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Archive for February, 2011

Top 5 Pale Ales

Posted by Jeff on February 12, 2011

People sometimes ask me what my favorite beer is.  That’s impossible to answer.  But here’s a list of my top 5 American Pale Ales (I’m drinking one now and it got me to thinking…):

5) Pale Horse Ale, No Label Brewing Co. – This beer makes the top 5 for 2 reasons.  First, it’s a fine pale ale and very enjoyable.  Secondly, and perhaps most influentially, it’s made here in my hometown of Katy, Texas.  Support local beer!

4) Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. – This was my go-to beer in my younger days (at bars with limited tap selections) and I still love grabbing a pint every now and then when I am out.  Can’t beat the signature taste of Cascade hops!

3) Full Moon Pale Rye Ale, Real Ale Brewing Co. – One of my favorite local breweries (out of Blanco, Texas) and this pale is awesome!  The addition of rye gives it a nice malty spiciness that blends well with the hops.

2) Pine Belt Pale Ale, Southern Star Brewing Co. – My favorite part about this beer is it’s round, almost creamy mouthfeel.  It’s texture really brings out the flavors and makes the beer fantastic, definitely setting it apart from the rest.

1) Piranha Pale Ale, BJ’s Restaurants – This, to me, is the quintessential APA.  It’s crisp, hoppy and refreshing with a blast of Cascade and Chinook hops.  I’ve got a homebrew recipe for this one and I love having it on tap!


Now, keep in mind I’m not saying these are the 5 best APA’s EVAR!  No, I’m saying these are my top 5.  I’m sure if I lived somewhere where I could get more West Coast APA’s, I’d have to make room on this list to move a few in…


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Arctic Blast Porter

Posted by Jeff on February 12, 2011

So last weekend I did end up brewing and decided to go with the Robust Porter.  I’ve decided to call it “Arctic Blast Porter” because of the ridiculous winter weather we endured recently.

In any case… the recipe is based on a self devised clone recipe for Ranger Creek Brewing Co.’s Mesquite Smoked Porter. After emailing with their brewer, I got a fairly good idea of the recipe (and some awesome insight into his process and mental attitude when developing a recipe).  I decided to brew the base beer first and in the future I’ll smoke the malt for the true clone.  Here’s the recipe:


Arctic Blast Porter (Robust Porter)

6 Gallons, 68% Efficiency
Est. OG = 1.068
Est. IBU = 17.2
Est. SRM = 44.3

13.25 lbs – Crisp Maris Otter
1.5 lbs – Crystal 60
0.87 lb – Chocolate Malt
0.75 lb – Black Patent

0.75 oz. – Fuggles – 4.8%AA – 60 min
0.50 oz. – Fuggles – 4.8%AA – 30 min
0.75 oz. – Tettnang – 0 min.

Wyeast 1098 – British Ale – Ferment at 68F for 10 days, 70F for 4 days.

150F for 60 min.


It smells fairly good in the airlock.  I hope the Tettnang wasn’t too much.  I’m hoping for a nice roasty, chocolatey, and coffee flavors.  If it turns out alright I may enter it into the Bluebonnet Brew Off homebrew competition.  I’ll be sure to keep the blog updated about that…

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