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The FISHBROOK POND BREWING COMPANY was established in the fall of 2002 to support the mountaineers atop Mount Erebus. Conditions on the mountaintop are oftentimes quite severe, and a homebrewed ale can oftentimes be the difference between life and thirst.




FISHBROOK BREWING history 2002 - 2007
FISHBROOK BREWING history 2008 - 2009


2014

.:: 2014 ANNAPURNA IPA ::.

(May 22, 2014) #45. Annapurna IPA. As the first arrival at Barleycorn's IPA Cooperative I got the pick of the litter - an Imperial IPA. I love the hops but this style often is a tad over the top for my taste. But brewin' it up is good fun, as hops are being constantly added (13 additions!) to the boil. So not too much mucking about, which is my tendency.

Annapurna, the great Himalayan mountain, stands at 8,091 meters (26,545 ft), 10th highest on Earth. 'Tis a Sanskrit name which literally means "full of food". From Wiki - you think I'd know this? Maurice Herzog wrote a fantastic book on his first ascent back in 1950.

(June 12-13, 2014) On Thursday the brew was bottled without a taste. (I been sick.) And today, Friday the 13th, the Annapurna IPA was tasted. (Official field test to soon follow....) A hop-monster fer sure, but not crazy-hopped. Well, maybe a bit crazy-hopped. Okay, hop-monster said it.


BREWED: May 22, 2014  BOTTLED: June 12, 2014

BARLEY: Carapils, Victory, Munich, Caramel, Aromatic

HOPS!  Bittering:   Magnum, Nugget
         Mid-boil:    Simcoe (30 min.) Chinook (20) Chinook (15)
           Late boil:   Amarillo (10) Amarillo (5)
            Whirlpool:  Citra, Simcoe, Mosaic
              Dryhop:     Citra, Simcoe, Mosaic

EXTRACT: Super-light, Light

YEAST: Wyeast 1056 American Ale yeast


2013

.:: 2013 BONEYARD BREWHAHA PUMPKIN ALE ::.

(September 27, 2013) #44. For the historical 21st Annual Pumpkin Carving Party at the legendary Robinwood Lounge. Where the fun NEVER stops. Kate & Mike baked 12 pounds of sugar pumpkin. Steeped it with the usual suspects, 2-row and caramel barleymalt, then added hops, vanilla bean and spices. Had a boilover when adding the bittering hops, but all should be well.

We've not varied the recipe as this beer seems to be such a crowd pleaser at the party. Barleycorn Dan and Jamie from the Yankee Brew News joined us for a Jack's Abby Wet Hop, then flew over to the Abby and got me a refill. Good folks these!

BOTTLING

(Oktober 15, 2013) Big Nude and I, accompanied by acclaimed beer judge and all around nice guy Jamie Magee, bottled the Boneyard Brewhaha. And tasted it. Again and again. Big Nude did most of the real work, I pretty much attached the labels. And tasted this years fine harvest and fermentation of the pumpkin.

FIELD TEST

(Oktober 19, 2013) The 21st Annual Pumpkin Carving Party was in full bloom when I arrived fashionably late. Some fine carvings this year, including Zack Johnson's chainsaw masterpiece.


BREWED: September 27, 2013  BOTTLED: October 15, 2013

BARLEY: Caramel 80, 2-Row     PUMPKIN: 12 lbs.

HOPS: Cluster & Cascade  OTHER: Vanilla bean & spices

EXTRACT: Light & IRISH MOSS


.:: 2013 TEN TOES SINGLE HOP CENTENNIAL IPA ::.

(August 2, 2013) #43. On this fine evening, we kettled the metal at Barleycorn's. The second collaboration between Fishbrook and Lonesome Shoe Brewing afforded 13 gallons of Ten Toes Single Hop Centennial IPA. It was, I believe, Dan's recipe for a single hop IPA. We upped the hoppage about 10%, hence the toe count. Single hop ales are a favorite of mine, and this is the the first I've done with Centennial. Previous single hop ales were Cascade, Hallertau, Simcoe and Amarillo. Good way to get a handle on the properties of a hop. Or at least that particular batch....

Promises to be a goodun, unfortunately for me not ready for Joey's Hot as Hell party. I'm sure we'll find something to drink. Perhaps Defiant will provide something good!

BOTTLING

(August 23, 2013) As Barleycorns gets a facelift, we were perhaps the last customers to experience the classic era. In some disarray. But bottle we must, and bottle we did. As you may know, bottling at Barleycorns means the first taste of your labors. And Ten Toes Single Hop Centennial IPA is a mouthful. Weighs in at 6% abv, nice and hoppy, much more than Spiky Shoe IPA. And it tastes MAHVELOUS! A keeper, a drinkin' beer. This one ain't gonna last too long. To be field-tested this weekend....

FIELD TESTS

(August 25, 2013) We bottled this 2 days ago, and it is a keeper - a real nice IPA. Ten Toes Single Hop Centennial IPA summited the Tripyramids and stood tall. (And empty when all was said and done.)

(October 10-13, 2013) This is the story of the Four Elders. On a picturesque Columbus Day weekend in the Adirondacks, and after the traditional round of golf at the Queensbury Country Club, with Zeek taking home the coveted trophy once again, 11 mountaineers made the journey to Fishbrook Pond on Mt. Erebus. Almost summer weather (though it got down in the 40s at night), with a bountiful supply of chow, brews, and medicinal herb, the outdoorsmen went about their usual business. Rebel rousing, poker games, fly fishing, hiking and Rootin' Tootin' Trouble. I hauled up a mule's load of beer: 2 bombers of our Ten Toes Centennial IPA homebrew, a growler of Adirondack Dirty Blonde, and a case of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Joey had a selection of Guinness, and, well there was a LOT of beer. And weed as well. A great time was had no doubt, and again just perfect autumn weather. We rarely get bad weather any more. Praise global warming?


