Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Back in the groove

I've been busy lately with work but I've only done a few brews from the last time I've posted on here. Since the weather has cooled off its that time again to start brewing! So I'll be doing a stone IPA make. This isn't exactly what it is buy this is what I'm working with and what I want.
                10 gal batch
  • 20lb 2-Row
  • 1.5 lb Crystal 40L
  • 1.0 lb Cara-Pils
  • 8 oz Crstal 80L 
  • 2oz Magnum @ 60 min
  • 1oz Ahtanum @ 15 min
  • 1 tps Irish moss @ 15 min
  • 1oz Cascade whole DH 7 days
And , WLP0002 English Ale
Mashing at 154-15F

Ferment 65-68F

I'm not doing a 90 mins boil because I don't want to high of IBU's, I tend not to like anything over 80+ IBU's. This should be a somewhat hoppy bitter beer still like Stone's. 

Brew is set for next Saturday

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A few pictures from This past weekend.

Temp set at 68F


Been a little busy during the week with training at the academy so I haven't had to much time to update. The past 3 weekends I have been brewing. I brewed a remake of my first summer wheat  4 weeks ago. It is bottled up and I sampled it this weekend. The color, aroma, and overall taste is much improved. I changed the kind of hops and the timing of them. I also changed some ingredients and used lemon grass for the first time, I can't wait to taste it once its aged a few more weeks.

We also brewed a Bell's Two Hearted IPA, well a shot at it atleast. Everything went well and the aroma is awesome. I had it sit in the primary for almost two weeks then transferred to the secondary. This weekend I added the dry hops and will let that sit for 7 more days until bottling if the gravity is right.

This past weekend we brewed a Sierra Nevada remake. I had some help with some buds and we brewed a 10 gal batch for the first time.  Everything went really well and didn't have to many issues. We did realize that we only had one yeast packet so we had to pitch half in half. It seemed to be okay because it only took less then 24hrs for it to start bubbling. It could be from all the yeast nutrients that we put in it lol. They are also sitting in my kegerator at a controlled temp of 68F. We still have a Cream Ale and my Rye Pale to make so we should be pretty busy drinking and brewing these next few weeks.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Birthday Treat

Every year we get to celebrate the year we were born and I celebrated that day on Tuesday March 23. Turing 24. While celebrating that day my dad and I decided to consume some refreshing beverages . I did not write down any scoring or judging of the beers I drank because I was just enjoying the day and ended up drinking quite a few, so my palate may have been off any way. I will say I didn't have a beer I didn't like and quickly enjoyed all of them. I did take a few pictures that day and will share the day with everyone.
 I played around with some pictures because I was bored. I do like this Sam Adam's Nobel  Pils. Its a good session beer.

 My dad bought some awesome cigars the past week. They are Acid Kuba Kuba. Went well with the day.


My dog playing in the grass.

This was a very good Ale. Had some body to it along with flavor. Can't go wrong with this.

The price of this beer is crazy to be honest. But I understand how much time and work has been put in this beer. You certainly can tell the quality is there and has a refreshing unique taste to the beer since it does some fermenting in the bottle; it does leave a good bit of sediment in the glass. I really enjoyed the beer and would buy again if the price was a little cheaper. Cheers to trying something new with the way to make beer and having success.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Tribute-Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

I figured I'd write a little tribute to a brewery that I think got America wanting more to a beer rather then drinking a lite pilsner. It seems they have been over looked lately as they don't have commercials ads and don't design fancy beer glasses. The founder started out like most. A homebrewer that wanted more to beer.

In 1979, Ken Grossman began building a small brewery in the town of Chico, California. His goal: to brew exceptional ales and lagers. Today, the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is considered the premier craft brewery in the United States. And the beer?Well it speaks for itself.

On November 15, 1980, the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. brewed the first batch of what would soon become a landmark in American craft brewing: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. 

Word spread quickly, and over the next decade the demand for Sierra Nevada brews soon exceeded the brewery’s modest brewing capacity. Despite nearly constant additions to the brewery, Ken was soon back at the drawing board, planning a new brewery. In 1989, the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

To this day, the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. remains true to its roots. Ken is still personally involved in every aspect of brewery operation. Most importantly, the Sierra Nevada commitment to quality remains the same. Premium ingredients and time-honored brewing techniques make Sierra Nevada ales and lagers truly exceptional beers.
My first beer that I drank that actually stood out side of the box from a standard American Commercial  beer was Sierra Nevada's American Pale Ale. It still remains one of my favorite beers to have year round.

