In case you are wondering, I.M. Hammered Brewing is:
Mark -- Head brewer and drinker (brewer of over 65 batches of extract and all grain brews, drinker of many thousands of bottles and pints of beer), CEO and President of the finest Nano-brewery I know of, head bottle washer, and sanitation engineer
Liz -- Vice President in charge of bar decorating, keeping me from becoming too fanatical in my brewing habits, and is also known as "she who must be obeyed"
Michael -- Brewhouse assistant, equipment consultant, Chief IT Geek and self-appointed Official Beer Taster (great work if you can get it)
Schpankie -- Newest convert from fizzy yellow water to finely crafted beers and ales, adds little value to the brewhouse, but we like him anyway
Scooter -- The gas man (and I mean that in the kindest of ways) bringing propane and co2 when needed, also has keen interest in the brewing process
Knuckle Jefe -- Newest convert to brewing (has four batches under his belt), has began a start up nano-brewery in Kentucky known as "Double-Wide Brewing" with the catchy slogan of "double wide beers at single wide prices". Boy has a brilliant future in marketing. IMH is helping with equipment in the start up. We all work for beer, then again, why wouldn't we.
Parrot Pete, aka, Pappa Draft -- Bar designer, humidor raider, label celebrity, and Just because he should have been on the list the whole time.
We hope to make this site fun and informative and look for outside input, or inside output, whatever works.
Monday, April 04, 2005
 
Change Is Coming Soon....Next Brew....More IPA News....Opening Day....

Change:

It happens all the time. One of the lines for the IMHBC products is about to open up. Nitro Ranger Stout, the first addition anyway, is about to tap out. The keg is very light and I'm guessing one to two pints are left tops, if that. Not to worry, I have a very special keg ready, chilled, and waiting it's turn on the tap. That's right, Parrot Pete's One Particular Porter is about to take center stage again. It is waiting patiently in the cooler for the taps to be attached so it can start running into the glass. I'm kind of looking forward to that day too. It won't be long, maybe even today......

Next:

Believe it or not, I have nothing fermenting anywhere in the house. What a crying shame that is. That means it's time to schedule another brew. I just got he latest Brew Your Own magazine, and it has a clone recipe for Fuller's ESB in it. It is very similar to the ESB I generally make except the hop types are a little different, and the beer recipe calls for flaked maize adjunct. I have always made my ESB with all barley malts, but I am not averse to adding a little corn to the mix to make this clone. I might have to adjust some of the hop additions, but generally speaking, I've been making an ESB all along when I make the Angry Dog Amber (not that I didn't already know that of course). This looks like a nice recipe for the Fuller's clone and deserves some attention. There were a couple of other recipe's in this addition that look pretty good too. So many beers to make, only a couple of fermenters and 10 kegs (as if that is so few that I can hardly keep anything in stock). Speaking of next, there are a couple of exciting beers waiting their turn in the "box". The For Whom The Bell's Tolls pale ale is now carbonated and can go on line at any time. The IPA To Be Named Later, is now primed and kegged and conditioning even as we speak. More on that in a moment. I hope to get an ESB brewed in the next week or so and then it will be time to get some of the summer brews made so they can be ready to go when the weather gets warmer. Yep, a brewer's work is never done.....

IPA:

Here are some additional statistics on the IPA I just kegged. The opening gravity was 1.064 with an ending gravity of 1.012. This makes for about 6.63% ABV. The color is a dark golden to a light amber. There is nice hop aroma and the taste test of the gravity sample yielded a nice clean assertive bitterness with a nice malt backbone. Waiting for gas to just verify it's as good as I think it is. Stay tuned for more on this beer in the coming months.....

Opening Day:

Last night maked the start of the 2005 baseball season as the Yankees hammered the Red Sox in a rematch of last years playoffs. The big different was that this was the first of 162 while last fall it was lose and go home. If I was the Sox, I wouldn't fret too much about last night's loss. My beloved Pirates begin another year of futility today at 1:35. Though there is a lot to like on the team this year, there are some real glaring holes in the team that are currently plugged by journeymen and pseudo major league ballplayers. Not to worry, I still have my share of tickets as a partial season ticket holder, and I have come to realize that I am a baseball fan first and a Pirate fan second. It is that mentality that keeps me going to the ball park. I have tickets to see some of the best teams and players in the game today. That is worth the price of admission whether or not the Pirates win. When they do, it's a bonus for sure. They will be competitive because they do have some real quality young pitching on this team, as well as an experienced good bullpen. The pitching will keep them in games a lot this year, it just is a matter of can the offense provide enough pop to win some games. Sadly, probably not. But it will be fun to watch none the less. Let's Go Bucs......