BREWED: August 2, 2013  BOTTLED: August 23, 2013

BARLEY: Caramel 80, Carapils, Carastan, Victory

HOPS: Centennial, 3 additions + dryhop

EXTRACT: Light, Amber

YEAST: 1056 American Ale yeast


.:: 2013 SPIKY SHOE IPA ::.

(June 13, 2013) #42. On this fine day, Lonesome Shoe Brewing was born. Me & Bobby McGee (aka/ Peru) brewed an IPA based on Ben Roesch's (Wormtown Brewing) recipe. At Barleycorn's in Natick. A truckload of Falconer's Flight hops were slowly added to the boil. Wormtown IPA (out of Worcester MA) is a favorite of ours, and I'm excited to see how this recipe pans out. Spiky Shoe IPA was born!

FIELD TEST

The first official (at least reported) field test of Spiky Shoe IPA took place on Boston Common, at the Los Lobos concert. It was stealth, as post Marathon bombing security was super-tight. But the Weasels & the Quarters gave hearty thumbs up. (Assuming the thumb is the digit between the index and ring fingers.) A fine IPA - doesn't quite replicate the Wormtown Be Hoppy IPA, but a great ale in it's own right.

(August 3, 2013) The White Mountain stealth field-test took place on North Twin Trail on a drizzly day .... Oh, screw it. Obama probaly seen it with his drones. Or phones. Whilst on his throne... At least he didn't rendition it. Or blow it to bits. Oh yeah, he actually brews beer at the White House. Maybe he's got some redeeming qualities! Anyways, almost exactly a month old, I believe Spiky Shoe IPA has reached its high water point, and as it was brewed with beer in place of water, it's high beer point.

.:: 2013 Jefferson (5712') ::.

(August 11, 2013) Cue in the Beatles: "It was 30 years ago today, Jimmy Spil showed us all the way...." Sho' nuff, 30 years ago I hit the Caps Ridge Trail for the first time.

Stepped out around 12:30pm today, which worked out perfect. Some weather passing through up there, and a coupla hours earlier it was socked in. The JB Magical Formula (start late when applicable!) does it again. Hadn't climbed the Caps Ridge in many years. It's only 2.6 each way, but talk about bang fer yer buck - lotsa hand-over-foot scamperin' and gain. I ventured out on some rockface pretending I was Messner or Hillary or someone. Another hiker commented, "You took the hard way. But there's no easy way."

Very cool hike on a perfect mountain day. Nice view of Washington when you get to the caps. The weather scrapes that mountaintop like no one's business. But it too had cleared by the time I was standing on the summit (of Jefferson). Adams, another favorite, looked massive and majestic today. Celebrated the summit with a bomber of Lonesome Shoe Spiky Shoe IPA and a Clif Bar.


BREWED: June 13, 2013  BOTTLED: July 2, 2013

BARLEY: Caramel 20, Carapils, Munich

HOPS: Falconer's Flight, 7 additions, including dryhop (a blend of Citra, Simcoe, Sirachi Ace & others)

EXTRACT: Light

YEAST: 1056 American Ale yeast


2012

.:: 2012 WETHOP RYE SIMCOE ::.

(September 6, 2012) #40! This was Barleycorn's second Wet Hop co-op, and by golly I sho' do love the wethop. The hops were harvested about 4 days ago in the Pacific Northwest. I was the first to arrive so I got to brew a batch by myself which was kinda nice. And not without incident: two boilovers which is my personal best. Haven't boiled over in years, but it seemed like every time I took my off the kettle for 30 seconds it made me pay. Lost a few pints of beer for sure.... {sadface}

I chose the Simcoe Rye as Big Nude & I brewed a WetHop Porter one year ago today. A massive amount of hops (all Simcoe, and 5x the usual for wethops) and malts. Caramel, Munich & Rye + Flaked Rye and Flaked Wheat (which are not milled) to add body to the brew. I've not used these before far as I can remember. So not a typical IPA recipe. This is Dan's recipe I think. And my 40th brew over 10 years. Not a whole lot by serious brewer standards, but a milestone for a counter like meself. And that it was marked with two screwups probaly shows that I'm still the lolligagger you knew when I was 7 years old. Tradition lives on...

BOTTLING

(Ocktober 15, 2012) Big Nude & I bottled this fine elixer, sampling it as we worked. Lotsa grains in the recipe. And 5x the amount of hops you'd nawmally use. Simcoe, one of my favorites. Unique brew in that the hop oils afford the oily mouthfeel and a creamy-smooth bitterness. It's a very fine beer. Thanks to Barleycorn Dan for the recipe and opportunity. This really is a fine ale. Also bottled some WetHop Oatmeal Stout on the 20th. Had no hand in on the brewing of this one, but was glad to get my paws on some botttles of this unique stout.


BREWED: September 6, 2012  BOTTLED: Oktober 15, 2012

BARLEY: Caramel 20, Munich, Rye, Flaked Wheat, Flaked Rye

HOPS: Simcoe wethops (3 additions + pellet dryhop)

EXTRACT: Light, Superlight  IRISH MOSS

YEAST: Wyeast 1968 London ESB yeast


.:: 2012 NIGHT OF THE LIVING PUMPKIN ALE ::.

(October 12, 2012) #41. For the historical 20th Annual Pumpkin Carving Party at the legendary Robinwood Lounge, where the fun NEVER stops, Kate & Mike baked about 10 or 12 pounds of Pumpkin. And quickly added it to the brew kettle at Barleycorns, along with some fine malted barley & vanilla bean. We tossed in some cluster and cascade hops, some traditional pumpkin pie spices, pitched the yeast and... VOILA!

