Beer Review – All Day IPA

These days I’ve shied away from drinking IPA’s. I opt for more complex tasting beers but I will make time for a great IPA. IPA’s bring me back to the days when I lived in the high desert of New Mexico, so a great IPA takes me down memory lane.
Nowadays every craft brewery (including my nano-homebrewery) makes an IPA. Some are decent but only a few are out of this world. The rest are just over hopped bottles of liquid bread.

Enter All Day IPA

 I bought a six pack of All Day IPA the other day because of it’s hop bouquet. Someone I knew had one open and I could smell an inviting citrus aroma, so I decided to give this a try.
The sad news is that the taste didn’t live up to my expectations. Brewed by Founders Brewing, All Day IPA falls into the Session Ale category. It’s a 4.7% ABV IPA with about 47 IBUs, which attempts to balance alcohol and bitterness in a way that will allow you drink more in one sitting.
The citrus nose invited me in but it was the back taste that kills this session ale. The chosen hop quantity, type, and likely boil time gives this a very unpleasing bitterness as it goes down. The body and mouthfeel on this beer is good, which is why I’m pretty disappointed. This IPA had promise but it let me down.
 Is it a great IPA?
Not for me. Everyone’s tastes are different but I’ve always been a picky eater/drinker. The beer body was great as well as the aroma, it was the hop schedule that bothered me. Founders Brewing doesn’t publish their recipe but someone Brewer’s Friend shared a homebrew clone recipe, which appears to have come from the Zymurgy magazine.

I haven’t brewed this clone myself but the problem I see lies in the heavy use of Amarillo hops. They used Amarillo during the last part of the boil (A OK) but they also used it during whirpooling and dry hopping. Amarillo reminds me a lot of Centennial hops, good bittering but overpowering if used too much.

 Connect up with me on Untappd and visit Brewer’s Friend for more create recipes

What is Gemütlichkeit?

Gemütlichkeit. It’s a strange word where you just “know it when you feel it.” It’s a positive word with a funky pronunciation that many non-Germans can’t say.  Google defines this German word as “cordiality and friendliness.”  In my humble opinion, Gemütlichkeit goes beyond just cordiality and friendliness. It’s that feeling you get when you’re hanging out with your buddies at a Beirgarten or with your girlfriends drinking some rosé wine at a cafe.

Think Wholeness. Relaxation. Social.

Where do you find Gemütlichkeit?


You find it just about anywhere. Most people think of a Biergarten or Bar, but it’s often your backyard, a deck, or a patio. It could also be inside and around your dining table or coffee table. It can be anywhere where you feel relaxed and happy. The best part? You don’t need to add alcohol to feel it, you could as easily have some tea or coffee. However, since this is Beer/Wine blog, we’re going include the alcohol part.

Make your own Gemütlichkeit

Making your own Gemütlichkeit is not hard. You just need to designate a space where you can either 1) host people or 2) make your own personal space. Here are some simple tips on how to create Gemütlichkeit in your own space:

Find a space or an area to host in. You don’t need a beirgarten or some big fancy area. You just need a space where you can provide some comfortable seats, a small table, and shade if you’re outdoors. Some of my friends have opted for a newer version of the beirgarten benches for their 3 season room where they host BBQ parties if the insects get too bad. I have a small porch which a few seats, a patio table with and umbrella, and soon some hanging lights (see below).

Make your space festive! Add some hanging lights (these are my favorites) and decorate around the area. Add some potted plants if you’re outside but make sure your other decorations can withstand the elements. My uncle’s biergarten in Germany is a converted attic where he put in a few small tables, built a bar area, and decorated it with sport posters and games. He’s up there watching the latest soccer matches with friends and enjoying a few beers probably right now.

Add music but don’t overwhelm your guests with it! This one is a tricky one. In my youth I liked going to bars where bands were playing and they blasted the volume. It was cool back then but now I’d rather hang with friends and hear music at a more reasonable level. If you’ve ever been to an Oktoberfest where they have live bands playing, they’re usually a brass band that’s loud enough for everyone to hear but quiet enough for you to have a conversation across the table.


Fostering Gemütlichkeit

Gemütlichkeit is something that you can feel by yourself but it’s more fun with friends and family!  It’s just fun to have neighbors, friends, family drop by your place for a beer or two. Sometimes that’s too random but you can always plan a small get-together.

Here are some ideas to get the party started!

Host a Brewday. What I like to do is host a Brewday and have friends come over to help and hang out with a beer during the mash or during the boil.  They turn out to be great fun days and we still talk about them to this day. Just make sure that the Brewmaster stays a bit clear in the head, you can ruin a batch of beer real fast if you mess up from having “too much party.”

Host a BBQ. This is the standard way, host a BBQ and invite friends over for some food and drinks in your Biergarten. The best part, you can offer your guests some of your homebrew, if it’s good. I can always tell which homebrew batch is my guest’s favorite, it’s the one where I have nothing left for myself!

Do a “Layover.” We’re always running from one place to another. If you’re planning a Ladies night out or meeting up with the boys later, how about meeting up with everyone at your “space” for some pre-fun activities.

I shared just a few ideas and tips but there are probably 100’s more out there. Feel free to use these as a starting point but always remember that Gemütlichkeit is really about you and your happiness. It makes it so much better if you can share that with some friends, family, or a special person in your life.

Interested in brewing your own beer? Check out Brewer’s Friend for great recipes and how-to’s. 

A Unique Beer Flavor Profile: Saflager S-23 yeast

I bottled a Pilsner last weekend that I brewed a few months ago. It was the first time I used the Saflager S-23 German Lager yeast by Fermentis and the results are shaping up nicely. I had to use this yeast because of its ability to tolerate some temperature swings during primary fermentation. Why? Because I don’t have strict temperature control during fermentation, I just use my basement! Old school, I know!

Granted, my basement’s temperature stays pretty constant but as I discussed in my California Common review video, but slight variations in temperature during fermentation can wreck most lager based homebrews. This is not the case with Saflager S-23.

Sampling the Pilsner

I usually bottle condition my brews and I do take samples over the course of conditioning. Last night I took two samples, one from the first set and one from the last set of bottles that were bottled. I do this to check if there is some consistency from beginning to end.  Right before the conditioning period is over, I take another random sample.

Overall the results are turning out better than I hoped. The Pilsner is rapidly developing carbonation and a head. Head retention isn’t there yet but another week of conditioning will help.

Flavor Profile

Now…the surprise!

This Pilsner has a very unique flavor profile that I couldn’t have fully imagined when I started brewing it. I read how this yeast generates some fruity esters and has a long palette because of the low attenuation. The mouth feel is definitely a Pils but the aroma and palette remind me of a Belgian Tripel. Not quite a full blown Tripel but just a hint. That’s because the yeast imparts a reasonable amount of fruity esters during fermentation that really comes out in the bottle.

Give it Try

I shared my Pilsner recipe here (BeerXML format) and you can pick up some Saflager S-23 yeast here. I’ll be brewing at least two more batches in the winter months when basement is at the 56F.

As always, brew your own and raise a pint!

California Common Results

A review of my California Common homebrew! This was my first lager I brewed at the new house using the old school method of lagering – my basement! I don’t have a cooling method built that keeps the temperature at 55F for general lager fermentation, but I do have a basement section that stays pretty constant at 56F to 57F over the winter.

In the video I mentioned that I got this base recipe from This site is invaluable to me and I use it a lot for keeping track of my brew session to interacting with other homebrewers on their forums.