click the reading for a picture of each beer being tested.
This page will be constantly updated as I am able to take the readings (meaning when I don’t forget!) Continue reading “Ph Readings Of Commercial Beers”

Beer Nut: Breweries Help Toward Healing

Courtesy businessinsider.com
Picture courtesy businessinsider.com

Beer people are good people.That’s one of the main things I’ve learned writing about beer these past few years. Last week, in wake up the Boston Marathon bombings, a bunch of beer people proved that statement true as many of them made donations and set up fundraisers to help the families of those killed and those who were injured in the two explosions.

One of the biggest events was the Buy a Beer for Boston, event that took place at the Tavern in Framingham. The speed that this event came together was impressive.

On Tuesday morning, David Carlson, owner of Marshall Wharf Brewing Company of Belfast, Maine, posted a message on Beer Advocate that they were going to be sending every can of beer they had to Massachusetts to help those who needed it, and they challenged other breweries to do the same.

Want to read more? Please click…