(October 26, 2012) The Nudes, as they are commonly known, got up early and bottled this rascal. Praise be they. And just in the nick of time, for the 20th Annual Pumpkin Carving Party at the legendary Robinwood Lounge is about to begin!

FIELD TEST

(October 27, 2012) The 20th Annual Pumpkin Carving Party drew record crowds. Classic carving. The Pumpkin Ale was well received. Had a fine time - Sherry & Mattys' newborn son James (aka/ Jed) attended, as have many friends that I rarely see. This is really a fine recipe for Pumpkin Ale. Not ours but something we've been riffing on for many years. Award winning I'm told. Twas straight up in 2012, and it is a tad more understated than most of the Pumpkin brews I've tried.


BREWED: October 12, 2012  BOTTLED: October 26, 2012

BARLEY: Caramel 80, 2-Row     PUMPKIN: 12 lbs.

HOPS: Cluster & Cascade

EXTRACT: Light & IRISH MOSS




.:: 2012 POMPEII PALE ALE ::.

(8 June 2012) Quarter's first home-homebrew, assisted by Rhoda and JB, was so named when the yeasties blew the top of the bucket off! An explosive debut indeed. A Cascade IPA, enhanced with Chinook hops and ?? barleymalt. Bottled two weeks later and tastin' pretty fine (on August 7th).

(7 August 2012) Rhoda: The second batch (from last Thursday night) had a slightly different ingredients list that was tweaked for more citrus flavor. The hops were Cascade and Columbus. I can't remember the malt or yeast info. BTW, the folks at the brewing store said that the amount of fermentation activity that Jeff saw is normal and that the batch is probably fine. We'll be the judge of that!


BREWED: 8 June 2012  BOTTLED: 22 June 2012

BARLEY:   HOPS: Cascade & Chinook   DRYHOP: Cascade

EXTRACT: Pale Malt

YEAST: 


.:: 2012 IMPERIAL SAAZ ::.

(26 February 2012) #39. Yep, been brewin' now for 10 years - and what have I got to show fer it? A respectable beer-belly for starters. I'm callin' this one 10th Anniversary Imperial Saaz, for lack of a better handle. The recipe (done verbatim) was called Imperial Pilsner, but as it's top fermented with Kölsh yeast, it's really an ale pretending to be a lager. Has a sh!tload of Saaz hops, with some Northern Brewer tossed in for bittering.

This was brewed in Nashua, New Hampshire (Live Free or Die) at the oldest brew-on-premises in the country - IncrediBREW. A very clean and organized brewery, run by knowledgeable friendly folks.

The Imperial Saaz should weigh in at about 7.5% abv, in other words, a heavyweight. And hoppy with 18 oz's of hops (14 of which are Saaz.) First time I've added glucose to the wort. Guessin' it's presentin' negligible flavor characteristics and more sweetage fer the yeasties to make into alcohol. (This is kinda how the Belgians hide their alcohol content, and it'll sneak up on ya.) Hafta read up on this. OK, I read up. Nuthin' I could get a handle on, but after bottling I realized it may be purely for color. Extract beers are generally dark, so extreme measures are sometimes necessary if yer concerned about the color of yer beer. As this is an an ale pretending to be a lager, I suppose that was the intent.

Irish Moss (seaweed) was added as well for clarity. I almost never do this as I like the look (and taste) of cloudy unfiltered beer, but as this brew is mimicking a pilsner, I went with the program.

BOTTLING

(10 March 2012) My bottling crew, usually pretty dependable (unlike meself) turned up unavailable. So, solo, no oxygen, I persevered. The single bottling system at Incredibrew worked flawlessly. Incredibrew (in Nashua NH) is a fine place to brew beer. The 10th Anniversary Imperial Saaz is tastin' pretty fine. Light in color, the recipe was presenting a pilsner, but fermented as an ale, with Kolsch yeast.

SAAZ is now FIELD TESTED

(17 March 2012) As some bottles were dispatched to operatives from several states, there were surely several tastings and testings taking place around this time frame. Until history is rewritten, the first official field test of the Imperial Saaz was near the New Hampshire border on the Nashua River Rail Trail. Sandy, Weezhul & I biked 16 miles on this crisp (almost) spring day, stopping a few miles short of the border to stealthily sip on the Saaz. All went without incident, and without complaint.

I like this brew - not what I expected. Wanted to do something different, and it was: lighter & heavier at the same time! Thought it would be hoppier (a massive amount of Saaz hops went in, as well as some Northern Brewer) but really just balanced it out nicely. A smooth drinker, 'specially considering it's 7.5% abv. Not sure how I'd pigeonhole this one - it's simply a light-colored strong ale.

(24 March 2012) The 10th Anniversary Imperial Saaz was brewed with the 35th Annual Erebus Directors' Fandango on the horizon. Think they'll appreciate it's naiveté. They're a discerning bunch. As I drink a bottle two weeks from bottling, 'tis very tasty. Following a Harpoon IPA and a coupla Sierra Ruthless Ryes, the Saaz came out swinging. Standin' tall. No regrets.

(7 April 2012) After a trip to the fine Homebrew Emporium, where Q-Back finally took the plunge, purchasing a homebrew kit and some extras, I retired to the Fishbrook Pond Brewery. Sessioning the Imperial Saaz as we speak. Or drink. Made a purchase myself there - a used corny keg. For the newly acquired Nostalgia Kegerator. The Imperial Saaz is full-bodied, light in color, and damn tasty. It's loaded with hops, yet not hoppy. High in alcohol (7.5%) yet not alcoholy. (Is that a word?)

.:: 2012 TECUMSEH: 4003' ::.

