Brazil Microbrewery: Hop n’ Roll!

I visited Curitiba, Brazil (a city of 5 million) last week and my girlfriend and my new friends took me to a Cervejaria … Hop n’ Roll!

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Who knew Brazil was starting to brew beers other than Lagers?? Actually, Brazil is the fourth largest producer of beer (recently surpassing Germany in production).  Apparently there are microbreweries in all of the large cities … some notable ones are Cervejaria Colorado and Choperia Baden Baden.  

This was a very cool place — great layout and decor … check the photos here.  They had an outdoor beer garden and a nice indoor pub.  They had parking in the rear … no problem.

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Great artwork.  Below pictures show the chalk board with the available beers.  You could get local craft beer, American microbrews, and several Belgian options to include Trappists.  Really a nice selection of beer!

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Not only could you drink there, you could also brew!  They had a brew your own set up … it takes about 4 hours — if we had more time I was going to brew a batch for my friend to drink later.  Here’s a few photos of the setup …

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I can’t say enough about how nice the folks were — great location.  The food was good too.  They had an interesting way of tracking your consumption (thank goodness for my Portuguese dictionary … haha).  Here I am paying the tab … inexpensive too … $58 for all of us to have a bite and drink a few beers.  Very nice.  If you are in the area, stop in for a brew!

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Beer Mentor


Belgian-Style Witbier: KEGGED!

I had the time on Wednesday (2 Mar 2011) to keg my Witbier, so I hustled up the equipment, sanitized it, and kegged that baby … Here are a couple of pictures of the “transfer process.”  You can see some suds in the 3rd picture — that’s my sanitizer residue …

It really cleared up well … of course, it’s been in secondary fermentation since early February (February 10th).  So, from 23 Jan until 2 Mar in the fermentor — 38 days in the fermentor … at a temp of approx 68 degrees.  You can see the final gravity in this picture:

With correction … I read a F.G. of 1.010 at 68 degrees … that corrects to 1.010.  So, with the O.G. of 1.051, I ended up with about 5.3% ABV.  My mash efficiency was around 72% … I may have mashed too quickly.  The attenuation was about 63% … may have had something to do with my yeast age.

You can see my CO2 cartridge here — it is a 20 oz paintball tank — works great!  I’ve got two that I swap out, but they both last a long time.  You can see in the 3rd picture that I’ve got the pressure kicked up and am force carbonating it in the fridge.  I just had a sample today–it is carbonated nicely … I’ll probably leave it at that pressure for another day or so and then move it down.  I’ll post a couple of final beer photos.  And, as usual, there’s always some clean up to do!


Beer Mentor

Belgian-Style Witbier: Racking to Secondary

I finally racked my Belgian-style Witbier to the secondary fermentation “tank.”   I left it in primary fermentation for 15 days … seems a little long, but it kept being active.  I think the temperature stayed between 68 and 70 degrees pretty much the entire time (except when we lost electricity and the temp in the house dropped to 54 degrees … then it was a little cooler! <smile>).

The first thing I did was prep and sanitize the equipment.

You’ll notice that I use a “Better Bottle” as my secondary fermentation “tank.”  I typically use the “bucket” for primary fermentation because it always makes it easy to transfer (and clean up).  You can see that in these pictures — you can definitely see what I have to clean!

I thought the color was right on … of course there’s still some fermentables (and other stuff) suspended in the pre-beer … it will clear over time … but check out the color here.

Also, you can see that the Specific Gravity is 1.024 (approx).  My target Final Gravity is 1.010 … again, I think I have some suspended particles that give it a little higher gravity; however, it was still bubbling away after I transferred it.  Of course, you always want to tast the intermediate “beer”–it was delicious.  I can’t wait for the final product!

Beer Mentor

New Brewery: Port City Brewing Company

This Friday I was fortunate enough to attend the Open House for the newest Production Brewery in the DC area: Port City Brewing.  Actually, I had the day off Friday, I was looking for something to do–a friend of mine had mentioned there was a new brewery opening in Alexandria but he couldn’t remember the name.  Google here I come! I saw this article about it in the Washington Post and thought I could pick up a Growler around lunch (I thought they were already open)–The article mentions that their Belgian Wit would be available — and since I’m currently brewing a wit bier I thought it would be a great opportunity.

I showed up around noon and they were obviously not open.  I was able to poke my head in the back and (fortunately) one of the brewers told me their open house was at 4pm.

I showed back up at 4pm and, sure enough, they were open!

They had two of their four flagship beers available for tasting (see picture above).  Here are the images of the four beers:

The beers were quite nice — I even brought home a growler of the Pale Ale.  Yea, refill for $10 baby!  I was impressed with their setup, operation, and the fact that they were very nice (that’s always a plus in my mind around DC!).  The owner gave us a short tour of their brewery.  Here you can see their base grain storage silo and a shot of where it comes out of their grinding room.

They’ve got a very state-of-the-art brewing system.  Here you can see their mash tuns, kettle, and their 30, 60, and 90 barrel fermentors.

These tanks in the below pictures are their staging vessels for kegging and (soon) bottling.  Just to the left of the tanks you can see their cold storage facility.  Since their beer is not pasteurized it needs to be kept cool.   These tanks will also be used (eventually) for lagering.

They are nearly ready to begin bottling–here’s a shot of their bottling equipment.  An interesting anecdote that may actually interest only me:  they picked up this bottling equipment second-hand from the Southern Tier Brewing company.  That’s another plus in my mind — I love those Southern Tier guys!

Finally, I overheard that their witbier is already on tap at Churchkey.  They have it at a few other spots–but I don’t remember where.  Their WitBier and Pale Ale are ready now.  The Porter is next with the IPA following close on their heels in a couple of weeks!  I can’t wait!  Welcome to the DC area, Port City Brewing!

Beer Mentor



“Improve Your Wit” Bier: Primary Fermentation


Just in case you were wondering if my yeast starter/brew session kicked off “OK” see the photo of my “airlock.”  It went so big that it “Krausen”ed right into the Airlock!

What’s even more interesting is that I put it in the warmest place in my house, and the temp is still holding steady at 68 degrees … yeah, it’s been a little cold around here.

Should be transferring to secondary in the next few days!

Beer Mentor