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



Dubbel Racked, Gulden Draak Drank

April 3, 2011

This was a good weekend for beer around our house. In addition to brewing the witbier yesterday, I also racked Jess’s Belgian dubbel to a secondary fermentor.

(The golden-colored carboy is 2010 Traminette, bulk aging.)

I know there’s a raging debate in the homebrew community about whether or not beer should be transferred to a secondary if you’re not adding stuff like dry hops, oak, cacao, etc., and if you’re not going to bulk-age the beer for an extended time. I did not secondary the IPA I brewed a couple months ago, and it’s starting to clear up nicely. But… there is much more sediment in those bottles than in the beer that I do secondary. I don’t think we’re good enough brewers yet to get clean, clear beer without a secondary. Someday…

Also, I wanted to get the dubbel out of the primary in this instance for two reasons – the carboy was filthy due to the massive krausen during primary fermentation, and also I wanted to use the carboy to ferment the witbier. The solution to the latter problem is simple: get more carboys.

The weekend of beer ended with a fantastic dinner:

Moroccan beef tagine and Gulden Draak. The only problem I have with this picture is that it’s gone now. Also, I need to learn to take decent pictures.


American Amber Clarity Update

March 26, 2011

After a few weeks in the fridge, the American Amber Ale is clearing up nicely, compared to when I first tasted it:

That’s a Tripel Karmeliet on the left. It serves no pupose in this picture other than to make you drool.

No tasting notes this time around, as I was a couple beers deep when I took this picture. I’ll be re-tasting it with notes sometime soon…