Sunday, December 27, 2009

Blonde ale still fermenting

Back from adventures in the winter wonderland. The Blonde ale is still fermenting. It has signs of a 3 inch krausen...though I was not here to see it. It was about 58 in the house aka brewhouse. Looks like it is slowing, but will watch it for the next couple days.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Bye Bye Blonde Ale

So...this may be the last beer brewed in NC so Bye Bye Blonde Ale seemed appropriate. Here are the grain bags for the beer. It is a blonde, so lots of light malt.
Can you say Saaz? A bunch of dry malt and saaz hops, etc

Philip and Ryan helped out this time.

No really......keep an eye on the boil.....I'll be right back.

da' boil!
Trust me there were lots of steps between 'da boil' and the chiller.......
Hey....think these guys have been drinking?
It's a Charlie Papazian rule, not ours...... :) have a homebrew...while you homebrew....
So....right now it doesn't look like a blonde, but......
We will test it out and see how it goes.....It did start out WAY above the estimated original gravity....... So maybe it is a "strong" blonde. We will try it and figure it out....!!!!!
Best regards
PS. It started fermenting right away..... OG 1.058! :)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Sam's Quick Stop in Durham

WOW! That is basically all I can say. I heard about Sam's in my beer classes. I made a trip over to Durham today.... It is not much to look at on the outside, but WOW!

Beers of every shape and size. Cold, warm, 4packs, six packs, or get it by the individual bottle. From easy american beers to hard to find belgians, they have them all.

Did I mention...WOW. So I was so overloaded that I only ended up buying one bomber and one 12oz bottle. Will have to be more prepared the next time I go in.

If you get a is really something....

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Bottled the Porters!!

I bottled the porters yesterday. They looked and tasted good along the way. Just gotta wait a while to let them carbonate and then we'll have to have a tasting....

The only thing about this process that kinda stunk was that I had to clean and sanitize between each porter before bottling. And longer clean up in the end.

I kept a sample of each to review side by side after all were in the bottle. Hmmm. Yummy.

I had to keep them separate after bottling so I could label them correctly.

OK...maybe you don't need to see this....these are the dregs after racking the beer off.

It looks kinda bad, but hopefully that means all the good stuff is now in my beer.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Meet the Porter Family!!

Here they are....the Porter Family. Cherry, Raspberry, Chipotle, Coffee and Just.
I racked them off into one gallon carboys (aka jugs). They each started fermenting right after racking. They will bubble for a couple days then mellow.

Figure I'll bottle them next week. The final gravity on the regular porter ended up at 1.021. Makes the alcohol by volume 6.24%. All the numbers came together about where they were supposed to and it tasted good too.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Porter Update

The porter is still fermenting. It has slowed from the frothy start to a steady bubble.

Going to split it up in the secondary fermentation and try a few new additions.

More later.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Krausen is cool!

Definition: Noun - The foamy, rocky head of yeast that forms at the peak of fermentation.

Knew it was going on, but couldn't see it in the plastic fermenters I had used. Now....there it is....
Don't worry. After fermentation settles down, so does the krausen.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Porter Brew Day

A bunch of photos, but I'll add a bunch of comments this time. A lot of firsts for the this brew.....

Mini Mash this time. Here the grains ready to go in.... Chocolate malt and Black malt help give the porter it's great color.

This is the first brew I did on a an outside burner. It is also the first brew that I did a full boil. I boiled the full 5 gallons instead of a half boil with additional water in the fermenter.

This is the first mash I did. It is a mini mash in a "cooler". This is a 3 gallon cooler. Just enough for a small grain bill.
This is the first time I used my new chiller. I built it myself. This is the second edition. The first one was not as neat. I soldered the elbows. I used a "form" to tighten it up and it worked great. From boil to 70 degrees in 12 minutes!

New 7 gallon carboy for my primary fermenter. Can see all the action during fermentation. Nothing wrong with plastic, but it needs replacement every 6 batches or so. Glass...not so much.

Listening to The Brewing Network during the brew day.
A mini mash at 158 degrees.
The current brewhouse. New and old equipment.

The Robust Porter is a "bigger" beer. It needs extra sugar for alcohol production. Dark Brown Sugar in this case. It adds sucrose and flavor.

The new epoxy floor made it easy to clean up.

First brew. Added all the mash liquid, the dry malt , etc.

I have used liquid malt in all my previous beers. Dry malt this time. BIG boil to start off.
Hops bag in the boil.
Big boil.
One problem brewing in the gargage....BEES! I had one splash down, before I covered the pumpkin ale. Drink beer while you brew beer...that's what they say.
The chiller has to be in it goes for 15 minutes before the end.

A mini submersible and an ice bath chill the wort down in 12 minutes. Compared to most of an hour. It cools it fast, speeds the process and lets me pitch the yeast sooner. (plus it makes the beer clearer....cold break thing)

Heres the siphon into the carboy. A new process for me...I used to just poor it in....less sediment.
Yeasted up and aerated. Ready for the fermentation closet. Tasted good. Starting Gravity 1.069. Hope the new equipment pays off.... :)

Robust Porter in the Fermenter

I brewed a Robust Porter today. Lots of 1st times today... More later...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Nice day for a brewery trip!!!

We went on a quick trip to Winston-Salem yesterday. We visited Foothills Brewing and had a couple of really great beers. The Hefeweizen was good and the Port was stellar. We decided on a new growler of the Hefe.

On our way back we stopped at Natty Greene's in Greensboro. We had a two tasty beers. Their Autumnfest (a lager) and a winter ale called "Red Nose". They were great. Since we brought our growler with us, we decided on a growler of Autumnfest.

Great day trip....

Friday, November 6, 2009

What a difference a week makes - Cider a later test drive of the cider turned out good. Fallfest folks got to taste the cider with a bit more time and it was well received. More carbonation and more time on the yeast seems to have worked well with it.

And the Pumpkin Ale was popular too....

Beer / (cider) and friends.....nothing better.....

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Cider first drive

Well. Disappointing is the best thing I can come up with. I gave it an early try and ....hmmmmm....not great.

I will let it rest for a while and try it in a few weeks to see if it is aging it needs or....something else....

Witbier in the bottle

I bottled the Witbier this morning. Tasted good along the way. Will stow it for a few weeks. Maybe a Thanksgiving test drive....

Up next.....Hmmmm. A big New Years Beer? Maybe.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Witbier in Secondary

I moved the witbier out of the primary fermenter and put it in the secondary. Smelled and tasted good. Will bottle in a couple weeks.