A beer I enjoy come Summer time is Sierra Nevada's-Kellerweis Hefeweizens- it is one of the only American Hefeweizens made using the traditional Bavarian style of open fermentation. This difficult and labor-intensive technique adds uncommon depth and flavor complexity. The hazy-golden hefeweizen is deeply flavorful, refreshing and perfect for a sunny day. To serve, pour two-thirds into a glass, swirl and pour the rest.

A good bold IPA I enjoy when I'm on my hoppy bold kick is Sierra Nevada's Torpedo Extra IPA. It is a big American IPA; bold, assertive and full of flavor and aromas highlighting the complex citrus, pine and herbal character of whole-cone American hops.

So Cheers to you Sierra Nevada!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Future Plans

Future plans have been planned out. Now just need to schedule the dates and order a few more grain/specialty grains.
I have down not in any particular order.
1. Cream ale-half blue berry half vanilla
2. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
3. My Rye Pale Ale with a few changes
4. Summer Wheat remix
5. Bell's IPA

I think that should keep me busy for at least two months. Things haven't been on schedule since the move and the new job, but I look forward to getting back on a routine and brewing some more beer.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Going to miss you Terripan..

Well, yesterday I had my last visit with Terripan Brewery yesterday. You really can't beat paying $10 for a mug and 8 tickets for beer. I leave satisfied every time I go. I plan to have a summer road trip to come back to Athens for a day of drinking at Terripan and then go to a few pubs downtown. Then go to Sweetwater the next day.

Terripan inspired me to make the Rye Pale Ale recently. Here is a little back ground of the beer and what they have down for the ingredients.

By using an exact amount of rye, a grain seldom found in other micro brewed beers, the Rye Pale Ale acquires its signature taste. Made with five varieties of hops and a generous amount of specialty malts, it offers a complex flavor and aroma that is both aggressive and well balanced – a rare find among beers.
The Terrapin Rye Pale Ale was released in Athens, GA in April of 2002 at the Classic City Brew Fest. Six months later this beer which was sold only in Athens was awarded the American Pale Ale Gold Medal at the 2002 Great American Beer Festival, the most prestigious competition in North America. We hope you will agree with our peers in the brewing industry that this is truly one of the best pale ales in the country.

Malt: 2-Row Pale, Munich, Malted Rye, Victory Malt, Honey Malt
Hops: Magnum, Fuggle, East Kent Golding, Amarillo (Dry Hop)
Food: This beer cries out for spicy foods to match it’s hoppy flavors…jerk chicken to shrimp and grits.
Cheese: Gruyère or Manchego

After I left Terripan last night and after drinking a few Rye's I realized my make isn't to bad, I think I just used to much rye I think. I plan to play around with this recipe as a base and will have my own make of this beer.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Rye Pale Ale update

I've been a little busy lately with job interviews and what not. I tasted the rye today and kinda forgot to take a picture until the last minute. Well the body was great and was smooth but damn did it finish bitter. I think I will change the bittering hop from Columbus to Centennial and leave it at .5 oz's I don't have my notes with me but I think other then that I will leave the hops as is.
Overall the beer turned out pretty good for making one in the dark.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Summer ? _insert name

Today we brewed A summer something. The color was unique during the run offs and after boil. I brewed over at a friends house and forgot to bring the camera. But I will go by tomorrow to take a few pictures to show you the color. Its full of orange(10mins),lemon(5mins),coriander(10mins), and grains of paradise(5mins). Not sure how this will turn out. If its worth anything I will post the recipe.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Tasting with the Fam II

Can't get tired of drinking beer. So again we had to sample a few last night. We had Bells Pale Ale, Great Divide Titian IPA, Great Divide Hercules IPA, & they tried the Bell's IPA I liked so much.

