Gowanus Brewery

Propagating Hops by Jeremy
October 13, 2008, 12:00 am
Filed under: hops

In the same spirit that united me with my Cascade rhizome cutting through the Yahoo! Grow Hops Group, I am attempting to propagate the hop plants in my garden to redistribute to the Yahoo! group and other friends.

The plan is simple. As you can see in the picture, I just took three long planter boxes, filled them with a mix of top soil and compost, and buried two bines in each box. They’ll sit outside all winter under a layer of mulch and next season, when it’s time to cut them up, I’ll unearth them and see what I’ve got.

If you click through on the picture, you’ll get a better view of the actual cuttings. I believe that each point generating leaves will transform into a point generating roots, so that, for every section with sprouting leaves, I’ll have a potential root cutting next year. I guess that I have about 10 cuttings total for each box here, if not more.

New Beer Labels by Jeremy
October 11, 2008, 12:00 am
Filed under: label

The single-X brew of the holiday three-pack is the Gowanus American Harvest Amber Ale.  Doesn’t the children’s handwriting scream “American”?  Like the others, this is an American-style beer.  I’m all about brewing and mastering American-style beers and so that was my inspiration for these labels.  

The label for the Gowanus Double IPA, the double-X brew, is messy.  More than anything, I think the design is just cool.  It fits the theme, though.  Beer and Olde English predate America by hundreds of years, but they’ve both been reclaimed by our West Coast.  The Double IPA was supposedly resurrected there and you might recognize Olde English as the font of choice for present and former members of the California penal system.

Strong ales, like barley and wheat wine, seem like the type of stuff the founders of our country might have set aside to enjoy on special occasions, so I incorporated some fonts reminiscent of quill-tipped pens, parchment paper, and so on into the Gowanus Strong Wheat Ale label.  This is obviously the triple-x beer of the pack.

As with my other labels, these were all drawn using GIMP, with some of the fonts coming from Dafont and brush designs coming from DeviantArt.

Gowanus Double India Pale Ale – Intro and Update by Jeremy
October 10, 2008, 12:00 am
Filed under: beer, double ipa, naming

I had some fun with this one.

This recipe is different from my first DIPA, which I didn’t realize until I went to unpack this kit, but all that doubt went away a couple weeks ago went I thiefed my first sample. This one is going to be outstanding:

  • 16 lbs. British Pale Malt
  • 0.75 lbs. Dingemans Caramel Pils
  • 0.25 lbs. Briess Caramel 120
  • 1 oz. Summit (60 min)
  • 1 oz. Centennial (30 min)
  • 1 oz. Cascade (10 min)
  • 2 oz. Glacier (0 min)
  • 1 oz. Cascade Hops (dry hop)

    I tweaked this one just like the Gowanus American Harvest Amber Ale.  But, instead of 1 ounce of oak, I used 2; and instead of boiling the garden hops, I threw them in during secondary (pictured). I should add that I actually dumped this beer from primary right onto the amber ale’s secondary bucket to get that first ounce of oak.  The GDIPA sat there for only about a week, before I siphoned it too off to a third bucket.

    This beer is going to taste great despite a couple of factors working against it.  First, I spilled about a pound of grain when I went to mash in.  Whoops.  Second, primary fermentation was active at the less-than-ideal temperature range of 80 to 84 degrees, but the ambient temperature here quickly dropped to the mid-sixties.  Perhaps partly due to those factors, my original gravity was only about 1.075, rather than the target 1.085.  But, as I said, it already tastes phenomenal!

    The specific gravity is at about 1.020 now and I’m just waiting for some free time to bottle it up.  It is going to be one of a three-pack of beers I send out for the holiday season: Strong Wheat, DIPA, & Amber Ale.