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.