Black Lab Bar

Archive for July, 2009

Gritty McDuff’s “Vacationland Summer Ale” No. 2

July 22, 2009 1:47 pm

vaca_logoRound two!

I love this beer.  We first served it in June 2008 and went through a 1/4 barrel pretty quickly.  So, we got another one.  Perfect for July and August weather.

Gritty says, “You can’t put summer in a bottle, but we may have come close! When the weather gets warm we roll out our summer seasonal, Vacationland Summer Ale. Vacationland is an Extra Special Golden Ale that’s light in color but full-bodied, with a snappy hop finish. A bit of extra time in the conditioning tank rounds out and mellows the ale. We use generous portions of pale malt with just a touch of wheat malt to give VSA unique flavor that’s richer than most summer brews. Cascade leaf hops add a delicate and forward hop character as well. It’s the perfect brew for all things summer.”

Starting Gravity: 1049
Finish: 1012, ABV: 4.9%
Hops: (22 I.B.U.s) Cascade Leaf, Cascade, Saaz
Availability: 6 and 12-packs, 22 oz bottles, mini-kegs and draft,
April-August

Will be paired with Wachusett Summer Ale.

Wachusett “Summer Ale”

July 9, 2009 4:53 pm

summer_beer_picWachusett’s Summer and Winter beers are among my favorites from the brewery. We’re getting a 1/6 of it on tap tomorrow, paired with BBC’s Limited “Floor Malt Pilsner“.

Wachusett brewery says, “Wachusett Summer Ale SUPER REFRESHING! American wheat ale with a hint of lemon. Available in Stores: April 1st to mid September”.  It has an underrated “B-” on BeerAdvocate, but I suspect I’ll end up giving it a “B” to “B+” (it’s been a while since I’ve had it).

Should go quickly – the Wachusett “Green Monsta” flew by to become the fastest consumed beer we’ve served yet.

Tapped: 7/13/09

Kicked: 9/27/09

Co2 Kicked & Circulatory Fan Broken?

July 4, 2009 11:35 am

First, the Co2 tank was kicked this week.  I can’t even remember the last time I changed it, but I suspect it was around 6+ months ago.  No problems here, just a $25 fill at Modern Brew in Cambridge.  I also have a 2nd co2 tank, just for this occasion, so there’s no shortage of flow on the 4th of July!

dead_ipodI also suspect the secondary fan has crapped out. I’m calling it the secondary fan since the kegerator is still keeping the beer cold around 45°.  I believe the fan that broke was an additional fan unique to “under counter” models that circulates the warm air behind the kegerator to keep it from over heating (via air cooling the compressor).  About 3-4 months ago it started working intermittently and sounded like something small had gotten caught in it, potentially a piece of styrophoam that had been used to insulate the top of the keg.

The disadvantage to this is that a) it’s potentially technically broken (which will annoy me), and b) there’s a potential for the added heat to cause additional strain on the refridgeration unit and hurt performance (increased electrical cost?) or to fully break it.  All bad things.  The pro to this situation is that the secondary fan made a lot of noise – enough for everyone to question what it was.  Now that it’s gone the kegerator operates virtually silently.