Bell's Pale Ale
From: Kalamazoo, Michigan  
Style: American Pale Ale
Commercial Description:
A refreshing, blond colored pale ale. Bell’s pale ale is made almost exclusively from pale malt. It expresses a spicy floral hop aroma and taste.

 Appearance: Hazy yellow color with a whispy white head. The malt color looked almost like a wit. Looked refreshing. 3.7/5

Aroma: Aroma of apple, grass, a bit floral, and some caramel 3/5

Mouthfeel: Light-medium body, a nice mouthfeel, smooth and drinkable. 3.5/5
Flavor: Some light malts and light hops, balanced, nice flavor. 3.2/5
Overall Impression: This is a pretty good APA. Not the best thing I’ve had, but a beer that I enjoyed enough. It could be better, but it is a little one dimension. 6.3/10
Total: 19.7 Not Bad
Great Divide Titan IPA From: Denver, Colorado Style: IPA Commercial Description: Great Divide brews Titan IPA for hop disciples independent beer drinkers seeking out robust, flavorful beers characterized by their abundance of hops, flavor, aroma and bitterness. Beginning with piney hop aromas and citrus hop flavors, and finishing with a rich, malty sweetness that is carefully balanced with crisp hopbitterness.
Appearance:Pours clear golden yellow with a medium white head and nice lacing. 3.4/5   Aroma: Aroma is big and hoppy -lots of grapefruit and a bit of pine. 4/5 Mouthfeel: After awhile the flavor can get to much. The piney after taste is a litte over powering . I hate Gin.. 3.7/5   Flavor: Flavor is even more hoppy, but with a good backbone of malt. Grapefruit and other citrus flavors but for me the piney after taste after while kind of killed it for me. 4/5 Overall Impression: Surprisingly, this "titanic" IPA is not overly bitter despite the abundance of hops. Very drinkable, but I couldn't drink alot of them. Another very good ale from Great Divide. 7.6/5 Total: 22.7 Good
Great Divide Hercules IPA
From: Denver, Colorado
Style: Double IPA
Commercial Description:Hoppier, maltier and with more alcohol than a standard IPA, Hercules Double IPA definitely is not for the faint of heart.  A brash but creamy wonder, Hercules pours a deep orange-coppery color, forming substantial lace in the glass. Hercules Double IPA delivers a huge amount of piney, floral, and citrusy hop aroma and flavor from start to finish. A hefty backbone of nutty, toffee-like malt character balances Hercules' aggressive, punchy hop profile. 85 IBU'S
Apperance: Pours a hop-hazed reddish copper body with a thick offwhite foam that coats the glass on the way down. 3.8/5
Aroma: Aggressive, resinous hops on the nose; lots of big grapefruit and pine notes,with some noticeable toffee malts and sweet alcohol aromas. 4.2/5
Mouthfeel: Carbonation is quite subdued yet creamy, big lengthy palate with a oily, resinous body that seems to stick to the sides. 3.9/5
Flavor::Alcohol warmth present yet pleasant. Smack in the face of juicy,  pine sap, grapefruit, bitter leaves and spices. 4.3/5
Overall Impression: Very Good. Worth the money. Flavour is huge yet balanced remarkably well, making a 9% ridiculously easy to drink and very dangerous; can’t help going back for more! 7.7/10
Total: 23.9 Good

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Beer tasting with the family

So tonight when I got in town my dad grabbed a few beers at the World of Beers in FL while he was visiting with friends from the Canada. We sampled the Hitachino Espresso Stout, RCH Old Slug, & Coopers Best Extra Stout. I won't go as in detailed as I would since their are three of them but here are the reviews I wrote while sampling them.

Hitachino Nest Espresso Stout
From: Ibaraki, Japan
Style: Stout
Commercial Description:
Caramel, roasted, black and chocolate malts provide an explosion of coffee like flavors. The strong espresso character comes from the addition of espresso beans to the boil. Notes of vanilla, dark fruit , cocao and chocolate. The very unusual character of Hitachino Nest Espresso Stout stems from the fact that Kiuchi Brewery is using the recipe of a Russian Imperial Stout as base. Pitch black color, big brown head. Aromas of chocolate, roasted bitterness, black currants, dark fruits.

