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Dec 3, 2002

Kraputnik Soviet People's Stout

Why “Kraputnik?” Because so many things just went Kraput. While in my airlocked primary fermentation bucket, it kicked up such a head that pieces of hop leaves got caught in the airlock, causing the lid to blow off (a not uncommon occurrence in homebrewing). A few days after I managed to successfully tame the froth-over, the sewer drain in my basement brewery backed up, leaving a 3-ft. wide pool of fragrant gray water. I quickly moved my fermenter upstairs. The rest of the procedure was incident-free, except that when bottling, I broke a bottle for the first time. Then in July, while letting it age, the beer “swelled up” in the heat and one bottle exploded.

The label was designed in imitation of the poster art of the Soviet Union, with great care taken to match those drab poster colors, complete with an aged paper background (if I could only have gotten that old coated paper with the sulfury smell). Verbiage was courtesy of the Translation feature of Sherlock in Macintosh OS X! Odd thing: when I submitted the phrase “Drinkers of the World, Unite! You have nothing to lose but your sobriety!”, it couldn’t provide a Russian word for “sobriety.” Here’s a .txt file of the recipe.

This label design was an “Editor’s Choice” in BYO Magazine’ 2003 Homebrew Label Contest.

Jul 14, 2002

Who Wants to Drink a Green Chile Beer? #2: Scream of Wheat!

My second chile beer (those who grow chiles prefer spelling it with an “e”) is based on an American Wheat recipe, which better complements the peppery heat. I also used freshly roasted chiles straight from my garden. Brewed in July, 2002.

To make your own Chile beer, take any whole dried Chile pod and a mass-market beer with a screw-top bottle; open the beer, put about a 2-inch piece of the Chile in it, close, and let sit a day or two. Really improves the taste of those bland mega-brews, don’t it!

Scream of Wheat won a 2nd place ribbon at the Chicago Beer Society’s 2002 Spooky Brew Review competition!

May 12, 2002

Bizarroatmeal Stout #2


Here’s the latest version of my oddball Cinnamon Oatmeal Stout (see below!). Cinnamon taste really stood out, but my fellow beer brewers seem to think it’s okay. In fact, it very nearly placed in the aforementioned Spooky Brew Review. So with a little tinkering, I could have a contender, after all! Designed and brewed in May, 2002. Here’s a .txt file with the recipe.

Bizarro is TM and ©DC Comics,
Inc. No endorsement by DC Comics should be implied!

Mar 15, 2002

Frehley I.P.A. #2


Here’s the second go ‘round on this brew. Since some homebrewers use oak chips to simulate the flavor of barrel aging, I did the same, and this is the result! Even hoppier, too. Brewed in March, 2002. Here’s a .txt file of the recipe

This beer won a 2nd place ribbon at the Brewers on the Bluff homebrew club’s 2002 Brewer’s Dream competition! Check it out for yourself!



Jan 20, 2002

Who Wants to Drink a Chili Beer? #1: Roast Poblano Blammo!


With this beer, I embarked on my mission... to boldly brew what no home brewer in these parts has brewed before! I want to replicate the tasty Green Chili Beer I enjoyed at Eske’s Brewpub in Taos, New Mexico in 2000 (a very wonderful place to enjoy a beer). This first try is way off, since Eske’s is a partial wheat beer and this is a basic brown ale. And while they prefer the native Green New Mexico (Sandia) chilis, I used the Poblanos (Anchos) I roasted and froze last fall. But I still think this is pretty warm and kicky, not harsh like that bottled Cave Creek chili beer in the stores. I was reckless enough that I put some of it in small bottles to enter in March’s Drunk Monk homebrew competition in Warrenville. Didn’t get a very high rating: The judges complained the chili flavor was too hot. So, my watchword now is: “I could kick your ass... but not today!” Designed and brewed in January, 2002. Recipe.