Ladies and gentlemen, I have recently carried out an experiment—for science. I came across OnTap ”liquid beer enhancer” on the internet the other day, and I had to try it. This is one of those situations that can not be avoided. You tell me you have beer mio, and I tell you I’d like to try it. It’s as simple as that. Tide comes in, tide goes out etc. The following pictures tell the story better than I ever could.
We mentioned before that Emperial Brewing was making a showing at the Denver County Fair, and
we’re pleased to announce we won second place with Admiral Pale Ale (recipe forthcoming) in the combined IPA/American Pale Ale category! We were incredibly excited to be participating in the BJCP judged competition, and pleasantly surprised to see how well we did.
We’ll be uploading a picture of the actual ribbon etc. when we get it, but for now, celebrations are in order. We’ll be celebrating with some homemade rootbeer. Oh ya, we’re doing that now too.
That said, next year we’re gunning for first place. Watch out Denver.
So, we know things have been a bit quiet lately, but we’ve been hard at work on a number of projects that will hopefully see the light of day this fall.
To begin with: beta 0.9.0! Beta 0.9.0 brings two new recipes/labels/logos along with a number of tweaks to existing recipes. It also marks a shift from Emperial Brewing being primarily an online project no one cares about (no seriously, if you’re reading this, chances are you’re friends of ours in real life) to being a more traditional homebrew club. We’re not entirely sure how that’s going to work, but suffice to say we’ll be putting some feelers out in the local Denver community and possibly online through the AHA. More news on that when we’re not insanely busy with real life.
In addition to beta 0.9.0, we’re working on a couple write-ups of some builds we’ve done that people might find interesting. To start, we have a fairly simple mini-fridge lagering chamber (nothing quite like not having to use a temperature controller), a full on coffin keezer/kegerator design using the GE 7.0 cu ft freezer we posted a while back, and an STC-1000 build using templates to cut “pretty” holes instead of the often jagged or skewed holes that result from free-hand cuts. If this last project doesn’t sound that exciting to you, you’re not as anal as we are. Congrats. We’re still going to post it, because we’re anal—but you could probably tell that from the recipes/packaging etc.
Emperial Brewing is also going to make an “appearance” at the Denver County Fair this coming weekend. We’ve entered a Cider (“Apple Sauce”—this would be a third non-beer recipe we’ll be adding), India Ink, and a new Pale Ale recipe we are calling “Admiral” into their “Liquid Libations” competition. I suppose we’ll find out how we stack up to some of the other brewers here in Denver. We hope to report back that we’re awesome, but word around town is that the competition is pretty fierce.
We at Emperial Brewing recently ran across an ingenious idea. While having beer with breakfast is sure to be frowned upon by some segments of society, having beer jelly with breakfast—well that’s a whole different issue isn’t it? The recipe we found uses Guinness, which would certainly make for some pretty tasty jelly, but we’re planning to use Emperial when we make ours. If you’re careful, you might even be able to pull off an IPA jelly, but you might lose out on aroma in the process. If you try making some jelly, let us know how it goes!
Without further ado: Beer Jelly.
If you’ve never heard of RaspberryPi before, it’s a micro computer—about the size of credit card—that is intended to be used as an educational tool for teaching kids (and interested adults!) how to program. It’s also seeing use in a variety of applications in which a computer of some sort might be beneficial, but a beefy full-size machine isn’t necessarily warranted. One of these projects is BrewPi (we think it ought to be called BrewberryPi—but c’est la vie).
BrewPi is an open source fridge automation project for use in temperature controlling fermentation or kegerators (keezers). Some of you more advanced electronics DIYers ought to check it out. It has all the good qualities of an open source project, and it helps you brew your beer.
We here at Emperial Brewing can’t wait to see what develops now that BrewPi is available.
Those of you not constantly hitting refresh on reddit’s /r/homebrewing may have missed some great news from Avery Brewing out of Boulder, CO. In short, they’ve gone and fulfilled nearly every homebrewer’s dream by releasing full all-grain homebrew recipes for 14 of their beers. Depending on your tastes, Avery’s beers may not be at the top of your list of all-time favorite brews, but this sort of thing is part of what Emperial Brewing is all about: openness. A number of other breweries do this sort of thing already (to varying degrees), but we’d be lying if we said each new brewery on board with openness of this sort doesn’t warm the cockles of our hearts.
So, hooray for Avery! Every brewery who does this strengthens the homebrewing community, and we’re glad to see a brewery as accomplished as Avery decide thats something they want to do.
Now, go brew up some Maharaja. Maybe you could do a blind taste-test and compare it to Feature Length? Either way, it will be awesome.