 Appearance: It pours a black and slightly oily with a thick, brown and a solid lacey head 3.9/5

Aroma: Aroma had a big dark, roasted malts, coffee, with a hint of soy and cocoa powder. 3.5/5

Mouthfeel: Had a very bitter after taste for me for some reason. I didn't like how it felt on my tongue after drinking it.  2.9/5

Flavor: Is very unique and if you like the coffee stouts (I personally don't) it has loads of bitter espresso, chocolate, and roast up front with notes of vanilla  leading to a bittersweet, roasty finish. 3.6/5

Overall Impression: Medium bodied with solid carbonation. Overall I did not care for it only because of the bitterness the malts left in my mouth. Don't get me wrong it is a good beer to try, but for me I will pass on drinking again. 5.9/10
Total: 19.8/30- Not bad

RCH Old Slug
From: Weston-super-Mare, England
Style: Porter
Commercial Description:
In the old brewery we had a problem with slugs getting into the brewery. As the beer leaves a trail down the glass as you drink it like a slug, that's how the beer was named. A delicious traditional porter with a full bodied taste of chocolate, coffee, blackcurrant and black cherry with a good aroma. A near black colour with a good white head when served through a tight sparkler.
Pale malt, crystal malt, black malt; Fuggles and Goldings hops.

 Appearance: Poured a nut brown ale color, it was a little dark color? With a small beige head. I liked the look 4/5

Aroma:  The aroma of chocolate with a hint of coffee. A little burned malt. 3.5/5

Mouth feel: Medium body, very smooth and lite with some flavor to the kick. 4.5/5 

Flavor: The taste is very smooth! Dry and some bitter. The aftertaste is bitter sweet. I really liked the after taste 4.1/5

Overall Impression: I enjoyed this porter. It was smooth had some nice choclate flavor to it. It did not over power your palate. I could drink more of these at one sitting. 7.5/10 
Total: 24.1/30-Good

Coopers Best Extra Stout
From: Regency Park, South Australia, Australia  
Style: Foreign Stout 
Commercial Description:
You want bitter? You got it! Very malty with a strong roast barley flavour. Black as pitch and so thick you could just about eat it with a spoon. An excellent stout.

Apperance:Deep brown-black with a moderate beige head. 3.4/5

Aroma: Sweet coffee and candy like aroma. 3/5

Mouthfeel: On tasting there’s was the slight fizz carbination which I thought would be annoying but which fortunately soon fades into a mouthfeel which is oily, and yet works surprisingly well. 3.6/5

Flavor:  It tastes initially of coffee, then lots of earth with a hint of cough mixture before a beautiful and lasting smokiness takes over.3.4/5

 Overall Impression: Definitely a beer for sipping rather than gulping - but so good that I found myself sipping it at a dangerously intoxicating rate. For some reason I didn’t have high expectations of this, but it turned out to be very good indeed. 6.5/10

Total: 20.4/30 Good

Always a good time drinking with the family. I will be brewing Saturday. Going to make a summer ale wheat beer I put together. Finally will get to brew with some help!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Bells Two Hearted Ale

This is a review on Bells Two Hearted Ale
from Kalamazoo, Michigan
Style: Indian Pale Ale

Commercial Description:
India Pale Ale style well suited for Hemingway-esque trips to the Upper Peninsula. American malts and enormous hop additions give this beer a crisp finish and incredible floral hop aroma.

Appearance: It pours a hazy burnt orange color with a huge white head. Some very sticky looking lacing as I drink this one.Looked very good! 4.5/5

Aroma: The aroma really blew me away at first. Loads of citrus hop aroma, sweet tropical fruits, and not much malt--very nice. But it lost alot of its aroma after a few sips. 4.2/5

Mouth feel: The beer is medium bodied and has moderate carbonation.4/5

Flavor: The taste was similar to the aroma. A great grapefruit and orange flavor, along with sweet pineapple. The finish is nice and piney, giving a bitterness to balance out the fruit. It is not harsh or bitter, very smooth But it did lose a little flavor after while. 3.9/5

Overall: I can see why people go nuts over this beer. Such a solid IPA, much more similar to the California IPAs than most other Midwest and East Coast offerings. A very smooth and well balanced IPA. 8.5/10

Overall score 25.1/30 Excellent. I would definitely buy again, I could drink this beer anytime of the year and have more then a few at a sitting without getting to sick of it.