(April 14, 2012) First hike of the year for us, Tecumseh cracks the 4000' club with 3 feet to spare. Kate, Big Nude & I hit the aptly named Mt. Tecumseh Trail at 8am from the Waterville Valley parking lot. Some snow and ice but we bare-booted with no problem. Perfect clear day, 5 miles roundtrip. A nice easy one to start the season. #38 for the Nudz. I hiked this one before, way back in '04. It's really a nice hike through gorgeous pine forest, and the view from the top on this fine day was something.

The snow capped Presidentials stood out, as did the Tripyramids. Still true winter conditions there. The only setback was a disastrous field test of the Fishbrook Pond Imperial Saaz. I plopped it in the snow (on the summit) to take a promo shot, got the picture, then, like a Korean long-range missile, it nosedived upside down into the snow below. Managed to salvage a few slugs, but it was not a successful field test. Not at all.


BREWED: 26 February 2012  BOTTLED: 10 March 2012

BARLEY: 2-row pale, Munich, biscuit  HOPS: Saaz, Northern Brewer

EXTRACT: Pale Malt, glucose  IRISH MOSS

YEAST: Wyeast 2565 Kölsch yeast


2011

.:: 2011 AMARILLO ALE ::.

(September 1, 2011) #36. Amarillo Ale, my first brew of the year. At Barleycorns. A single-hop, almost single malt beer. Almost a SMASH! (If you can call it that on an extract brew.) Amarillo was the hop of choice, and I'm hopin' fer 12 gallons of piney-citrusy pale ale. Not overly hopped, but enough to getcha lickin' yer chops. Yet another riff on the classic Fishbrook Pale Ale, brewed specially for the mountaineers attending the 34th Annual Oktoberfest at Fishbrook Pond.

(September 16, 2011) Put the baby to the bottle on this fall-like afternoon. Mike & Kate joined me in the assembly line - I filled 'em, Mike capped 'em, and Kate labeled 'em. Like a fine-oiled machine. And we all tasted 'em. (The more you drink, the less you have to bottle.) Very hoppy, an assertive bitterness, more than I anticipated, but very drinkable. The alpha level of the Amarillo hop was about twice that of the Cascade used in previous brews. Cloudy and light in color. A simple IPA, nothing wrong with that. Nothing groundbreaking fer sure. We'll let her settle in fer a few weeks and do a mountain field test.

AMARILLO IN THE FIELD . . .

.:: 2011 Round Mountain Trail, Adirondacks ::.

(September 19, 2011) Perfect day in the Dix Mountain Wilderness. Took the Round Pond Trail and veered north towards Round Mountain. Sidetracked by a scenic pond, ripe for moose. Or so I thought. A curious beaver engaged me, and I got some good video and pictures. Apparently missed the turnoff to the mountaintop, but no worries. Had lunch and a field test of the fine Fishbrook Pond Amarillo Ale on Chapel Pond, where some very hungry minnows entertained me. A fine day indeed.

.:: 2011 Adirondack - Green Mountain Expedition ::.

(Oktober 7-10, 2011) Matty D called this a fine drinking beer. And that it is. Weasel, Quarter and I enjoyed a bottle or two at our first stop on Millman Pond in the Daks. Shared a rooftop bottle with Devo & Stew at Fishbrook. A bottle atop Black Mountain the next day, and another on the summit of Mount Abraham in the Green Mountains VT. Mountains and beer seem to pair well.....


BREWED: September 1, 2011  BOTTLED: September 16, 2011

BARLEY: 600g Caramel Malt 20L, 50g Roasted Barley  HOPS: 150g, 100g & 120g Amarillo

EXTRACT: 8L Extra Light Extract

YEAST: Wyeast 1056 American Ale yeast


.:: 2011 WetHOP PORTER ::.

(September 6, 2011) #37. Barleycorn Wet Hop Cooperative Brewfest. As it was short notice, not the mobscene that can envelope the Barleycorn's Craft Brew. Big Nude & I chose the Porter, one of 3 being brewed this on this evening. Dan, the fine proprietor of Barleycorns, had 2 huge boxes of fresh hops specially picked: Simcoe & Centennial. Simcoe's one of my bestest hops, but the Centennial smelled heavenly. The wet hop addition was 5 times the pellet amount. Excited about this one. And we'll share the booty - a Simcoe Rye Pale Ale and a dry-hopped Centennial IPA were also brewed on this fine evening in Natick.

A welcome batch o' pizzas was delivered during the process. Hit the spot, thanks Dan.

(September 27, 2011) Big Nude & I bottled 4 cases of the three wet-hop varieties. Done in record time, with no labeling OR sampling during the bottling (a first!), we scooted over to the Robinwood to taste the fruits of our efforts before Mike was off to play hockey. (Don't know how he does it.) All three tasted pretty damn good, so we're looking forward to a coupla weeks aged in the bottle.

WetHop PORTER FIELD TEST . . .

(Oktober 7, 2011) The mountaineers on Fishbrook Pond passed a bottle of the WetHop Porter around, but I've yet to get a real handle on this one. It is definitely good, but this was not the place to taste and reflect. No one complained!

(Oktober 14, 2011) The Simcoe Rye is superb, a flavorful, full bodied dark ale. The pick of the litter fer the Barleycorn Brewfest in my opinion. Love that oily hop taste that is only present in the wet-hopped brew. Looking forward to the Sierra Nevada Harvest which is about due. They pioneered this I think. And it's catching on because it has the novelty of being different AND great.


BREWED: September 6, 2011  BOTTLED: September 27, 2011

BARLEY: 1030g Victory, 950g Caramel 20, 720g Carapils, 550g Caramel 80, 510g Chocolate Wheat, 510g Munich, 250g Carafa

HOPS: 440g Centennial (bittering), 640g Simcoe (mid), 300g Simcoe (aroma)

EXTRACT: 7.5 Amber

YEAST: Wyeast London Ale Yeast #1028


.:: 2011 PUNKINROCK ALE ::.

