Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Cockhammer Ale - Pittsburgh's Finest

Unable to decide on a name for my first original creation, an American Amber, I decided to name it post-humulously. Myself and assistant brewmaster Farmer Jim had formulated it specifically for our trip to Pittsburgh for a guy's weekend. We packed the kegs and headed for PA. After an afternoon in city traffic we stopped at the Church Brewery and had a Strong Ale. Not bad, but not ours!

After a jaunt at the Penn Brewery for German food and some dark ale we headed to the house for drunk-ass poker. We slayed the first keg like Beowolf on the Grendel...

Keg # 2 was taken out in similar fashion while boating Saturday afternoon. It got rave reviews. Everyone wanted us to bring more, and were willing to pay. Perhaps next time. I've got my own favs to brew!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Final Grade on the 7-day Ale...

After an improptu tasting of the 7-Day Mild last night we have a final report. It is drinkable, and will work as a "filler" when we are waiting for the good beers to mature. It needs a tad bit more flavor to help hide the hops, or perhaps just a bit more pale malt and/or increased mash temp. Lower mash temps = higher fermentable sugar = less malt taste left over. I think we can work in the recipie with a couple more batches...

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A Taste on the Mild Side...

Seven-Day Ale was kegged Sunday, exactly one week after brewing. Tasting revealed a light, crisp brew with suttle hop flavor and virtually no aroma. Being a fan of darker brews it was a little weak for my I packed up a keg and took it to my tennis clinic...

It was a smash hit! Turns out it's a great "lawnmover ale". It's basically the homebrew variety of light beer, so it's great for drinking after a hard workout or working in the yard. I will have to add a tad bit more flavor for my taste, but it's still a knockout.

So next time someone asks, "How long does it take to make homebrew?" you can answer, ONE WEEK!

Monday, August 21, 2006


Saturday was the Summertime Brews fest in Greensboro, NC. I had a lot of great tastes, and many FOUL creations as well. I was particularly fond of Highland Brewery's Gaelic Ale and the brewmaster's choice from a brewery in Wilmington. From speaking to him it seemed that he had got drunk one afternoon and mixed up a bunch of barley and hops. He ended up with a "double" American Pale Ale (~7%). It was tasty since the extra malt balanced out the Pale Ale hops.

But the best in show was the English Brown Ale courtesy of the Rusty Cutlass Brewing Co. Although it wasn't tapped until late in the afternoon it was still a crowd pleaser (those who still had tastebuds and weren't DOTA (Drunk off Their Ass).

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Brew club, lager transfering, and brews festival...

Last night we tasted meads at brew club. Drank Tank and I decided on an apple spice mead for our endeavour. I also transferred the lager to secondary using a closed CO2 system so as to avoid oxygen contamination (more on that later).

Summertime Brews Fest is this weekend. Lots of beers to try, but I'm looking forward to talking to folks about beer more than tasting!

Monday, August 14, 2006


Northern Brown Ale added to the tap.


Amber Lager
6-Day Mild

Instant Gratification...

Number one question asked by anyone who finds out I am a homebrewer:

"How long does it take to make?"

They typically think it takes a month. Sure, some brews need to condition for month(s), but there are recipes for "6-day ales". I brewed one up Sunday I call "Instant Gratification". It's a mild cream-style ale that takes a few days to ferment, a few to condition, and then it's ready to drink. Yes, you can brew beer that is read to consume in ONE WEEK! I hope it's tasty, because it's going to be tough to keep the taps full during football season...

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Brewery Tour

Web link to the Rusty Cutlass Brewery tour:

Saturday, August 12, 2006

It's finally time...

I have a confession. Beer is not my original passion. NFL football is. I am a true-blue Carolina Panthers fan. I celebrated the birth of the franchise in the fall on 1994, and have been a diehard fan ever since. Tonight we won 14-13, and even though it was a preseason game, it was nice to see them back on the field!

Friday, August 11, 2006

MMMMMM, Beer...

Straight from Homer Simpson to you:

(Thanks to Drank Tank for digging this one up!)

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Hard Cider...It ain't so hard!