Beer clubs

These are the two clubs that I have been associating with. Both are very different in there own aspect. The club in Athens is predominately homebrewing. While the Hampton club is all about tasting beers. I enjoy both but unfortunately they are not close to each other and soon I will only be stuck with one depending on the job.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Rye Pale Ale Update

Just did a late transfer to the secondary. I have been out of town and couldn't do it earlier. The the gravity reading was around 28. I will check it in a few more days to see if it drops any. I sampled a taste and has a nice aroma of grapefruit. It has a nice flavor. Only time will tell.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

How to Sample Beer?

This is something we put together at a new beer club back home in Hampton, SC

But here is my category how I rank my beers based on my scores

Excellent (25 - 30): World-class example of style
Good (20 - 24): Exemplifies style well, requires minor fine-tuning
Not bad (15 - 19): Generally within style parameters, some minor flaws
Average (10 - 14): Misses the mark on style and/or minor flaws
Fair (5 - 9): Off flavors, aromas or major style deficiencies
Problematic (0 - 4): Major off flavors and aromas dominate

How to sample:

Step 1: Pour into clean glass. Pour right down the center and get a nice head- this releases aromas of the beer.

Step 2: First rate the beer on Apperance. Does the beer like something you would want to drink? Does it have a full, heathly head or dies it look weak and water? Hold the beer glass up to the light- is the beer the right color for the style? Can you see any floaties or particles that do not belong?

Step 3: Rate the beer on aroma next. Take a nice whiff-what do you smell? Hop notes such as citrus or a grassy smell? Components of the grainbill such as carmel or biscuit? Coffee and chocolate notes in a rich stout? Make sure the beer is the correct temperature- most beer should be served in the 40F area, and as the beer warms slightly, more aromas will be released.

Step 4: Take a sip of the beer. Note the mouthfeel- is the beer crisp and well-carbonated? Flat? Is it thick and chewy, or this and watered down? Any unusual sensations, like oily slickness? Note any residue and the beer leaves on your tongue or palate.

Step 5:: Here’s the big one- rate the flavor of the beer. Take notes on the entire flavor experience- the beer first touching your mouth, what the predominant flavors are, and any aftertaste left when you swallow Is the beer’s flavor appropriate for the style? Any off-flavors? Does the beer seem skunked or sour at all? As beer ages, it can oxidize and develop off-flavors such as wet cardboard, vinegar, or sherry. Most importantly, do you like the taste? A ber might exactly to style, but it is a style you don’t care for! Note which flavors you like and which you don’t- this will help you select beers you will enjoy down the line.

Step 6: Finally, rate the overall impression of the beer. Was it brewed and served appropriately for the style? Did the experience of the beer change between first sip and last? What did you like about the beer, and what you didn’t like? Were there small mistakes that could be overlooked, or was the beer a train wreck you wouldn’t recommend to a man dying of thirst?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Rye Pale Ale

Yesterday I decided to brew a Rye Pale Ale. I enjoy going to Terripan Brewery so I got the inspiration to make one. I had to order the grains since the local shop didn't carry alot of ingredients that I put in this recipe.

Everything went smooth. I was a little off with hitting the first infusion. I hit 172F and got it to 152F. I was shooting for 154F. No biggy just for future reference I will need to shoot a little higher due to the mash tun taking a lot of the heat. I re adjusted the heat when I added 1 gal at the 50 min mark and got it right at 154-155 to give me 3.25 gals of wort. I added 3.5 gals for the mash out at 188-189F and hit right at 167-168F.

I think I need to have a little more wort prior to boiling and came a little short.

 Well, when I started the boil it started snowing pretty heavy. I was afraid that when I was cooling the wort that some of the snow was getting in the wort. Hopefully it didn't bother it to much.
I forgot to take a final reading before sealing it up but I did take a reading pre boil and got a pretty high reading, which can't be right b/c I know my efficiency can't be that good so I will just have to take a reading in a week to see where its at.

