Wednesday, September 28, 2016

German Beer Night 2016

Presenting Donation
2016 German Oktoberfest

Hosted by Colonel (GS) Joachim W. Bohn
Bundeswehrkommando USA and Kanada
(German Armed Forces Command, United States and Canada)

Enjoy German Tradition, Music, Food and Beverages,

Entertainment by
- German Air Force Band “Erfurt”,
- Ooompah Band "Alte Kameraden"
- “Alt-Washingtonia” Schuhplattler Dancers

Luftwaffenmusikkorps Erfurt - German Beer Night

Luftwaffenmusikkorps Erfurt

Founded 15 March 1991
Established as Army Band 70, later Military District Band III

About 50 person symphonic band giving benefit concerts or accompanied vows musically as a musical ambassador of the German Armed Forces both in Germany and abroad.

Oompah Band “Alte Kameraden

The "Alte Kameraden" is the German Band unit of the City of Fairfax Band. The "Old Comrades" have introduced American audiences to the lush, spirited festmusik played by Bavarian bands since 1977. The ensemble is an authentic blaskapelle wind band that performs music of the alpine village bands.

Pete Hesse - German Beer Night 2016
Pete Hesse - German Beer Night 2016
In 1995, the "Alte Kameraden" became the first American band to be selected for membership in the Musikbund von Ober-und Niederbayern (MON)—Bavaria's regional band association. Two years later, the "Alte Kameraden" was inducted into the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Militärmusik, Germany's honor society for military band music. The Fairfax band was presented with the Federal Republic of Germany's German-American Friendship Award in 1990, and recently the ensemble was honored with with a Certificate of Merit by the United German-American Committee of the USA.

The "Alte Kameraden" make over 50 appearances each year, for community events, German-American clubs, and octoberfests. They have entertained spectators at World Cup soccer matches at RFK Stadium and FedEx Field in the Washington area, and performed aboard the Gorch Fock, Germany's tall ship, in Baltimore's Inner Harbor.

In 2007, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, presented the Alte Kameraden with a special commendation on the occasion of their 30th anniversary.

“Alt-Washingtonia” Schuhplattler Dancers

Original Bavarian Dance Club of Washington DC
"Serving as a link with the old homeland by preserving and sharing Alpine customs and traditions in the new world"

Food and Drinks

Keg Label Paulaner Oktoberfest Bier
Paulaner Oktoberfest Bier
In addition to the entertainment, the food and drinks were delicious.  This year the beverages was Paulaner Oktoberfest Bier

Monday, September 26, 2016

#149 Zythos IPA

MoreBeer's Hopunion's Zythos IPA.  Hopunion is one of the main suppliers of hops in the Craft Brewing industry.  Zythos is a new "IPA style" hop blend created to optimize and exceed the aroma characteristics of the traditional, and sometimes hard to get, IPA hops. Hopunion had a team of professional hop sniffers blending combinations of hops. The interesting thing about blending hops is like blending wine - the blend actually ends up being different than the sum of the parts. Pretty cool.1

Amt Name IBUs
8.0 oz Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM)
8.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 20L (20.0 SRM)
1 lbs DME Golden Light (Briess) (4.0 SRM)
9 lbs Extra Light (1.9 SRM)
6.60 oz Malto-Dextrine (Boil 60.0 mins)
Hop Schedule

1.00 oz Zythos [10.90 %] - Boil 60.0 min 35.0
1.00 oz Zythos [10.90 %] - Boil 45.0 min 32.1
1.00 oz Zythos [10.90 %] - Boil 20.0 min 21.2
1.00 oz Zythos [10.90 %] - Boil 6.0 min 8.2
2.00 oz Zythos [10.90 %] - Boil 1.0 min 3.0
2.00 oz Zythos [10.90 %] - Dry Hop 7.0 Days
2.0 pkg California Ale (White Labs #WLP001) [35.49 ml]

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

German Beer Night 2015

2015 German Beer Night Letter
2015 German Beer Night Letter

Entertainment from 2015

German Army Band Hannover SymoblGerman Army Band Hannover (Heeresmusikkorps Hannover)
Established 1 July 1956 as Musikkorps II A, later Army Band 1; associated with the 1st Panzer Division

Oompah Band Alte Kameraden
Video from German Beer Night
99 Luftballons 
The "Alte Kameraden" is the German Band unit of the City of Fairfax Band. The "Old Comrades" have introduced American audiences to the lush, spirited festmusik played by Bavarian bands since 1977. The ensemble is an authentic blaskapelle wind band that performs music of the alpine village bands.

Original Bavarian Dance Club of Washington DC
"Serving as a link with the old homeland by preserving and sharing Alpine customs and traditions in the new world"

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Grand Cru Pinot Grigio Heritage Estates

I decided to make a jump into wine.  This was probably on par with many of the wines that are consumed at neighborhood events.  It has a good nose but a little thin on the body.