Hard cider is actually quite the opposite. I made a batch today just to do something different. It's toodamn easy (well at least so far it's easy to prepare). The batch I have is pretty damn high on the gravity side, but it should make for some good drink. Anyway, I'm sure you are asking what this has to do with beer. Well I picked up the glass jugs to make mead, one of the very first "beers" to grace man. I figured what the heck, might as well put that juice to good use!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Buddy Brew - Lagering in Progress...

The Amber Lager is complete and fermenting away in the cave. Will take about a month to get it "drinkable", so we may end up having a different brew for NFL kickoff on 9/10. This lager is an Oktoberfest, or Marzen(sp), is a reddish orange and I hope it will be tasty! Unfortunately, only time will tell...


From the guys who brought you Super Troopers, Club Dread, and Dukes of Hazzard:

Cold Break

As protein coagulates in the wort you are cooling, "cold break" material is created. I caught this phenomenon on film last winter when I put warm wort in a carboy. I think it's a cool pic!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Putting things in persective...

Last night Spartacus, our great dane of nine years, began acting strange. A trip to the emergency vet and all night at the clinic ended with him having his spleen removed. He should be fine, but it makes me remember that he is a very important part of my family.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Lagering Cave

Most homebrewers would get a chest freezer from the Wal-Mart and set it up for lagering using a secondary temperature control (Johnson Controls). Not me! Derick (the brains behind Drank Tank) found a bar that was closing down and gave me rights on the keg cooler since all he wanted was a tap tower for his kegerator. Well after a dead compressor, coolant recharges, and some help from a refrigeration expert I was able to resurrect the old Perlick. It has room for about 8 5gal kegs or 4 carboys. Lagering here I come!

Let nothing keep a man from his beer...

These chaps would not be denied! I've been brewing all ales this summer, most of which have been tasty. I brewed a Belgian ale that some of my tasters did not care for, but it was supposed to be different. We like brown ales and ambers, so to go a little drier and more hoppy was unapealing. That and the fact that the beer sat for two days before fermention thanks to some dead yeast!

On Tap - Irish Red Ale, Belgian "Fat Tire" Ale (w/ Abbey yeast).
Conditioning - Pittsburgh Amber
Fermenting - Brown Ale II

This weekend is lager time! I finally got an old beer cooler and temp control to get it at the right temps. Saturday it's brew-thirty on location in Greensboro for a buddy brew with a couple guys from the Battleground Brewer's Guild. I'm thinking an amber lager!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

All roads lead to brew...

I'de seen this pic before, but when my lady sent it to me again I figured I would post it again so that it might make one more lap around the internet...

Bringing the readership up to date...

To bring everyone up to date so I can start actually "blogging" here's the last few notes...

Beer brewed in 2006 - 135 gallons
Preferred brew - Brown Ale / Strong Ale
Beer-related Nickname - The Anti-Hop

I brew in my driveway with a gravity-few homebrewery. I enjoy all types of beer, but stray from IPA's and other hoppy beers. Enjoy!

The Rusty Cutlass Brewing Co.

Phase I - I began homebrewing in December, 2005. I started with an "intro" kit comprised of a bucket, a glass jug, bottles, hoses, and a kit to make a Nut Brown Ale.

Phase II - The hunger for more equipment drove me to collect parts to make an "All-Grain" setup including a rudimentary mash tun and wort chiller. I also added a kegging system.

Phase III (current) - Unable to quench my thirst for more "junk" (as the wife calls it), and unable to keep beer on tap, I began building a 10gal brewing setup. It is a mobile ultra-micro-brewery. I will add more picks.

EXTRAS - During Phase II I picked up a couple lampreys, Pete and Jim, who are the two main reasons I went to phase III. They enjoy the beer and the brewing process and routinely support the brewery with cash and labor assistance. I use them as proof that the beer actually is tasty and potentially marketable.

THE NAME - I am resto-modding a 1968 Chevelle in the garage and I like pirates. Although not a Chevy, the Cutlass was also a GM A-Body and so the double meaning fits me well. It also sounds pretty cool to say, "Hey, let's hit the R.C. for a brew".