Estimated Pre Boil OG: 1.046
Estimated Original Gravity: 1.061
Estimated Final Gravity: 1.017
Estimated Alcohol By Volume: 5.73%

Update notes:
Man the yeast started working 5 hrs after brewing on 02/12/09 and it has been going Strong for two days. I wish I would have used a carboy to watch it, but I know the blow off would be crazy.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Glass V Plastic

Which is better?
In terms of cleaning, buckets are a breeze to clean. Except they seem to hold the smell of the previous batch once used many times. It can also get small scratches in the surface from cleaning which can harbor germs and can also make discoloration over time.

Carboys are more work to get clean on the inside compared to buckets. Glass can handle more use and don't have any smells seep into its surface. And will last forever with proper care. They are also clear, which allows you to see what is going on inside (If you care?)
I avoid using plastic as a secondary fermenter because of the head space. And really I just use the plastic Ale Pale in the Primary fermenter... I get less blow offs because of the head space and don't have to spend so much time cleaning the sucker. 

Canonical/Stainless Steel

Commercial breweries use giant stainless steel fermenters. As for the regular home brewer, canonical stainless steel fermenters are really expensive, I hope get one someday. In the mean time, there is a simple and affordable third option for fermenting. Use a corny keg. Attach a blow off tube to one of the outlets and close the other by screwing on the quick disconnect. Pour the beer into the corny keg and seal the lid. Its ideal for lagering.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Bottled & Kegged Nut Brown

Well, yesterday I bottled 17 bottles and kegged the rest. I decided to force carb the keg. Not knowing the true ends and out of it since this was my first kegging. I cranked it up 30 psi and shook it around for a few mins and drew the pressure off to get the oxygen out, then cranked it back up until I didn't hear any more bubbling. I then placed it in the fridge and let it sit over night. I drew some off this morning and it was very smooth with good  carbonation. I set the co2 on 10 psi and have it setting right now. The taste is very smooth, maybe if the carbonation adds up it will give more character to the brew. If not I will still be pleased with the result and will gladly drink this beer.

Notes- If the beer stays the same I think I would like to add little more chocolate and next time and order the Special Roast to add in the recipe since it was left out this time due to the homebrew shop not carrying it.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Mendocino Eye of the Hawk Select Ale Review

This Review is on Mendocino Eye of the Hawk Select Ale from Hopland, California;
Style: American Strong Ale

Commercial Description:
Eye of the Hawk is an excellent, strong, rich bodied ale that is "Bottle Conditioned" to perfection. "Eye" is coppery reddish-amber in color and its unique taste is the result of a judicious mix of caramel and pale malted barley, balanced with Cluster, Cascade and Saaz hops. This gives the Eye its luxurious flavor, substantial mouth-feel and that slightly dry finish.

My Description:
Had a dense rocky lacy white head poured out of the bottle. Clear rich bright gold color. Aromas are heavy caramel and toffee sweet malts, a touch of cocoa? biscuits and cake come in stronger, a touch of candied fruit, but very malt forward with light bitterness.
Floral hop malt is maybe Cascade Saaz front. Mild sweet rich crisp caramel malt, mild fruit zesty rich malt. Balanced hop spice mild citrus hot end. A well balanced hoppy rich crisp brew. I enjoyed this brew but would like a little more complexity out of it for the price for it. 8.99 six pack.

Aroma: 7/10
Apperance: 4/5
Flavor: 7/10
Palate: 4/5
Overall: 15/20

Saturday, January 30, 2010

End of Month Review: Abita Amber

I will have a end of the month and start of the month beer review. This Review is on Abita Amber Lager from Abita Brewing Company out of Convington, Louisiana.
Commercial Description:
Abita Amber is a Munich style lager brewed with crystal malt and Perle hops. It has a smooth, malty, slightly caramel flavor and a rich amber color.

My Thoughts:
Pour was amber in color (lighter side of amber), a very small white colored head, decent lacing. The aroma was strong caramel, some light grass. Flavor was strong sweet caramel (too sweet), some bread, some grass, some off un-clean notes. Lacking the nutty and nicely toasted elements I tend to dig in this style. Mouthfeel was light with a bit of maltiness. Middle of the road to just below average amber lager.