(September 30, 2011) #38. On this very day, Big Nude baked the pumpkin and before we knew it, Punkinrock Ale was born! The recipe was tweaked a bit, perhaps not enough in the way of beer to spices. I did add a smattering of roasted barley.

BNM & I cradled the kettle, and VOILA! (Not to be mistaken for 'viola' as the spell check mighta thought). Don't get me wrong - the viola's a fine, respectable instrument. Especially if'n ya can't quite master the violin. But let's face it, viola players, as earnest as they may be, cannot brew great beer.

(October 17, 2011) Bottled the Punkinrock Ale, and, of course, did some 'quality control'. (Brewing code for drinkin' one for every 12 you bottle.) And this formula can be graded upwards. But the deed was done in the nick of time for the 19th Annual Pumpkin Carving Party at the Robinwood. Field test to follow . . .


BREWED: Septmber 30, 2011  BOTTLED: October 172, 2011

BARLEY: 500g Caramel Malt 80L, 250g 2-row Malt  50mg Roasted Barley HOPS: 72g Cluster, 36g Cascade

EXTRACT: 6.5L Light Extract

OTHER: 10 lb baked sugar pumpkin, 2 sliced vanilla beans, p-pie spice, Irish Moss


2010

.:: 2010 SKULDUGGERY PUMPKIN ALE ::.

(October 5, 2010) #35. Big Nude baked the sugar pumpkin, Matty D & I joined in steeping the pumpkin and barleymalt at Barleycorns this evening. We upped the hops and malts 15-20% from last year's version, otherwise it's very close. A fine recipe, as good as I've had for a pumpkin brew, but a little more body should only enhance it. Still remains a pumpkin pale ale, just shooting for a fuller figure.

Good time at the brewery, a year to the day when this beer was brewed last. The 18th Annual Pumpkin Carving Party is almost upon us. I think this is the 7th pumpkin ale we've brewed for this occasion. The first was in 2004. It's been well received, even amongst non-alefolk, so the recipe won't be changed up a whole lot. (It's fresh beer - what's not to like?)

SKULDUGGERY BOTTLING & FIELD TEST

(October 22-23, 2010) Skulduggery bottling happened at high noon on Friday. And just in the nick of time. The Nudz, lions of zymurgy and the pride of Needham, primed the pumps, and pedal-powered the pumpkin ale into tiny 12-ounce works of wonder. Capped and labeled dem suckers to boot.

On Saturday, high noon, The 18th Annual Pumpkin Carving Party began in earnest. There were costumes. There was carving. There was pizza. There were meatballs. And, to the giddy delight of the grownups, there was BEER! And this years' model tasted pretty damn good. I think tweaking the malt & hops upwards paid off. Matty D thought so as well. A fine time was had by all. The Nudz sho' know how to throw a fandango.


BREWED: October 5, 2010  BOTTLED: October 22, 2010

BARLEY: 500g Caramel Malt 80L, 300g 2-row Malt  HOPS: 85g Cluster, 45g Cascade

EXTRACT: 6.5L Light Extract

OTHER: 10 lb baked sugar pumpkin, 2 sliced vanilla beans, p-pie spice, Irish Moss


.:: 2010 DAK WOODS DUNKELWEIZEN ::.

(May 12, 2010, Newton MA) #34. The aim on this one is somewhere between a Dunkelweizen and a Weizenbock. A German-style dark wheat ale. With some teeth. 'Course I redesigned it to suit my own tastebuds. Two pounds of authentic Munich malt (a pound each of Munich 2, whatever that is, and Munich 20L, which be signifyin' darkness.) And a full pound of Chocolate Wheat malt that might mellow my yellow. A wild card, tastes good raw, but I've never used it. And these German styles can always use a little more hoppage in my opiniop/pH2BH2n, so the German HaFpONT FACE=llertau hops hath been doubled up, an ounce fer de bitters, an ounce fer de flavorings. So maybe a Germ will provide something g The The The o The od! an ale with/B American attitude. After reading the fine print, the yeast was made in France. The irony.

Everthing according to the general unplanned plan, I think. A partial mash with grains setting in 160-150° water for 45 minutes. In all honesty, I haven't a clue as to what converts to sugar (eventually alcohol) in this circumstance. No sparge, which baffles me as well. Hell, I'm a simple ROCKET SCIENTIST, not a brewer! The first successful use of my stainless-steel wort cooler. This thing-a-ma-gadget is placed in the kettle, hooked up to a faucet that runs cold water through a metal coil. And deposits it in the sink. And it works like a charm, cooling the wort (brew) in record time. Getting it hooked up to my faucet was the task.

(June 7, 2010) Jeff joined in on the bottling frenzy, and the Dunkelweizen tasted strong and excellent. We'll know for sure in about a month.

2010 DAK WOODS DUNKELWEIZEN FIELDTEST

(August 15, 2010) I think I've got a handle on this brew now after many fiel Bd tests. The Dunkel has traveled to the Robinwood, Nantucket, the Whites, and the Mazz Motel in Waltham. (Okay, I'm lying about the last one.) The first few swigs of this dark elixer don't seem promising. Maybe it's the German wheat yeast (sorta Belgian-like in a tart sorta way) or maybe an 'off-flavor' brewing screwup. But then, halfway through the glass, the malts kick in and everything's hunky-dory. Or hunkum-bunkum. At any rate, it tastes real fine 'cept fer the first few sips. Very malty, a tad more hop presence than German tradition. And a tad more alcohol too. As was anticipated. I'm likin' it - not a favorite style of mine but I sure love the look of dark beers so that was somewhat of an inspiration for brewing this style. And trying something different.


