Sunday, December 27, 2009

Twenty Things...

A short collection of beer facts:

Monday, November 2, 2009

Cherry Stout

Well here's something I've been anticipating for a while now.   A while back I brewed the Cherry Wit recipe from Briess.  It was good, but different in that I haven't really aquired a taste for something quite that dry.  Don't get me wrong - I drank about 3 gallons of it.   But I digress...

I had been holding onto the last gallon or so, waiting for this Imperial Stout to naturally carbonate.  The goal was that I'd make a half & half with Cherry Wit on the bottom. 

So tonight I broke out the spoon and (well that didn't work so well given the tap pressure and lack of a third hand) so the Cherry was pretty well blended all in with the stout.  But I enjoyed it.

Mmmm, the adventures of homebrewing.  This will send me searching for other straight up Cherry Stout recipes.  The wife tried it and suggested a Vanilla-Cherry-Stout.   Mmmmmm, off to ponder that now.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Donkey Tire

Tonight I'm brewing up a "better than Fat Tire", so deemed by the LHBS proprietor.

Tom likes to use Victory malt as a main component which gives this a different flavor. I'm going to try it out.

A friend of mine, nicknamed Donkey, was killed on his bicycle recently. He loved a good beer so I'm calling this batch Donkey Tire in his honor. Maybe I'll throw a nut in it to match up with David's personality. ;)

October 19, 2009


secondary fermentation:
October 25, 2009

October 25, 2009


1 can of Munton's Extra Light Liquid Malt Extract
Light Dry Malt Extract
Victory Malt and two others, I'll have to pay closer attention next time. Dangit they kitted this up for me.
Hops see above.
White Labs Liquid Abbey Ale Yeast

Grains steeped in at 155 degrees and cooled for 40 minutes.
Bring to boil and remove grains.
Start 60 minute timer and pour in the first hops, about .5 ounces.
Add half of the DME and LME.

With 10 minutes left add the next hops, about .75 ounce.

The last hops go in at 3 minutes left, about .75 ounce. These are for flavor.
Cut off the flame and add the last of the malts. Cool then pitch the yeast.

For the yeast this time they threw in Danstar Nottingham dry yeast. Dare I use it? Hmmm. No, I decided to wait it out a bit and pick up the Abbey Ale yeast.

Update Oct. 21: This morning the fermenter was eerily still. Tom says the yeast may hit the 18 hour mark before it does anything. We'll eagerly check on it after work! Also I'll be checking on the BYO recipe for Fat Tire, I think that one called for a Wyest pack.

This batch of beer was great.  Very enjoyable and the flavor was not exactly like Fat Tire from the bottle, it was better.  Tom's recipe lived up to the name.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Kegerator Part III

Well this may be one of those things you often find in a hobby... there's always room for improving things a bit. Today I took some chalkboard paint and taped off a spot to list the beers on tap.

I think it looks great. So much for being humble.
There is just ONE more thing I have in mind (so far) and that would be to drill a hole from the freezer to the refrigerated compartment and then store the CO2 tank in the freezer.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Kegerator Part II

After some deliberation and procrastination I finally moved the in-use kegs from the old fridge to the new one. That allowed me to move the remaining tap over and then I spent a few minutes making everything look spiffy with colored tape.

Now all the hoses, taps, adapters are easily identified. This will make changing them out a little easier and also the manifold will match up with the taps.

The shopping list now has been added for 2 pieces of hose for the CO2.

Final product? MMmmm, now I'm thirsty.

The inside view. After mounting the manifold there's not much else to do! I want to work a bit with placement and see if I can mount it out of the way as much as possible.

The one thing I really like about this fridge is the half-width adjustable shelves seen above the kegs!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Imperial Stout - October 4th

Just finished putting two fermenters of Munton's Gold Imperial Stout in the closet.
Mmmmm, happy yeast should start the process soon.

I've brewed this all extract kit for a couple of years now and I highly recommend it if you like a smooth rich flavored dark beer. There's not a lot I think I could do to improve on it however Rebel did a special order for me so I had to get three. Now I must research and contemplate if there are any adjuncts or additions that might go well with it.

10 gallons should last me and any visitors throughout the winter. Since another 5 gallon batch is likely to come into play soon - I may have to supply it up to the Christmas party. Mmm, stout.

Even though this is a kit, I'll go ahead and record the specs.

Oct 4, 2009

O.G. 1.009

secondary fermentation:
~Oct 18th


kegged: 10/11/09
** Keg A has 5oz of priming sugar
Keg B will be force carbed


MCB competition and grain tour

Yesterday I went by to help unbox and ready beers for the MCB competition next week.

There were homebrews from as far away as Texas and several Northern states. We ended up with a large chest freezer-come-fridge filled up. And yet more are on the way since a couple of guys drove to Atlanta to pickup a load from the clubs down there.