It looks like I, the man behind the curtain (I may or may not also run the “official” emperialbrewing account) get to start off the “non-official” feature stories. What better way to start than with a brew-day run-down? This afternoon, my wife and I brewed up an all-grain batch of Time Lord with a couple differences when compared to the Pre-Release 0.8.0 recipe.
First off, in a bid for consistency, and ease of sourcing grain, I replaced the 11 lbs of pale malt in the current version of the recipe with 11 lbs of 2-row. It’s not a huge change, but given the fact that most Emperial Brewing beers use 2-row for their base malt, it makes sense to try to make Time Lord a bit more consistent with the other recipes. It also helps me prepare for ramping up my brew schedule in the next couple months by allowing me to buy bags of 2-row, so I don’t have to make as many trips to my lhbs (Stomp Them Grapes). According to Beer Alchemy, this change nets an extra tenth of a percentage in ABV (putting it at 7.1% ABV). However, all said and done, I am doubting the change to 2-row will have much of an effect. I suppose we’ll find out, but my guess is it will taste roughly the same as always.
The other change I made was to use whole-leaf hops. This isn’t a change I see being submitted for incorporation, because pellet hops tend to be easier to come by and easier to handle, but it makes for a nice change of pace. I don’t have any Time Lord on hand that was brewed with pellet hops, so I won’t be able to compare the results easily, but we’ll see what happens. I imagine I’ll get a bit more aroma during the dry hopping with the whole-leaf hops.
Aside from that, the recipe stayed the same. Previous batches of Time Lord were brewed with “rough” temperature control (fans and wet towels), so it will be nice to see how my fermentation fridge influences the final product. 66° F is a hard fermentation temp to maintain without a fridge, so I have to imagine the fridge will be a good thing.
Speaking of temperatures, it was in the 90s here in Denver, which made for an interesting—and sweaty—brew day. There’s nothing quite like sitting right next to a roaring propane burner when the temperature outside is already too damn high. Things went off without a hitch, and we hit our targets almost precisely (mash temp dropped a bit, and I had to bring it back up), so I’m counting this one as a success. It was a bit dry out, so we had a little higher than normal boil off, but oh well.
A redditor (brewinginseattle) recently posted a link to a new project named “gristhub“, which appears to be a great adaptation of the github concept for use by brewers. It doesn’t currently have the functions we need (namely recipe and packing management), but we’re keeping an eye on it. Depending on what happens with gristhub, we might transition to using it instead of github. As it is, github is a great solution for our needs, but if gristhub manages to extend its capabilities, it will be even better.
It’s safe to say you should all check it out.
What is Veintiuno? Well, we mentioned it a couple weeks ago as a “test-batch.” Now that it’s all carbonated and tasted, we are confident in its ability to stand with the other Emperial Brewing beers as a summer seasonal—though we won’t complain if you brew it year-round either. As far as style goes, Veintiuno is a an American Amber Vienna Lager inspired by, you guessed it, macro mexican lagers. Unlike its inspiration, it relies entirely on malted barley, and brings the unique taste of vienna malt to the fore—no corn sugars allowed. Why “Veintiuno?” Aside from acknowledging its roots, “Veintiuno” can be taken as a reference to the United State’s 21st Amendment (that repealed prohibition). In that sense, its drinkability and low alcohol content make it an ideal option for those wanting to imbibe responsibly. Temperance need not be abstinence—especially when it’s delicious.
Depending on further testing, the beer will have packaging and official recipes added to the repository/this site. Until then, the initial recipe is as follows:
This sort of thing is not going to be all that common of an occurrence, but a user on reddit (M0j0j0j0) pointed out a deal that might be relevant to individuals wishing to contribute to Emperial Brewing. Home Depot is currently selling a 7 cu ft Chest Freezer made by GE for $168 plus tax with free shipping. Please go here to read more about the deal.
Coupled with a temperature controller, it’d make a great fermentation chamber. We have it on good authority it will hold two carboys—or at least two better bottles. While it is not necessary for individuals wanting to contribute to Emperial Brewing to have full control of fermentation temperatures, it is most definitely a plus, and a highly recommended upgrade to any brewhouse.
For those who already have accurate temperature control, depending on the size of the kegs, it can fit 4 ball-lock kegs and a CO2 tank without a collar (and potentially 5 kegs with a collar), which makes it a great option for a kegerator as well.
It is unlikely a 7 cu ft freezer can be had new for much less than the one listed in the deal, so if you’ve been putting off getting one because craigslist hasn’t been panning out, and you don’t want to pay full price, this is definitely a viable option.
Emperial Brewing is in no way affiliated with Home Depot, or GE, and nor do we benefit from individuals purchasing the freezer—other than the warm-fuzzies of helping others pay less than retail price. We just thought we’d pass along the info.