BREWED: May 12, 2010   BOTTLED: June 7, 2010

BARLEY: 2 lb. Munich malt, 1 lb. Chocolate Wheat  HOPS: 2 oz. Hallertau pellet

EXTRACT: 6.6 lb. MUNTONS Wheat, 1 lb. MUNTONS Amber DME 

YEAST: Safbrew wb-06 (Dry Wheat Beer yeast)


.:: 2010 QUCK SIMCOE IPA ::.

(April 30, 2010, Newton MA) #33. Quck Simcoe IPA was almost a SMASH beer - Single Malt and Single Hop. A spontaneous addition of Smoked Barley ended that dream. Single hop anyway. This brew was inspired by the 2008 harvest of Simcoe whole hops that were had by way of Freshops in Oregon. Amazing aroma, these hops sat in my freezer for nearly a year before the INFERNAL EQUINOX ALE was brewed. Which may be tasted tomorrow B. These hops reeked of latest bestest beer - Green Flash West Coast IPA.

This brew was transitional, experimental. MaybIIe mental. Just sayin'. Sort of a partial mash. Meaning the Golden Promise barley was sittin' in 160° water for 45 minutes. The Smoked Barley was added afterwards as the kettle heated up. So hopefully we gots some bonified mashed barley. A boilover occured. (Here we GO!!) Extract was then added. After 1 oz of bittering, smatterings of the superb Simcoes were dossed into the deep at five minute intervals. Give or take. The lion's share at the end. It's this scientifical methodologistics that furthurs the brewer's knowledge. (Or so I have read.)

'Course I had been drinkin' some. And I'm coolin' the wort in the sink as we speak. Waiting.... waiting .... waiting... Pitched a packet of Safale s-04 because it was there. Anyhoo, a fine brewday was had by the fastidious Fishbrook Brew Crew (me) and in a month or so we'll see some results. PS - Gots an ounce left of the sticky-icky (Simcoe) saved to dry-hop this concoction. "'Spect you'll be there when I'm done," as the great Dorvis Bun once said.

(May 10, 2010) Racked this baby to secondary, splashed 5 gallons or so into an ounce of the delightful Simcoe flowers. All whilst enjoying a glass of the last batBch (Infernal Equinox.) How cool is that? All went smoothly, sanitized everything I needed, and, not to blow my own horn too loudly, I'm the Jack Bauer of the syphon. Or more accurately the Deer Hunte HSPA HSPACE=CE=r DeNiro - one shot. And for you art lovers out there, the mighty fine Quck Simcoe label features a marker-on-pine/H2 illustration from Waltham folk artist Rico. First of a series? Stay tuned.....

(June 7, 2010) Bottled and tasted this fine IPA. Dem Simcoe hops rock. Lotsa scrubbin' and cleanin'. Don't care fer that part of it, but the actual bottling process is fun. This brew has a strong aroma, as we had hoped.

QUCK, DUNKEL, EQUINOX, ESB FIELD TEST ::.

(June 18, 2010) On a ridiculously nice summer evening, the Robinwood Lounge hosted a tasting of four fresh ales, three for the first time: Quck Simcoe, Dunkelweizen, Equinox & Charles River ESB. All but the Equinox were conditioned in the bottle now for about 10 days, so these swell swills are a tad on the young side. But old enough to know better. All have carbonated nicely. The Quck was my favorite, dem Simcoe hops are just DEE-licious! The Dunkel, with its hefty malt bill needs more time. Dave's ESB does as well. The Equinox,now a footnote in history, rounded into a tasty dark bitter. RIP. There was grilling, the guitars came out, and the Red Sox bested MannyBManny's Dodgers. A fine evening.

(August 15, 2010) After another ridiculously fine weekend, I bellied up fer another Quck Simcoe IPA. In all honesty I've been field-testin' this for a coupla months, and with no regrets. The Simcoe hops are presented here as low on the bittering side, but super-aromatic, grapefruity maybe, and very drinkable. VERY drinkable. Not really trad-IPA in bitterne ss - perhaps a high-velocity hop in the boil might 'IPA' this more. But a nice session brew, guessin' low on the alcohol. I'm fergettin' the hydrometer readings with alarming regularity! Kinda brewing nowadays the way I play music: spontaneous noodling.


BREWED: April 30, 2010   SECONDARY-DRYHOP: May 10, 2010    BOTTLED: June 7, 2010

BARLEY: 1.2 lb. Golden Promise malt, ˝ lb. Smoked barley  HOPS: Simcoe leaf

EXTRACT: 3.3 lb. BRIESS CBW Golden Light, 2 lb. MUNTONS Plain Light DME 

YEAST: Safale s-04 (English Ale yeast)


.:: 20 ALIGN=10 CHARLES RIVER ESB ::.

(May 16, 2010, Newtonville MA) My 'guest brewer' appearance at the Otis Street location of Charles River Brewing. First time for me brewing full mash. Mashin' and a spargin'... Dave's got a fine setup - two propane-powered 15 gallon kettles (Blichmann?) in the garage.

Innerestin' process. Really the way to go, but sadly, not fer me 'til I get bigger brewspace. Dave's learning fast, really understands the process. Tasted a solid stout and a Belgian-style Tripel that he brewed. Whole lotta fun, stuff like kids and dogs in the way made it more challenging. A bit worried about the sanitation. And spiders dropping into the mash. ('Cause that's hard to replicate if it's a keeper!)


BREWED: May 16, 2010   SECONDARY: May 23, 2010    BOTTLED: June 10, 2010

BARLEY: Pale malt  HOPS: Cascade plugs


.:: 2010 INFERNAL EQUINOX ALE ::.

(March 21, 2010, Newton) #32. Maybe a few hours short of the bonified Vernal Equinox. But hopefully a goodun, though I did about everything I could to screw it up at crunch time. But the the yeasties seem to be happily chowin' as wefont face= speak.

