Sunday, December 02, 2007

Red Rye Brew
John Rehm, one of our Philadelphia Brewing Co brewers, joined me at the Porterhouse yesterday. We brewed up a French Farmhouse style ale which will be the basis for one our our new Philadelphia Brewing Co mainstays. It's always fun having another brewer join me at the Porterhouse - even though it makes for cramped quarters in the brewhouse.

This brew included loads of exotic malts and about 10% malted rye. We first wort hopped using Willamette hops and added continental hops in two further additions for a noble aroma. The result was a beautiful red-hued and spicy wort with an original gravity weighing in at 12 Plato on the nose.

While we were appreciating the fresh-cut-grass aroma of the Willamette, before dumping them into the run off; John told me something I hadn't known about Willamette hops. According to John, Willamette is one of the primary hops used in Budweiser. It took me a few minutes to realize the irony of the fact that the world's biggest lawnmower "beer" is brewed using hops with an aroma that reminds me of fresh cut grass. Whether the evil empire uses them or not - I still love fresh Willamette hops.

In addition to fermenting this one at the Porterhouse using my house Belgian strain (Fermentis T-58); we are using this brew to figure what Belgian strains we want to use at Philadelphia Brewing. John and I loaded up four homebrew fermentors (actually, 5 gallon wine juice buckets) with Red Rye wort and pitched four different yeast strains. The yeast sample were provided for us by Brewing Science. David Bryant of The Brewing Science Institute is extremely helpful and knowledgeable about his yeast - and BSI has a HUGE variety of different strains.

We decided to evaluate the following four strains from BSI for Philadelphia Brewing Co:
This is the third round of test brews that we run for Philadelphia Brewing Co. We did the first two batches with Barry Mulherin of Barry's Homebrew Outlet. the fact that we are running these test brews has me biting at the bit to get back into our brewery. Everyone and Philadelphia Brewing CANNOT WAIT to get back into our brewery, CLEAN the place, and start brewing beer. It won't be long now.

Friday, November 30, 2007

How can police spot a drunk?

Jeez - according to a notice distributed by British police to publicans in the UK, I must be drunk ALL THE TIME. I certainly meet about 90% of the criteria on most days.

Does this describe you too?

Here's a snip from a website called

Police have been told that the aim of the guidelines is “to present such compelling physical evidence of the person’s level of intoxication that it would be impossible for a court to accept that the person who conducts the sale did not know of this fact”.

Evidence police have been told to look for includes:

A noticeable change in behaviour

  • Bad tempered, aggressive;
  • Offensive language;
  • Becoming loud, boisterous or disorderly;
  • Becoming physically violent;
  • Becoming incoherent;
  • Slurring, or making mistakes in speech; and
  • becoming argumentative.

A lack of judgment

  • Being careless with money;
  • Annoying other persons, employees etc;
  • Exhibiting inappropriate sexual behaviour;
  • Drinking quickly or competitively (‘down in one’)

Clumsiness & loss of co ordination

  • Swaying;
  • Staggering;
  • Difficulty with walking;
  • Falling down;
  • Bumping into furniture;
  • Spilling drinks;
  • Difficulty in picking up change; and
  • Fumbling for cigarettes, or other items

Decreased alertness

  • Drowsiness, dozing or sleeping;
  • Rambling conversation;
  • Loss of train of thought;
  • Difficulty in paying attention;
  • Not understanding what is said;
  • Glassy eyes and
  • Lack of focus.


  • Unkempt
  • Dishevelled

Saturday, November 24, 2007

What's up next; Brews at the Porterhouse Brewpub

The next four brews at the Porterhouse will include North Lager, and Herr Zippy which are both old standbys of mine, plus two new recipes; a wit and a red rye ale.

Red Rye - A French Farmhouse style ale brewed with malted rye and European hops; fermented with a Belgian Abbey yeast. This one should come in around a standard 5% abv.

Wit - A slightly tart and fruity Belgian style white ale brewed with white wheat and oats; fermented using Belgian Abbey yeast. A nice session brew coming in at about 4% abv.

North Lager - Inspired by one of my favorite craft brewed dark lagers from a Canadian craft brewery - before it was assimilated by one of the mega-breweries north of the border. This dark lager is brewed with tasty Munich and Vienna malts and diverse hops. This one usually comes in around 4.5% abv.

Herr Zippy - A light ale inspired by the golden brews of Cologne called Kolsch; the aroma of my version is much more floral than your typical Kolsch. A real session brew sitting at about 3.8% abv.
Brew - Thug Stout at the Porterhouse Brewpub; an Irish Stout with a Belgian Mother - I brewed this one up using a typical Irish stout grain bill, a mix of English and Northwest American hops, and our house Belgian Abbey yeast. The result? Let's just say that you don't want to meet this beer in a dark alley. A reasonable 5% abv but it's just the thing bring in the holidays.

What's on tap at the Porterhouse:
Dark Wheat - Ameri-Belgique Wheat Ale - This is a ruby hued wheat beer that tastes like liquid wheat toast. Crystal malted wheat and european hops give this ale a pleasing spicy palate. 5% abv

Harvest Lager - An Octoberfest-ish amber lager brewed with malted wheat & vienna malts; wet hopped with home-grown Pennsylvania hops. This one runs about 5% abv

Skye Dew -A mild Scottish Ale brewed with a touch of Whisky malt and fermented cool to pronounce this belly washer's malt flavors. The peated whisky malt gives this beer a smoky flavor reminiscent of whisky from Scotland's Isle of Skye. 3.8 % abv.

Browne Mild - Like roasty flavored brews? This is a way-back brown ale brewed with old-timey brown malt along with the finest English pale malts and hops. Brown malt was a prevelant ingredient at one time in English brewing history; all English brown ales might have tasted like this before malting technology advanced. I first brewed this recipe with Heavy-Tom Baker for his Heavyweight Mild series. 3.5 abv id'nt it now m'lord?