Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Pumpkin Ale is in the bottle

I bottled the pumpkin ale this morning. Final Gravity was 1.014. That makes the alcohol by volume about 6.3. Tasted a sample before bottling. Looks, smells and tastes great. Hopefully a few weeks of aging will make it even better!

I bottled it into ez cap 1 liter bottles, fullers 1/2 liter bottles and a "Tap-a-draft" bottle that holds 6 liters. I did only one of those because it is my first time and wanted to give it a test drive.

Again, more sediment. There was a lot of sediment throughout the brewing process. Pumpkin and spices, etc. Clearer in the bottle now.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Craft Brewers - "I am" videos

Here are a couple videos worth viewing. The first is the keynote video at the craft brewers conference. The second is a similar video for homebrewers.
Both interesting, informative and inspiring. Take some time and watch both.


Monday, September 28, 2009

Back at the Brewery & Pumpkin Ale

I returned from my travels. "Hoppy" to be home! The pumpkin ale is comfortable in the aging room. Things look good. Will bottle Wed or Thursday.

Won't be ready for beerfest this weekend, but will make a good Harvestfest beer. (no, I don't know of a local harvestfest.) I guess we'll have to make one of our own!

Up next....???

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Check out the HOP Madness Video at Basic Brewing

This is a podcast from Basic Brewing. It shows some pretty cool shots of hops being harvested, piles of hops and fields. If you haven't listened or seen Basic Brewing's podcasts, James does a great job and you should take a look. He covers all kinds of home brewing topics.

Click on the link, then click play:

Sneak Peek at Ramblin' Amber

I brought a couple "sample" beers to Cooperstown. It has been 2 weeks since I bottled the amber. I tasted one last night. Not bad, nice color. Good carbonation. A bit early though. I will age it a couple more weeks to let it mellow a bit. It tasted good and was very drinkable, but I think it is early and will mature to be even better.

AND, I had a hefewiezen. Those beers are getting better and better as they age.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Historic Hophouse Tour

As the finale to Hopfest we took an all day tour of historic hophouses. Some in better shape than others. All very intersting and great to see. Sadly, we saw a few a long the way that are now partly or fully collapsed.
I have included a few photos here and posted many more at:

We also visited Foothill Hops. They gave us a tour and showed us how their equipment worked.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Hopfest 2009

Today was the main Hopfest fun and frolic. The all day event included several exhibits, talks and...well more food and beer. The Madison County Historical Society did a great job in putting everything together.

I found the historical hops exhibits, talks and videos both interesting and informative. The speakers were extremely knowledgeable on the subject. That Al Bullard knows his hops and hops architecture!

Along with all the informative stuff we also had a "Taste of Hops Food and Beer pairing". From Stout & Chocolate to Blackberry Wheat with Pear and Duck...all good to sample.

The Hops Queen 2009

Previous Queens and Kings!

After a visit to the American Homebrewers Tent and the Crowning of the Hops Queen it was on to the Beer Tent. With more than 40 beers to pick from it was quite an adventure....and hey, where did all the people come from? Suddenly, the crowd swelled. Hmmmm, couldn't have something to do with the 2:30pm beer tent opening..??? Good beer and a packed house.

Tomorrow. An all day hop house tour! Should be a great photo op and learning experience.

Hopfest Brew Dinner

So to start off HopFest 2009, we had a great dinner at The Copper Turret in Morrisville, NY. The chef prepared a nice four course paired brew dinner. Each course came with a beer sample to compliment the dish. Great food and great beers. My favorite? Why dessert of course. Both the Baked Chocolate Mousse and the lambic were delicious! From the sounds of it all 50 or so people really enjoyed their meals and the beverages.

Since I was solo I joined a nice group of folks from Colgate University.

Some people were hops enthausast and some were there for the beer and food. Still others were there simply for a nice night out with friends. (and the beer!)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Pumpkin Ale Aging

I finally moved the Pumpkin Ale to the Secondary Fermenter. There was an inch of sediment in the bottom. (I expected that, with all the pumpkin originally in suspension) Gravity was at 1015. Will test again right before bottling. That would make the Alcohol by Volume around 6.2.
Tasted it. Eary indications are good! I will let it age a couple weeks before bottling.
Packing for HopFest.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Pumpkin Ale update.

The ale is still fermenting slowly. I'll put it in the secondary tomorrow and let it age there for a couple weeks.

Advanced Beer Class - German and Czech Beer Styles

Tuesday night Advanced session is German and Czech Beer Styles. Looking forward to Lager and decoction mashing.... And the tastings...It's research, folks... I'll give feedback on Wednesday.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Hopfest & Fermentation Update

Pumpkin Ale is fermenting away. It started pretty quickly and went crazy yesterday and is now slowing a bit. Couple more days and I will rack to secondary. Recommend the move because it will have a lot of sediment in the primary. Probably move it on Monday.

Hopfest. I will be attending Hopfest in Madison County NY, next Friday thru Sunday. They have a nice plan for the weekend.

Brewers Dinner Friday night
Hopfest Saturday with food and beer pairings and later a brewery tasting.
Sunday they have scheduled a Hop Tour. It includes a number of Historic and current Hop stops.
Madison County Hop industry goes back to the mid 1800's.

It should be both fun and educational. I'll bring the camera... :)

Then...Pumpkinfest in Cooperstown the following weekend.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Pumpkin Ale in the Fermenter

No kit for this one. It is an adaptation of a Thomas Jefferson recipe. Frankly, a bit messy! And Sticky. But it smells good. It came up with a starting gravity of 1062.

It's Brew day again! - Pumpkin Ale

Baked the pumpkin and I am steeping it with the grains right now. that's funny.

More later...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Ramblin' Amber in the bottle

I bottled the amber tonight. Looked and tasted good.
11 - 1 liter bottles and 13 - 1/2 liter bottles. Looking forward to drinking it.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Brewery Ommegang - Cooperstown

Took the tour at Ommegang. Great Beer. As close to Belgium as you can get without leaving the country.

First Brew - Sneak Peak!

We did a tasting of the Hefeweizen. Good color, good carbonation, crisp taste. Not bad for a first brew. MMMMmmmmm.