Aroma: 6/10
Appearance: 3/5
Flavor: 5/10
Palate: 3/5
Overall: 12/20 

Unless I lived around they area where they distribute this I doubt I would buy again.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Nut Brown Gravity Update

I took a reading off the nut brown today to see where it stands and when I should move it to secondary. I got a reading of 1.025 from a 1.054 it looks to be on track. I really don't need to move it to secondary but I think I will anyway just to clean it up. The smell of this London ale is something I never smelled before, very strong, but with a sweet smell. I definitely could smell the alcohol a brewing.

Always the hardest part for me is coming up with the beer I'm going to make. I have limited it down to 4 recipes I made up this week:  IPA, Hefeweizen Orange, Belgian White Winter Ale, and an Amber Ale. I think I might put all the beer styles in a hat and pick one once every 2-3 weeks to help me choose which kind to brew. Or put a poll on yahoo or somewhere and have people pick for me...?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Refractometer Ease

Well I figured I'd write a little something about using my refractometer for the first time. I got this Auto Temperature Compensation refractometer on ebay for around $20 total. So first don't let anyone scare you with how outrageous the prices are, these things have been going on the bay at a fair price.

This thing is awesome, it allows me to take gravity readings at any point during the boil.  If I need to measure the gravity to calculate my efficiency out of the mash tun, no problem.   If I need to measure the gravity late in the boil, you can with ease. This thing ONLY takes a few drops of wort on the lens and it will measure the degrees Brix of your sample. It sure beats using almost a pint of wort with your hydrometer to get a reading everytime you want to check your OG/FG.

When you look through your refractometer you get a number. Mine this week from the nut brown ale was 13.4 lets go with 13. Take the Brix reading, multiply by 4 and this  gives you specific gravity in “gravity points.” For example,13 Brix, multiply that by 4 yields 52, which corresponds to a specific gravity of 1.052. I'm going to take another reading this Saturday to see what my OG is. Then I will either leave it in the secondary or leave for a few more days.

While this thing is in the Primary, I'm putting together a few recipes. As always the hardest part for me is picking what I want to drink... I should have something together this week to brew for next weekend.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Yesterday's first attempt with AG I think went pretty well. I will have to make a few changes on the next brew. Notes that I wrote down:Inital strike was 177-178 I let it sit in mash tun for 3-5 mins. Added the grains and it hit around 153-154 which is pretty close to what I was aiming for. I took a reading after 55 mins and the temp dropped to 149-151. 2nd stike was 177-179 hit 157-158( Next time I will shoot for 190) waited 10 mins and drew the rest of the wort off after vorlaufing a few times. I had a boil off when I added the Irish Moss 45 mins in the boil. Other then those side notes I think everything else went good. I got the wort cooled to 77F in 15-20 mins before pitching the yeast that I had started two days in advance. I took a reading after pitching the yeast, I used a refractometer to take a reading and got 13.6 brix take that number and times it by 4 and got 1.054. Pretty excited to try this nut brown out.

Friday, January 22, 2010


Its been awhile since I've posted and I'll update what has happened. Recently I joined a local homebrew club and just went and watched a demo on how the all grain process is. I'm pretty confident I can do it. I also just made a stir plate from some pretty easy directions I found online. My little home brewery looks to be complete. I plan to brew some beer tomorrow. I will post some pictures and recipes and how everything goes.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Lucky Finds

Last night I was searching around on the web and found a local homebrew club! Also found a local men's rubgy club. I think I will like it here. Two things that I love to do. Hopefully I can get intcouh with both of them.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Getting Everything Together

Well recently I just upgraded my equipment in order to make all grain beer. I made a homemade mash tun-$15. Maybe less since I already had most of the parts. Bought a 60qt brew pot(Academy Sports)-$30!-Got it on sale plus had a 20% added discount. Figured I would buy it this big so if I wanted to expand and make larger batches I wouldn't have to buy another pot. I recently put together a kegerator--$185-200(This is a old picture, I got away with the towers and put in faucets on the door)Actually made some money back from selling the towers for shanks 02/02/09). I found alot of the parts from ebay and other brewing stores. I'm in the process of getting a wort chiller since I moved, I no longer can use my friends and will have to get my own :/ I'm also getting other little nic nac's together for the first all grain brew.