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.