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FuzzyBrew had a helluva showing at the 2011 Bluff City Brewers Extravaganza

February 23, 2011 By: grant Category: Competition, Events, Homebrew, Memphis

Medals -- 2011 Bluff City Brewers Extravaganza

Congrats to all the participants and winners in the 2011 Bluff City Brewers Extravaganza homebrew competition! And big ups to everyone who made it happen.

Oh, and it’s braggin’ time. Each FuzzyBrewer brought home a medal!

Jeff placed second in the Porter category for a quite tasty Robust Porter, which, according to the column on the right there, he’s got on tap. Party at Jeff’s?

Mike, who earlier won second place in Chattanooga’s 2010 Fugetaboutit homebrew competition for his Northern English Brown Ale, won third place in the European Amber Lager category for his Oktoberfest.

Award winnerAnd I won second in the Fruit Beer category for my Magic Hat #9 clone, based mostly on this recipe. Mike took a funny video of me testing the gravity after fermentation a few weeks ago.

Check out the full results here. To see photos from the judging, go here.

Testing the gravity

January 27, 2011 By: mike Category: Beer learnin', Homebrew

Prior to bottling your homebrewed goodness, it’s important to take a gravity reading two days in a row. You wanna make sure the gravity has stabilized and that the beer has stopped fermenting before you bottle. A beer that’s still fermenting in a bottle may explode, which is messy and dangerous.

Grant demonstrates here with his clone of Magic Hat’s #9:

FuzzyBrew’s Favorites for 2010

January 10, 2011 By: jeff Category: Craft beer, Opinion

After checking out all the end-of-year beer lists for 2010, we thought it would be cool to share each of our top five favorite beers of the year. We drank a lot of good beer in 2010, so this was a fun trip down memory lane.

organic ale

Jeff’s picks

1.  Estate Homegrown Ale – Sierra Nevada.  This beer explodes with resiny, grapefruity, wet-hopped goodness.  The well-balanced, smooth malt backbone makes this a beer I could drink all night.

2.  Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale – Stone Brewing.  Whatever you want to call it – Black IPA, Cascadian  Dark ale – it doesn’t matter.  Roasted, chocolatey grains that you would expect in a stout or porter combined with the pine forest, citrus hop flavor of an IPA, resulting in a beer that is bad ass and unique.

3.  Sorachi Ace – Brooklyn Brewery.  The  Sorachi hops are front and center for a lemony take on a Siason,  a style known for bracing bitterness, spicy notes and a crisp dry finish.  This beer was killer.

4.  30th Anniversary Brewers Reserve: Oak-Aged Ale - Sierra Nevada.  Weirdly enough, of the four anniversary beers released this year, I was least excited to try this one. That’s why I’m learning not to trust my instincts.  This beer is a blend of their Oak-aged Bigfoot, Celebration Ale and Pale Ale.  They combine to make a tasty blend of oak, malt and hoppy goodness.

5.  Sue – Yazoo Brewing.  An imperial porter that has an incredible blend of chocolate and smoke.  I was blown away the first time I had this at the Cooper Young Regional Beerfest.

Honorable mention: Odell IPA – Odell Brewing.  Thank you for saving me my own bottle, Mr. Erskine.

Mike’s picks

1. Bell’s Two Hearted Ale – Bell’s Brewery.   A really well-balanced AIPA that would be my everyday ale if I could buy it in Memphis.

2. Sweet Water IPA – Sweetwater Brewing. An explosion of grapefruit taste and floral aroma packed in a beer that goes down easy.

3. Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter – Flying Dog Brewery.  The late Hunter S. Thompson graces the bottle’s label and proclaims, “Good people drink good beer.” And this is a really good Baltic porter: rich, roasted malt flavors with hints of molasses and a hell of a kick from the 9.2 ABV.

4. Odell IPA - Odell Brewing.  A mix of citrus and piny hop flavor and aroma with a decent dose of malts. It does not disappoint.

5. Schafly Coffee Stout – The Saint Louis Brewery. First coffee stout I’ve ever tried and loved the smoky, rich coffee flavor with notes of sweetness from the oatmeal stout base.

Grant’s picks

Modus Hoperandi1. Modus Hoperandi – Ska Brewing. Fantastic IPA I found on a trip to Colorado this past summer. The closest it’s available to Memphis is St. Louis. I made a decent clone, which started me on my quest to brew the perfect IPA. This is where the bar is set.

2. #9 – Magic Hat. I don’t actually remember when I had my first one of these, but it quickly became one of my favorites during this past summer’s ridiculous heat wave. It’s a tasty and crisp craft brew you can drink no matter how high the mercury rises. I made a pretty good clone a few months ago and have another in secondary fermentation right now.

3. Old Glory American Pale Ale – Great Dane Pub. Malty, hoppy totally drinkable brew from Madison, Wisconsin. It’s a British-style pale ale with American hops, whatever that means. Wish I could get it around here.

4. St. Vincent’s Dubbel – Captain Lawrence Brewing Co. Jeff gave Mike and I each one of these. Loved the crisp and sour taste. Luckily Mike cracked his open first to share so I still have one.

5. Southern Pecan Nut Brown Ale – Lazy Magnolia. Really tasty brew from Mississippi (where homebrewing and over-5% ABV is illegal. WTF?) Also, fun to give people with nut allergies. This is why there is now an Epipen in the kitchen cabinet.

Honorable mention: Dry-hopped APA – Schlafly Beer. The first couple I had were fantastically hoppy but not too overwhelming. Unfortunately, sixers I’ve bought since indicate it doesn’t have a great shelf life, as the hop taste is muted. This is something we’ve noticed with our homebrewed IPAs, too.

What were the best beers you tried in 2010? Leave a comment below.

Fermentation = bubbles

January 05, 2011 By: grant Category: Homebrew, Memphis, Video

Mike and I brewed a coupla beers this weekend. In the video I say Saturday but it was Sunday. It felt like Saturday though, since we started way early. It was cold and that bright sky orb had not yet shown up. Also I got a video camera for Festivus so I’ll let my recorded ramblings tell the story. And for what it’s worth, I’m not drunk in this video. It’s just a really bright light that I am unaccustomed to.

Also, in case you’re wondering about the fermentation chamber set-up, I’ve got a 60-watt bulb rigged as a heater for when it gets too cold. The towels keep the brew from getting light-struck, and the non-CFL bulb emits a lot of heat for that small space. Has been working like a charm for some time now.