This brew was (pretty much) a man without a plan. I wanted to use some barleymalt that had been taking up room in the fridge for awhile. So some legendary Golden Promise & some pale ale malt became the base. (Alongside Munton's Extract of course.) Then a pinch of black for color, and a smithering of smoked malt fer the 'je ne sais quoi'. (The ghost of Julia Childs made me say that.) The Simcoe whole hops smelled amazing. In the icebox since fall, they're the sticky-icky spice of this brew. Magnum whole hops completed the bittering, Amarillo pellets were slowly and continuously added (in the Dogfish Head tradition!) from mid-boil to the end.

Made the mistake of brewing this one stone cold sober. A comedy of errors occurred as I began to cool the wort. Cooling & siphoning all went south on me, so I finally funneled it (screened) from the kettle to the carboy. Not unheard of but not in the 'plan'. Pitched double yeast hopin' any alien invaders from my stinkin' flood-soaked apartment would be kept at bay. The yeasties were hard at work in the morning, so I'm hopin' all is well.

(March 24, 2010, Newton) Bubblin' like a mutha in the bathtub fer 3 days now. Brown in color. This hopey-changey thing is lookin' up! Beer-wise anyways. The country may still be shit. Attached a thermometer to my carboy an hour ago. Temp (in my bathtub) is 58°f.

INFERNAL EQUINOX BOTTLING

(April 20, 2010, Newton) This one's a single fermentation, no dryhop. Bottled it tonight, smelled great but being a one-man bottling crew was a bit hectic - didn't get a chance to taste it. A bit of work, the worst of which is sanitizing everything, but a lotta fun when things go smoothly. My bottling lubrication was Schlitz - the beer that made Milwaukee famous. "Just the Kiss of the Hops." Not bad, nothing objectionable. (Hey, I'm on a budget heah!!) Maybe an early stealth field test around the hush-hush top-secret May 1st event.

An astute observer (or Fishbrook Pond historian) might have noted a slight discrepancy on the label. This is, by official sanctified tally, the 32nd brew. The label on the bottle stealthily states 31. Yet another in the error of comedy.

INFERNAL EQUINOX PRELIM FIELD TEST

(May 1, 2010) (May 1, 2010) REDUNDANCY ALERT! Gave this (Dak Rye Pumpkin) a good taste at Jeanette's b'day surprise in Holliston. Rounding out nicely now, a big beer with the flavorings sitting nicely in the background. Also gave the Infernal Equinox Ale a taste test. Only 10 days in the bottle but it has carbonated and is a beautiful amber colored ale. Tastin' promising as well.

(May 8, 2010) After a superfine pubcrawl in Cambridge and Boston, umma takin' a second look at the Equinox, in real time. Flash to mid-afternoon: 'Twas a dreary spring day in Boston, so umma thinkin', great day to brew. So I march my little feat on towards Modern Brewer fer some Dunkleweisen ingredients. Gots me some wheat extract, Munich malt and chocolate wheat. Gots the rest in stock. Well, a man gets thirsty along this lonesome road. Redbones to the rescue. McNeill's Porter was superb as was the Green Flash West Coast IPA. A dude walks up to the bar, asks, "Whattya have, I like IPAs." The bartender answers, "Green Flash. End of discussion." Green Flash gots it. I pushed onwards to the Independent. As research, I ordered me up a Weihenstephan, a dunkelweisen. From the oldest brewery beknownst to mankind. OK. OK. Sixpoint from Brooklyn won the night with a rye ale and, I think, a porter. I then hoofed homewards. Anyhoos, whan all was said and done, Infernal Equinox Ale stands proud. (But perhaps I gots a dog in this race!)

(May 15, 2010) Okay, NOW this ale is ready to stand up fer itself. After an excellent 31-mile bike ride west of Boston, Natick and Framingham via Route 16 and on back via 30, and with a stop at John Harvards Brewhouse fer several fine brews, I was home. (How's dat fer an information-loaded sentence?) More to point: the Infernal Equinox is really startin' to taste mighty fine. Amazing how quickly the flavors develop. 'Tis a deep copper-colored brew, with an enticing aroma and a creamy head with distinctive lacing. No ... Seriously! It's basic pale ale, not unlike the Fishbrook Pale Ales of times past. But it is a fine fresh ale. A little bit chewy - this has balanced out. A NICE FRESH ONE!

(May 17, 2010) BERNIE: I just wanted to let you know that the Infernal Equinox Ale was Back Yard Tested and Back Yard approved. It is a fine Ale, that Bernie likes! You are a fine Brewmaster, let me know when you are doing new batches, I will help with the process, from beginning to draining the bottle!

(May 28, 2010) JB: On this fine evening, on the cusp of Memorial Day weekend, a Fishbrook Pond brewer might just remember back a coupla months. To a time when spring sprung. The Infernal Equinox. Memory jogged, he may then fetch a coupla chilled bombers of beer brewed on that occasion and set into motion a field test. In the Great Indoors! Outdoorsmen cringe. Backdoorsmen... well, they do what they do. But an avid Indoorsman will bite the bullet and, despite difficulty, do the field test. And on this occasion, the circumstance proved difficult. The couch was feelin' lumpy, and the AC was not coolin' at the usual pace. (It was a sweltering 72° out there fer chrissakes! Just BRUTAL.) But the Indoorsman focused on the task, opener in hand, and proceeded.

I'd say this brew is a bitter. In the English tradition. A low-alcohol pale ale. It's dark amber in color, a bit thin yet flavorful. Nothing bad about it, no off flavors. Probably on the low end in alcohol. Reminds me of some brews at the Real Ale Fest in Somerville. 'Tis a fine 'drinkin' beer'. A session brew. And fer the second time, I've followed it with Ipswich Original Ale. And been humbled. No contest. Ipswich and Smuttynose brew the finest East Coast ales in my opinion. Ipswich wins.


