Food, Beer & Buffoonery - Hops

The Missing BJCP Styles, part 4: (almost) Lost American Ales

At long last, another issue of the Missing BJCP Styles series. Last time we looked at some Australian Lagers.  This time we look at two of the several “almost” lost styles of American Ale.  The American Stock Ale and the Kentucky Common Beer. As always, these descriptions are a work in progress. If you have any additional information on these styles, please post a comment (with references) and I’ll incorporate it into the style description.

As information on these two styles is so difficult to come by, and commercial examples are extremely rare to non-existent, this post is a bit more of a work in progress than some of the previous “Missing Styles” posts. However, the information below should be enough to formulate your own recipe. So, with that in mind…


Aroma: Distinctive hop aroma, slight malt fruitiness. May smell a hint of sourness due to lactic acid.

Appearance: Pale to amber in color. Can be slightly cloudy.

Flavor: Quite bitter, and can be somewhat tart from lactic acid. Strong hop flavor. Finishes fairly dry.

Mouthfeel: (more info needed)

Overall Impression: (more info needed)

Comments: Traditional mash schedule: start at 149-151°F for 15 to 30 minutes, then raise the temperature to 154°F for 1 hour. A long secondary fermentation is traditional; 3-6 months. Traditional boil time is often 2 hours with a hop schedule of: 1/3 of hops added at start of boil, another 1/3 added an hour into the boil and the last 1/3 10 minutes before flame out. If sugar is used, it is added towards the end of the boil. American Stock Ales are either similar to or synonymous with Imperial Pale Ales.

Ingredients: Six-row malted barley with up to 25% sugar. American hop varieties Cluster, Northern Brewer and US grown Goldings. American ale yeast, at 68-70°F (20-21.1°C); WYeast 1056 or 1272 would both be good choices. Dry hop with up to 2.5 ounces (71 g) of hops per 5 gallons. Adding a small amount of lactic acid may be appropriate.

Vital Statistics:
OG:  1.066 – 1.079 (even up to 1.100? Though in 1896, average was 1.067)
IBUs:  70 – 100
FG: 1.013 – 1.016
SRM: 3 – 15
ABV: 5.5 – 7.9+%

Commercial Examples (tentative): Rogue Imperial IPA, Three Floyds Dreadnuaght IPA (9.5% abv).

References: “Radical Brewing” by Mosher, “American Handy-book of the Brewing, Malting and Auxiliary Trades” by Wahl and Henius


Aroma: (more info needed)

Appearance: Dark amber to almost black in color, comparable to a Bavarian dunkel.

Flavor: Pronounced malt flavor, slightly sweet, mild.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, high carbonation.

Overall Impression: (more info needed)

Comments: Ferment at 68-70°F. Consumed Young. Highly Carbonated.

Ingredients: Pale malt, 25-30% corn or flaked maize, and 1-2% caramel or black malts for color (or some caramel coloring). American hop varieties, such as Cluster or Northern Brewer. American Ale, California Common or a London Ale yeast. Should be pitched with a very small amount (2% of yeast) lactobacillus – or add a very small amount of lactic acid.

Vital Statistics:
OG:  1.044 – 1.048
IBUs:  20 – 30
FG: 1.009 – 1.013
SRM: 18 – 27
ABV: 4.0 – 5.0%

Commercial Examples: Mosher (see references) reports that the Bluegrass Brewing Co. in Louisville, KT has brewed a Kentucky Common in recent years.

References:, “Radical Brewing” by Mosher, “American Handy-book of the Brewing, Malting and Auxiliary Trades” by Wahl and Henius

Other Missing Styles to be covered in coming articles:
Kellerbier, Gose, Wiess, Broyhan, Graetzebier, Honey Beers (not Braggots), Classic American Cream Ale, American Stock Ale, Czech Dark Lager, English Pale Mild, Scottish 90/-, English Strong Ale, Non-alcoholic “Beer”, Malt Liquor, Imperial/Double Red Ale, Imperial/Double Brown Ale, Imperial Lager, Imperial Pilsner, Imperial Porter, Rye IPA, Dark American Wheat/Rye, Dry Beer, Pennsylvania Swankey.