Tom at Rebel showed Lynn and I how the external thermostat controls the power to keep the freezer at higher temperatures so it's a 'fridge instead of freezer.

We also got a tour of the grains, Marris Otter, a honey malt and an Acidulated malt (tasted like it sounds). One of the most interesting ones was the Cherry smoked malt.

Very nice day!

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Today I will be replacing all the lines between the disconnects and the shanks and two of the CO2 feed lines.
Adding colored tape to the lines so taps and CO2 feed will be simple to distinguish from now on.

Glossary & Miscellanea


Words & Abbreviations

DME - Dried Malt Extract
LME - Liquid Malt Extract

LHBS - Local Home Brew Shop

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

White Cherry

Aug 16, 2009

O.G. 1.041

secondary fermentation: 8/22/09


kegged: 8/22/09

Even though I used a bit less tart juice than they called for this still had a dry and plenty tart taste in my opinion. The neighbors enjoyed it enough to come back for more and bring a relative. I'm holding off on finishing the last gallon to see how it might work as a half-and-half underneath the Imperial Stout. Plus it will have aged a bit more and Tom from the LHBS says this would probably mature well for a month or two. More on that later!

Basically from Briess. 5 gallons

5 lbs. Briess CBW Bavarian Wheat LME
1 lb. Briess 6-Row Brewers Malt
6 oz. Briess Caramel Malt 60L
12 oz. Briess Bolander Munich Malt
4 oz. Briess Carapils Malt
2 qts. Knudsens Organic Just Tart Cherry Juice
- or -
4 lbs. pitted frozen tart cherries
.33 oz. Perle Pelletized Hops (9% AA hop)
1 Belgian Wit II Ale yeast WPL410 ( I subbed Wyest 3944 Belgian Wit per Tyler's suggestion)
1 tsp. Irish moss

They say to do a minimash with 4 gallons of water and grains, steeping it at 158F for 45 min. Since I was working with a smaller pot steeping in the kitchen I only did 2.5 gallons.

After the minimash I took it up to a boil and added the LME and let it boil for 45 minutes.

Added Irish Moss and continued boiling for 15 more minutes.

Cooled, pitched yeast the next morning 8/17/09.

On 8/19 I added the cherry juice. 1 qt of Knudsen "Just Black Cherry" from Publix in Goodlettsville. Since I didn't get the full 2 qts. needed I ended up going the next day to Publix in Hendersonville but they only had Old Orchard "Tart Cherry" (it contains ascorbic acid).

I'll let if ferment just a bit longer then do a secondary for two weeks.

Briess' specs:
Primary 14 days at 70F
Secondary 10 days at 35F
bottle condition

OG 1.042
FG 1.008
AbW 3.6%
AbV 4.5%
IBU 12
Color 10+ reddish

Monday, August 17, 2009

Paulaner Hefe-Weizen extract clone

Aug 16, 2009

O.G. 1.054

secondary fermentation: 8/22/09


kegged: 8/22/09


From BYO magazine page 48
5 gallons

1.5 lbs. Briess wheat DME
3.75 lbs. Weyermann Bavarian Hefeweizen wheat LME (late addition)
2.1 lbs. wheat malt
.91 lbs. Pilsner malt
4.75 AAU Hallertau-Hersbrucker hops (1.2 oz./34g of 4% alpha acids)
Wyeast 3638 Bavarian Wheat
or White Labs WLP380 - Hefeweizen IV
1.2 cups of corn sugar for priming.


Pop yeast bag.
Clean and sanitize gear.

Heat 4.5 quarts of water to 169F. Add crushed grains and steep at 158F for 45 min.

Boil 2.1 gallons of water.

At the end of the steep put 1.5 qts of boiling water into the "grain tea" steeping pot.
Put a colander over the brewpot and grain bag in it. Pour grain tea through the bag.

Bring to a boil then stir in the DME and add the hops.
Set time to 60 min.

At point where there are 15 min. left turn off heat and stir in the LME. Stir like mad then boil.

Cool wort, transfer it to the fermenter. Aerate and add water up to 5 gallon mark.
Pitch yeast and ferment at 68F.

Rack to secondary after fermentaion then bottle when it turns clear.

note: This fermentation was massive. The 2nd day I found the airlock was very mucky brown and krausen had leaked out through the top and down the side of the fermenter.
Definately use the tube instead of airlock when brewing this!

Fat Tire clone

Aug 2, 2009

secondary fermentation:
Aug 10, 2009

Aug 10, 2009

Tapping this on 8/25/09


From BYO magazine page 21

I did a comparison with the first batch of this and a bottle of Fat Tire from New Belgian:
Mine had a slightly duller taste that was noticeable. My wife commented that there was a more "floral" nose/taste to the original New Belgian.

Of course my clone was visibly cloudier. I'm not filtering like the pros.

I'll have to take a sample to the LHBS and see what the guys there think. The certified beer judge will probably give me some tips.