Grand Cru brings together the advantages of varietal grape juice, with the convenience and value of a 10-litre, 4-week wine kit. From the first swirl to the final sip, you will surely discover a style to suit your individual taste.

 A typical dry Pinot Grigio style, this wine boasts aromas of tart green apple with crisp citrus and honey flavours. This wine is dry with overtones of green melon leading to a crisp, clean finish. A bouquet of honey and herbs completes the experience.

VARIETAL Pinot Grigio
OAK Unoaked

Wine Kit Price Ranges

Below is a table from multiple sources that I put together to get an idea of the different levels of wine kits.  

Range Price Brands Comments
Value $60-78 Heritage Estates
Grand Cru
Vintners Reserve

Midrange $85-95 Cellarcraft Sterling
Grand Cru International
World Vineyard

Premium $125-133 Cru Select

Ultra Premium $165-170 Cellarcraft Showcase

Some Additional Resournes for choosing Wine Kits

2007 Top Win Kits

German Beer Night 2014

German Beer Night Kickoff
German Beer Night Kickoff
This was a lot of fun.  This event typically sells out every year and was cancelled last year due to the Navy Yard shooting, a year ago yesterday.
We attended with the Dulles Airport Rotary where the base's commanding officer, Brigadier General Hasso Koertge, is a member.   He is the Commanding General of German Armed Forces Command for the United States and Canada.  Past invite

Gates open at 6pm

German Armed Forces Command
Traffic and Transportation Division
23745 Autopilot Drive, Dulles, VA 20166

IMPORTANT: For admittance to the German Beer Night please bring the confirmation letter and a government issued ID! (for self and guest)

Everything from Dirndl and Lederhosen to Jeans and T-Shits. I am probably just going for Jeans and a polo.  Imagine that.

Food is included with your admission as is the beer.

Money if you want to buy souvenir: hat, mug, etc.

A little information about the Reston Headquarters.

Photos from Past Events
2009 -,oktoberfest/Interesting
2009 -
2009 -
2010 -
2014 -

Videos from past events

German Beer Night Anvil Player
Anvil Player

2009 German Beer Night Band Performance
2009 - German Beer Night at Dulles Oktoberfest  

Sunday, August 28, 2016

#148/158 Citra Session IPA (148/158)

NHC 2015 Gold Medal Citra Session IPA.
NHC 2015 Jason Bryant

Jason Bryant of Reston, VA, member of the Wort Hogs, won a gold medal in Category #23: Specialty Beer during the 2015 National Homebrew Competition Final Round in San Diego, CA. Bryant’s Specialty Beer was chosen as the best among 410 final round entries in the category.

Jason makes consistently good beers.  I have learned a great deal from him over the past year.

Jason also has brewed a number of beers with commericial breweries including Old Ox, Gordon Biersch with Justin Damadio, Brew Loco and others. When writing the post I found a number of contest that Jason has entered and done well: Garage Brewers 2013, NHC 2014, NHC 2015, Spirit of Free Beer, Burp SoFB 2015, Mountain Ale and Lager Tasters 2013, DC Homebrewers Cherry Blossom 2014.  I am sure there are others but these were some quick results from his work.

Congratulations for the 2015 HNC gold medal.
3 lbs 4.5 ozPale Malt - 2 Row
1 lbs 8.5 ozMarris Otter
14.0 ozMunich Malt
10.5 ozAromatic Malt
7.0 ozCara Pils
7.0 ozCrystal Malt 10L
7.0 ozCrystal Malt 40L
Hop Schedule
0.45 ozNugget - 60 min
0.90 ozCitra - 10 min
0.75 ozMosaic - 10 min
0.88 ozCitra - 5 min
0.66 ozMosaic - 5 min
1 pkgsSafale US-05 American
Dry Hop Schedule
0.66 ozMosaic - 4 days
1.75 ozCitra - 4 days

Saturday, August 27, 2016

#147 Grapefruit Pulpin'

#147 Grapefruit Sculpin Keg Label
Grapefruit Sculpin Keg Label
This bright showcase of apricot, peach, cantaloupe and lemon dives into crisp grapefruit flavor. A perfect complement to citrusy hop aroma, this IPA has stripes of ruby red grapefruit and hoppy, lingering bitterness.  An escape from the winter blues or the perfect complement to a bright sunny summer afternoon, each pint of Pulpin’ is like a fresh Florida grapefruit grove bottled up into a single refreshing serving. 
The lesson learned from this batch was about dry hopping in FastFerment Conical Fermenter.  The hops and grapefruit fell to the bottom.  Afterwards there was almost no flavor from the dry hop.  To fix this another round of dry hopping was added to the keg at serving time.