Fred Phelps’ Incredible Buffoonery

We already know Westboro Baptist Church pastor Fred Phelps is a buffoon, but can things get any more absurd? He now wants to put an anti-Santa Claus sign up at our nation’s capitol…  Actually if you check the blog link below, the sign is kinda funny.  😉

“Santa Claus will take you to hell”

That has got a ring to it, doesn’t it? And his suit is red.

In the Blogs.

In the News.

Voting Buffoonery

So, I just got back from doing my civic duty … I voted. After signing in (I still don’t understand why you don’t need to show an ID), I went over to the table to grab my ballot.

“Do you want to vote on paper or electronically?”, I was asked. Not liking to waste paper, I opted to vote electronically. Though there was one, if only slight, problem. They only had one electronic voting machine.  So I could wait in line to use that or vote now on paper. I was in a little bit of a hurry, so I opted to go paper. (I know, what a hypocrite).

Diebold AccuVote

Now what’s the point of paper voting?  A better paper trail?  Easing fears of mistakes when voting electronically? Ok, I suppose.  So, I vote on my paper ballot, and what do I do after that?  I feed it into an electronic scanner (something similar to the one pictured here) to record my votes. Low and behold, I just voted electronically anyway!

Seriously, what is the difference?  If you have an electronic voting machine that retains a paper receipt of every voters choices, printed in view of the voter, how is this any different from making your marks on a paper then feeding it into a ballot scanner? Well, one uses more paper.

It has me wondering. Was there only one electronic voting machine there because the city/county could not afford more, or are people in my area afraid of electronic voting? If the later is true, someone really needs to inform these people that they are voting electronically anyway…

So, in fact, there were two electronic voting machines in the room.  One that lets you enter your votes straight into the computer via a screen and one that scans votes marked on paper. One of these options uses less paper – and in the long run would probably save money, and a few trees.

Three cheers fr REAL electronic voting!!!

Reason, Law, and Beer

I just read this article on and thought I’d just plug it, since it made some really great points about reason, law and beer:

How Your Beer Bought John McCain’s $500 Loafers
Uncovering the government subsidies behind Cindy McCain’s family fortune

The article discusses the history of alcohol distribution and the “poor” economics of the forced three-tiered system in place in most states.

Hey, She Looks Familiar…

Like many of you, I was not familiar with Alaska’s governor, Sarah Palin, until McCain’s nominating her for his running mate. She does look familiar. But the similarities seem to go way beyond the visual.


Peggy Hill

Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin

Peggy Hill

  • Politics: Republican
  • Age: 43
  • Born in Montana
  • Married
  • Husband sells propane & propane accessories
  • Mother
  • Intelligent
  • Has run for local school board
  • Substitute Teacher
Sarah Palin

  • Politics: Republican
  • Age: 44
  • Born in Idaho
  • Married
  • Husband works in oil industry
  • Mother
  • Believes in Intelligent Design
  • Vice presidential candidate
  • Mom was a school teacher

Any more similarities? Let me know. I’ll add them to the list.

Fun With Gas

Paying a lot for gas these days?  So am I, or so I thought.  My last fill up was $4.16 per gallon.  Seems expensive, right?  Well, take a look at what they’re paying in several European countries:

For the week of 19 May 2008
Belgium: $8.84
France: $8.48
Germany: $8.75
Italy: $8.65
Netherlands: $9.54
UK: $8.31
USA: $4.02
Source: US Department of Energy

And we’re complaining about that measly $4.02 per gallon. Just be glad you aren’t making that 64 mile commute to work in the Netherlands!

Recently, many politicians, Democrats in particular, have been promoting ways of trying to lower the gas prices.  At the same time they’re the ones wanting big increases in fuel efficiency for cars (which would be great) and promoting alternative fuels.

The thing is, high gas prices are just what’s needed to push the market in that direction.  Trying to lower gas prices by using temporary tax cuts, etc, is just hindering their long term goal of getting more efficient cars on the road and increasing mass transit ridership.  What are they thinking?

Just Buffooneristic “food for thought”.