An All-Women Pro/Homebrewer Collaboration

February 4, 2014
And now for something special!

Mark your calendar to be at Rivertowne Pourhouse at 6:00 PM on Tuesday, March 4th!

Jess is working with another homebrewster, Dana, and professional Brewster, Megan, of Rivertowne Pourhouse to develop a collaboration brew in honor of Women’s History Month. It’s a fitting theme for these ladies, as Megan made Women’s history when she became the first professional Brewster in Allegheny County‘s 235 year history. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this batch of beer will benefit the Alle-Kiski Area Hope Center. Additionally, Girls Pint Out is putting together an auction to be held at the release party, the proceeds from which will help fund scholarships for the Pink Boots Society.

The three have been collaborating on a recipe since early this year. Over pints and email they settled in on a Rye Stout recipe heavy on chocolate malt. Think creamy, smooth, dark, roasty, and chocolatey like Oatmeal Stout, but with a zing of spice from a healthy dose of flaked rye and rye malt. Meg worked out the recipe for a 7BBL batch on Rivertowne’s 15BBL pro-system, and Jess scaled it down to a 5 gallon batch on our 1/3BBL homebrew system. On Sunday, January 26th, they brewed the pilot batch.

Jess and Dana doughing in the pilot batch on our homebrew system


The full-scale beer will be brewed by Megan, Dana, and Jess at Rivertowne on February 14th. Craft Pittsburgh Magazine will be on hand to talk to the Brewsters and take some photos for an upcoming issue.

As mentioned above, proceeds from the sale of this beer will benefit the Alle-Kiski Area Hope Center, so be sure swing by the Pourhouse for a pint or two! I’ll update this post when the charity has been finalized. There will be a tapping / release party on the evening of Tuesday, March 4th, 2014 at the Pourhouse. All are invited and encouraged to come. Help make this endeavor a success – come out to the party, drink these ladies’ beer, and support a great cause!

I’ve heard that a keg of this batch will find its way to Bocktown Beer and Grill for an event later in March. I’ll provide details when they’re available. You should go to that, too.

See you on March 4th! The beer will go on around 6:00 PM at the Pourhouse.

Jess, Megan, and Dana enjoying some Rivertowne pale ale during the pilot brew session


Some milling action Spent grain, post-lauter



Tasting Notes: Robust Porter (Beer #82)

February 1, 2014

I took some tasting notes for the Robust Porter I brewed in early October. I need to learn to take decent photos.

Vital Stats:
Target OG: 1.064 Actual OG: 1.058
Target FG: 1.016 Actual FG: 1.013
ABV: 5.9%
Color: 34.1 SRMĀ (Calculated)
Bitterness: 38.2 IBU (Calculated)
Yeast: Wyeast 1469 West Yorkshire Ale
Fermentation Temperature:68°F

Rich, complex malt character. Chocolate cake and smooth coffee. Medium-low roasted malt. Secondary notes of dark toffee, caramel, dried dates. Low hop aroma, takes on an earthy, woodsy character. Trace of smoke. Low fruitiness. No diacetyl.

Very dark brown. Large tan head with moderate retention. Brilliant clarity.

Rich, smooth malt flavors of bittersweet chocolate, slightly burnt roast, coffee, and traces of caramel, toffee last into finish. Medium bitterness lingers. Medium-low hop flavor – earthy, decomposing tree bark. Off-dry up front, with a drying finish. Hop flavor and roast remain on the palate.

Medium body. Medium carbonation. Suggestion of astringency from dry, roasty finish.

Overall Impression
A complex dark malty beer with firm hop bitterness and prominent dry roastiness to balance the malt.

This beer does OK in competitions, always scoring in the mid-30s. I’ll have to have a think about how to improve it. Maybe more bitterness, perhaps from roast. A touch more mid-crystal might help as well.