0.5 lbsDingemans Cara 20
0.25 lbsBriess Caramel 20
6 lbsGold malt syrup (60 min)
3.15 lbsGold malt syrup (20 min late addition)
Hop Schedule
0.50 ozChinook - 60 min
0.50 ozCascade - 60 min
0.50 ozChinook - 20 min
0.50 ozCascade - 20 min
0.50 ozChinook - 5 min
0.50 ozCascade - 5 min
0.50 ozChinook - 0 min
1.00 ozAmarillo - 0 min
1 pkgsSafale US-05 American
Dry Hop Schedule
1.00 ozCascade
1.00 ozSimcoe
2.00 ozGrapefruit Peel
This was a great beer that was enjoyed by all.

Friday, August 26, 2016

#146 Inn Keeper

#146 Inn Keeper Keg Label
Inn Keeper Keg Label
Thirty six major awards. Four-time Brewers International Champion. Four-time CAMRA Beer of the Year. Simply put, the muse for this recipe kit has won more awards than any other English beer, period. From very simple ingredients comes a wonderfully well-balanced dram of classic strong pale ale. Spicy, herbal, and English biscuits. Flashes of clean citrus and chewy minerals blend into a complex finish that is refreshingly bitter and remarkably dry. The way a pint was meant to taste. Truly spot on!

4.0 ozBiscuit Malt
4.0 ozExtra Dark Crystal Malt (160 SRM)
1 lbsPilsen Dry Extract
3 lbs 2.4 ozMarris Otter Malt Syrup
1 lbsCorn Surgar
Hop Schedule
1.00 ozFuggles - Boil 60 min
1.00 ozEast Kent Goldings - Boil 45 min
1.00 ozStyrian Goldings - Boil 5 min
1 pkgsWest Yorkshire Ale
White Labs #1469

Thursday, August 25, 2016

#145 Luckiest Man

#145 Luckiest Man Keg Label
Luckiest Man Keg Label
The Luckiest Man Pale Ale is a nod to Gehrig’s famous “luckiest man on the face of the Earth” speech.  The session pale ale was formulated specifically around a new, experimental hop variety called HBC-438. The hop was bred by Loftus Ranches and Hopunion for their Ales for ALS program, which raises money for ALS research by giving participating brewers access to new hops. For example, HBC-369, which in 2012 was officially released as Mosaic, is another hop that was born out of the Ales for ALS program.

Ron Mexico Beer Label
Ron Mexico Beer Label - Homebrew Conference 2015
HBC-438 is a result of open pollination, which is why the father is unknown. Perrault noticed that several of the resulting plants had unique aromas, particularly selection #0406363074 (“fruity, banana”). He gave Vanevehoven a small sample in 2007, then more in 2008. It hadn’t earned an HBC number yet, and #0406363074 didn’t exactly roll off the tongue, so they gave it a code name: “Ron Mexico.” Vanevehoven also called some of the beers he brewed with it “Ron Mexico.”

10 lbs 8 ozPale Mat (2 Row)
5.2 ozCrystal Malt (30L)
4.0 ozCara-Pils
Hops Schedule
0.50 ozHBC-438 - Boil 30 min
0.50 ozHBC-438 - Boil 10 min
1.00 ozHBC-438 - Boil 0 min
1 pkgsSafale American US-05
Dry Hop Schedule
1.00 ozHBC-438 - 7 days

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

#142 Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale

#142 Tank 7 Keg Label
Tank 7 Keg Label
I enjoy Boulevard's Tank 7 so this batch was split with 3 gallons going  for a Saison Brett.  This recipe is for a 7.5 gallon batch.

Tank 7 is a big, boisterous take on the Belgian beer that was traditionally give to southern Belgian farm workers as part of their compensation. While we encourage you to give Tank 7 a try we'd discourage using any farm equipment after quaffing this 8.5-percent alcohol monster. Despite the high alcohol Tank 7 drinks easily and picks up mild grapefruit notes to complement this saison's classic, floral pepperiness.

7.5 Gallon Batch

12 lbs Pale Mat (2 Row)
3 lbs Flaked Corn
11.2 oz Caramel Malt (40L)
4.8 oz Wheat Malt
Hops Schedule
0.20 oz Magnum - Boil 75 min
0.20 oz Simcoe - Boil 55 min
3.50 oz Amarillo - Boil 5 min
2.60 oz Amarillo - Steep/Whirlpool - 10 min
1 pkgs Trappist High Gravit - Wyeast #3787
Dry Hop Schedule
0.74 oz Amarillo