BREWED: March 21, 2010    BOTTLED: April 20, 2010

BARLEY: 6 oz. pale malt, 4 oz. Golden Promise, 1 oz. black, 1 oz. smoked  

HOPS: Simcoe & Magnum leaf, Amarillo

YEAST: Safale US-05


.:: 2010 DAK RYE PUMPKIN ALE ::.

(March 13, 2010, Lunenburg) #31. PUMPKIN. Are the Fishbrook Pond Folk becoming pumpkin specialists? This is the 30th official brew, and yeah, that's the secret number on the label. (Most of the time, could be our 30th Annual Oktoberfest, you never know unless you do. But it's not.) And this is, I think, the 7th pumpkin ale. Curious as I generally don't tend towards outside flavor. Love the barley. Love the hops. The other shit ... only when it's done well and in the background. Just sayin'.

'Twas a beer-filled rainy day as Weasel, Sandy & I hit the most excellent NFG Homebrew for supplies, then Wachusett Brewery for a tour and growler fill, then met Quarter at Na shoba Valley Winery for a tasting. They make beer & spirits (single malt whisky!) in addition to wine.

The brewmasters then scooted back to Lunenburg and fired up the kettles. We were deciding between a pumpkin ale and a rye, found a pumpkin recipe and changed it up a bit to include chocolate rye malt. One kettle was grains, one pumpkin. They were then combined and brought to a boil. Everything went smoothly 'til we pitched the yeast and couldn't locate the airlock. Hopefully this will be okay for a day. Gonna be a dark roasty pumpkin ale.

Weasel: Hey JB - got the airlock, and also threw in one more packet of yeast. Sandy thinks she saw it bubble today....we'll keep our fingers crossed. The brew is bubbling. Hope it comes out ok despite the airlock shit.

JB: I think the brew is gonna be fine - the extra yeast you pitched will overpower any little bastids that tried to sneak in. Danno, I mighta solved the Mystery of the Missing Airlock. Remember I started emptying the bucket with the sanitized shit in it down your sink? And you said to empty it outside? I bet the airlock was still in the iodine water and I sent it down the pipe. My bad.

Weasel: Sandy found it outside tonight. It was cracked. It must have been when you emptied it. The brew is bubbling quite nicely now. The recipe says 9 days primary and 14 days secondary. Does that mean 23 days in the bucket? Then 2 weeks in the bottles? Can't wait.

JB: Yeah, I fucked that up and didn't even realize it. A mind is a bad thing to lose. And I've learned this lesson before: always have a backup. (I have a few airlocks so I'll bring you down an extra when we bottle.) 23 Days in the Hole! That's about it - it's mostly about the yeast having done their work and the sediment sinking to the bottom of the barrel. So - not rocket science. MUCH MORE COMPLEX! Guessing the yeast has had it's fill at this point.

The BIZARRE INGREDIENTS: This from Wiki: 'Bentonite is an absorbent aluminium phyllosilicate, generally impure clay consisting mostly of montmorillonite. Bentonite has the interesting property of adsorbing relatively large amounts of protein molecules from aqueous solutions. It is therefore uniquely useful in the process of winemaking, where it is used to remove excessive amounts of protein from white wines.' And this from Wiki: 'Pectic enzyme: An enzyme added to fruit to increase juice yield. Also used as a clarifying agent in fruit wines when added to wine or must to eliminate pectin hazes.' We added these blindly, so I suppose we'll see the results. Not that we'll know what to make of them. Before the fact, I'm not a fan of additives.

PUMPKIN BOTTLING

(April 3, 2010, Lunenburg) We made a quick trip to NFG Homebrew for bottles and priming sugar, and tasted their honey ale & American light (which were very good). The crew comprised Sandy, Weasel, Neil and myself. We sanitized everything, then siphoned the brew to the bottling bucket. A few stops and starts, but with the practice, Sandy and I are now master-siphonists. Weasel and I manned the filling, Sandy capped 'em, and Neil labeled. A well-oiled machine. Ready to glide: NATIONWIDE.

Ran outta bottles so we filled Danno's German growler. Still had a coupla pints so we drank the rest. 'Tis a deep amber brew with much sediment still floating about. Tart and sweet (a bit sweeter 'cause the pitched priming sugar has not yet fermented), full bodied with some spice and banana tones. We were all excited about the potential of this. We'll get a better idea towards the end of the month.

DAK RYE PUMPKIN FIELD TEST

(April 17, 2010) After exactly 2 weeks in the bottle, I brought one down to Newport RI, to the Annual Erebus Directors Meeting. This is a strong ale, around 8.5%. (A session brew for Bobby Peru and probably many of the Erebus directors.) It is, of course, bottle-conditioned, and it had carbonated. Tasted not far from what it had on bottling day. Tart, a bit sweet, with pumpkin & spice. Needs a bit longer for the flavors to meld in my opinion. But not bad, not bad at all.

(May 1, 2010) Gave this a good taste at Jeanette's b'day surprise in Holliston. Rounding out nicely now, a big beer with the flavorings sitting nicely in the background. Also gave the Infernal Equinox Ale a taste test. Only 10 days in the bottle but it has carbonated and is a beautiful amber colored ale. Tastin' promising as well.


BREWED: March 13, 2010  BOTTLED: April 3, 2010

BARLEY: ž lb. pale malt, ˝ lb. chocolate rye malt  HOPS: fuggle leaf, kent golding

YEAST: Nottingham

OTHER: 4 lb. organic pumpkin, molasses, brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, bentonite, pectic enzyme


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