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Messages - mikebiewer

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Commercial Beer Reviews / Boulevard Single Wide IPA
« on: May 06, 2010, 01:20:35 PM »
Tried another IPA last week. The Boulevard Single Wide IPA. A very interesting beer in my opinion compared to the others I've had.

Any of you tried it?

Review of Boulevard Single Wide IPA


The package has a nice retro look to it. The fonts are thick and the colors are somewhat muted, giving this look a bit of a classic 1970’s style to it. The image on the front reminds me of those old Airstream bullets that people used to haul behind their trucks. There isn’t a lot of info on the label. It discusses bottle conditioning, which I think is cool and somewhat expected from Boulevard now, and the style category. I get a bit of info, but not as much I as I normally like. Luckily this one came with a suggestion from a reader and from Boulevard, which I’ve liked in the past.


Bright golden in color with a nice, big, fluffy head. There is some nice lacing on the glass. This beer is also bottle conditioned so it has a yeasty haze to it.


A very subtle hop character that actually reminds me of a mowed yard or some kind of earthy foliage aroma. It is paired with a bit of citrus that didn’t hit me at first, and a bit more fruity smell than I was expecting.


I don’t get much sweetness in this IPA, which is good, but I really don’t get any sweetness at all. The hop bitterness attacks my tounge from front to back and the bitterness sticks to the back, but there doesn’t seem to be a malty sweetness to balance. In all honesty, it seems to be lacking a little bit on the front end of the tasting and explodes at the end. I get a little bit of pine and believe it or not, bread like, when I look deep into the flavor. It could be the yeast in the bottle.


Very zippy on the tounge, but I kind of expect that from IPA’s now. A medium bodied brew that goes down easy.


The bitterness does remind me of the Ranger IPA that I tried last week. It just seems to linger a bit longer than I’d like. However, I do think this beer has a decent drink-ability to it. I would prefer a bit of sweetness to counter balance the hop flavor. Not having made a night out of it, I’d say I’d be able to go 3 or 4 deep without a problem, but again, the bitterness could prevent me from going deeper.


A very surprising beer to me. I was not expecting something this complex. However, just because it is complex, does not mean it is better. I do recommend any hop lover to give this a try because the hop flavor and bitter is definitely apparent. If you like a bit of sweetness in your IPA, stay away from it as it will disappoint. Overall though, a nice beer and I really appreciate Jez Mez suggesting it to me! It will definitely go into the rotation.

Have you tried Boulevard Single Wide IPA? I’d love to hear your take on it. Also, it seems I’m working a lot on IPA’s so I’d appreciate any suggestions. Keep in mind, I live in Fargo, ND so selection is limited.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Review of Four Peaks 8th St Ale
« on: May 06, 2010, 01:18:24 PM »


Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Full Boil
« on: April 05, 2010, 07:03:14 PM »
A rule of thumb is to go down about 25% of your hops. So if you do an ounce, only do 3/4 oz.

Timing should be the same.

Equipment and Software / How to Use a Hydrometer
« on: April 05, 2010, 07:01:14 PM »
I'm still new to brewing, but I've had a couple people ask me why I  use a hydrometer. Aside from wanting to know as much as I can about my beer it is just good practice for my personal notes.

So, I decided to make a "beginners" article to How to Use A Hydrometer

The objective was to keep it easy and non intimidating. Let me know your take on it if you like.


I'm an idiot...

I just found my "anti-bacterial" and "extra hot" drying cycles on my dishwasher...

I shouldn't need to make the mess of dipping in sanitizer on bottling day anymore if I just do that.

Again, I feel like an idiot, but I'm glad I found it!

Commercial Beer Reviews / Review of Four Peaks 8th St Ale
« on: March 30, 2010, 09:28:37 PM »
As some of you may know I was down in AZ last weekend. Its always nice getting out of town, especially for the beer. A buddy of mine had this beer on tap at his house. My initial impression was mixed but as I had a little more it began to really show me why it was a good beer.

Review of Four Peaks 8th St Ale

I thought the color was good, the head was nice and smelt amazing! The sweet taste threw me for a loop initially, but once the slightly bitter aftertaste balanced it out I was happy with the beer. So happy that I do believe I blacked out one night drinking it.

Have any of you tried this?

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Ranger IPA
« on: March 30, 2010, 09:28:18 PM »
I have been meaning to pick up a six pack of this...I always seem to go right past it though.

I'll put it up on the list next time around!


Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Bourbon added to secondary
« on: March 29, 2010, 04:27:18 PM »
Added oak and bourbon to one of mine and I loved it! It was one of my favorite recipes to date. You can check out my process if you like as well. But I just soaked for a couple of weeks and pitched the bourbon and oak right in and let sit for another two weeks.

Review of Northern Brewer Bourbon Barrel Porter

Don't worry bout it, just drop it in there!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: My first batch
« on: March 25, 2010, 10:22:16 PM »
I am new to home brewing also.   One of the things that fascinates me about this hobby is how the beer changes as the it conditions.  I try to be patient but I just can not help myself.

Here here. I have a hard time waiting to. Best option would be to go out and load up your fridge with some of your favorites. Drink those first. Once they are gone, go ahead and replace with homebrew :)

Or they could be like some of the rogue bottles and paint them.

Its cool, but it will forever say Rogue on it. May or may not be a bad thing depending on your tastes!

The link you posted doesn't work for me.

Getting the labels off depends very much on the brewer and the glue they used. I find that most German bottel labels come right off when soaked in water. For others adding baking soda to the water helps a lot. You may get the same effect with an alkaline cleanser like PBW. And then there are the really stubborn ones which I
generally recycle unless I really need them.


What the heck? Should be fixed now. Thanks for the heads up! Sorry bout that!

General Homebrew Discussion / How To Clean Bottles For Your Homebrew
« on: March 23, 2010, 08:19:24 PM »
I'm sure everyone has their own techniques for this and I'd love to hear them!

However, when I first started out turning my commercial beer bottles into newly acquired homebrew bottles I had some questions about cleaning them and getting the labels off so that they were ready for sanitation and brewing. I compiled a how to that I've found very effective on my brewing blog that I'd like to share with people new to brewing while still getting feedback from you pro's!

Let me know your thoughts, I'd love to hear what you do!

How To Clean Bottles For Your Homebrew

If anyone is looking for information on specific kits here is one I enjoyed!

I finally was able to drink my brewed up batch of Norther Brewer's Bourbon Barrel Porter I made a couple of months back. It has been about 12 weeks since brewing and I have to say I really enjoyed this kit. I didn't think it was overly complicated to make and ended up being one of the best brews I've made so far.

It was a little more expensive being around $50 to make with the bourbon addition, but I believe the bottles are still a little over a $ to make, which isn't bad. Its more for the love and passion than it is the cost savings anyway.

I think its worth your time if you like this style.

If your curious I did a full review on it over on my blog. Check it out and let me know what you think!

Review of Northern Brewer Bourbon Barrel Porter

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Liquid vs Dry Extract
« on: March 19, 2010, 09:35:42 AM »
I'm thinking of switching completely over to DME once I start formulating my own recipes.

The main reason for that choice is for the longer shelf life and the ability to control color a bit more.

Other than that, I have no reasons!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: How to Siphon Beer
« on: March 15, 2010, 09:20:05 PM »

I've seen those copper siphon starter fittings before. That is one option I have yet to explore.

I think that squirt bottle head attached to the hose and racking cane is a great idea. That my friend is awesome. I may give that one a whirl.

Great responses guys. These are all entertaining and informative!


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