Good Sources of information for putting together the recipe

GreenDragon's information from Boulevard on Homebrew Talk - GreenDragon 10-07-2015 02:29 PM  
Schumed - Included as Notes
MaltsRatios/Time5.25 Gallon Equivalent (TBD)
Pale Malt77.5%
Pregelatinized corn flakes 20%
Malted Wheat 2.5%
Note: known to.add a little biscuit malt.
Note: Corn Flakes now replaced with dextrose

145.4° (In) 50 min 
154.5° 25 min
163.4° 15 min
172.4° (Out)

Beginning of boil gravity of 15.7 and boil for 70 minutes to target 16.3 at the end of the boil.
Hop Schedule

Magnum 6 IBU @ 208°
Simcoe 5 IBU @ 15 min
Amarillo 15.7 IBU @ 5
Amarillo 10.7 IBU @ Flameout
Note: added bravo and citra to the mix

We cool the wort to 19C and let it rise to 21C. We ferment at 21 until we reach 7 Plato at which point we temp up to 23 for the remainder of fermentation. Ending Plato is 2.2.
The yeast we use for Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale is our house Belgian strain. For homebrewing purposes, we recommend Wyeast 3787 to approximate our house yeast character.

Note: Ardennes may be a true clone for tank 7 ..wouldnt reveal temp range though
Dry Hopping

Amarillo  .089 kg/bbl

Monday, August 22, 2016

#141 Berliner Weisse

Sour Kettling at 110 degrees
Berliner Weisse is a cloudy, sour, white beer of around 3% abv. It is a regional variation on the white beer style from Northern Germany, dating back to at least the 16th century.   The following produced 3.7 ABV, 3.4 ph, 120 calories, 1.037OG est.   “Modern” Berliner Weisse can be produced using a three step process.   Sour mash/kettle,  Pasteurize and  Ferment

Mash 150° - 60 min + 15 min boil + chil
4 lbsPilsen Malt
3 lbsWheat Pale Malt
8.0 ozMunich

Kettle Sour~2 days - 3.4 ph
110 degreesAnova Sous Vide Precision Cooker
8.0 oz2 row in muslin bag
1 pkgsWhite labs WLP677

0.5 ozHallertau - Boil 60 min

1 pkgsYeast - Who knows.  Didn't take notes.  Would be good to know now

Used bricks to lift the pot up higher.
Otherwise the pot wanted to float
After getting scared by many articles and getting my ph low quickly, I added phosphoric and 6 tsp of lactic acid, but didn't appear to have great impact.  After the production of the wort, but before pitching the culture of Lactobacillus, some brewers like to slightly lower the pH of the wort with food grade lactic acid or phosphoric acid before adding the Lactobacillus. Acidifying the wort before pitching Lactobacillus has several benefits, such as discouraging unwanted microbes that may have accidentally been introduced into the wort, and helping to prevent Lactobacillus from degrading foam proteins. The idea is to get the wort down to a pH of 4.0 - 4.4 before adding Lactobacillus.

To address issues with the depth of the tub bricks were placed on the bottom of the tub before adding the brew pot.  The Anova sous vide device was attached to the side of the tub which acted as a larger vessel with water to keep the heat applied to the outside water.

The brewing pot was placed inside of a keg tub.  To protect the wort  a layer of plastic wrap set directly on top of the mash in the kettle to keep air away, while others purge the space above the mash with carbon dioxide.  Without eliminating oxygen there is the potential  for funky off-flavors and aromas can generally be avoided.

The Sous Vide was set for 110º F for approximately 2 days.  Continued Sour Kettling until 3.4 ph, about 2 days.  After tasting and talking with Jym F., I wish that I had let the ph continue until 3.1.  The beer was just not as sour as I had hoped.

Some key notes for kettle sours
  • pH: pre-acidify to 4.0-4.5 (1 mL of 88% lactic acid = .1 shift in pH for 5 G of wort)
  • Temperature: variable but… 106º-120º F (41º-49º C)
  • CO2 & O2: depends on lacto source but CO2 blanket is recommended
  • Time: variable, but usually 18-72 hours
My biggest changes for next time?
Grist Bill
Going forward there was probably not enough wheat malt in my grist bill.  A typical Berliner would have a grist bill contains 50–70% wheat malt, and the rest is pale barley malt. Until the middle of the last century, breweries also used smoked wheat malt in addition to regular wheat malt. Once one brewery began using unsmoked wheat malt, however, consumers seemed to prefer it, and so the other breweries followed as well.
The munich malt could also be removed.
I would let the ph go lower next time.  I was worried about being too sour.  This was definitely not the case.
After tasting, I am going to increase the carbonation.

Additional Sources of Information
  • Berliner Weisse - From Past to Present. Retrieved May 07, 2016, from
  • Milk The Funk Wiki. (n.d.). Retrieved March 15, 2016, from
  • Sour Beer Blending. (2016). Retrieved June 07, 2016, from

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