Oh, and enjoying a couple of fine Penn Brewing products at the ball park isn't such a bad thing either.....

Mark, The Brewer, and hoping to enjoy a couple of cold ones while watching the Buc's on TV later today.......
Saturday, April 02, 2005
 
It's Hard To Be Humble....Mama Draft....Light Beer Isn't So Bad....

Humble:

Okay, I'm not the perfect brewer, but then again, no one is. A wise brewer once said two things that bear repeating. One, "we are just yeast farmers, if we treat them well, they will give us good beer....Two, " there are two kinds of brewers, the first is the brewer that has had an infected batch, the second is the brewer who will get an infected batch".....All of that said, I just kegged the IPA To Be Named Later (note the hot stove reference with the impending baseball season upon us.....am I the only one who gets these jokes?????) and this beer is nothing short of what I envisioned. The hop character has muted quite a bit since I tasted the "green" beer when I transferred to secondary. The beer has become a hop and malt balance that is just great. The beer even had mild carbonation when I transferred it. It was good. I can't wait to taste the conditioned brew after it gets the proper gas on it. I am excited about this beer. As a brewer who has had the dreaded infections, and has made all of the mistakes that a brewer can make over time, it is a validation of my hard work and my dedication to making great beer that this beer tasted this good. I hope that every brewer gets to this point. The big benchmark is that you pass beer to friends and they say that it tastes like commercial beer. It no longer has that "homebrewed" taste. In effect, you now brew beer that is of commercial quality. That is what we all strive for and the accomplishment is much bigger than it sounds to a homebrewer. Keep brewing out there. You will someday reap the benefits of this designation if you study and pay attention to detail. This is one of the reasons that we brew. Enjoy.......

Mama Draft:

Mama draft isn't feeling the best these days. She is spending a couple of days at the local bed and breakfast, also known as the hospital. I won't belabor the fact too long other than to say, we love you mama draft, and feel better soon!!!!

Light Beer:

Okay, I'm a purist and like to brew adjunct free for most of my styles. I do however brew with adjuncts if the style calls for it, and I am not averse to brewing cream ales and pre-prohibition styles of beer that contain corn or rice adjunct. That said, I am having a new appreciation for some of the better light beers that are brewed commercially. A couple that rate some sort of recognition are Old Style Light, Miller Light, and Iron City Light. Iron City Light is a Pittsburgh tradition that has been popular since 1978. I am happy to say that I have been enjoying this brew on and off now since it's inception. The thing about IC Light that is different is that it is a batch light beer. What does that mean you ask? Well as always, you readers are very insightfull. In today's mega breweries, beers are brewed at high gravities, then cut with purified water to drinking strength at packaging. This increases the brewhouse output, and cuts costs. Well, one of the things that makes IC Light different is that it is brewed at working strength and packaged. This is a more expensive method, but it makes an overall better beer. I can't say that the other two mentioned are brewed this way, and I doubt that they are, but, they continue to have some beer flavor about them that is workable. Old Style is just a good beer that is made in the American Standard style, but continues to produce a beer with good flavor. Miller Light, if you believe the ads that sell this beer, is the largest market share growith beer going right now. AB has actually introduced a new beer that emulates Miller Light's taste known as Budweiser Select. Now why would AB introduce a new light beer when Bud Light is already the largest selling beer in America?? Well, it tastes like Miller Light, and that simply means that they want to squash the remaining market share that Miller brewing holds. Not working apparently, and I suggest that Bud Select will go the same path as Bud Dry went. To non-production. That said, don't give up on American beer just yet. There are a few that you can still enjoy and still have some good beer flavors. With summer coming before we know it, there sometimes isn't anything better that a nice American Standard Light. Might I suggest that if available, IC Light or Old Style Light might be beers that should get your attention when you go to the beer store. Don't take my word for it, give them a try at your local. You might be surprised......

Get some beer and drink it. Support your local, regional, craft, and pub brewers. You'll miss them when they close and your alternative is some syrupy nasty Budwieser......

Mark, The Brewer, and looking for gas on the IPA because I'm always thirsty........

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