So, my friends have been grumbling that I don’t write often enough. Looking at the last entry (May!) they seem to be right. I’ve not done a lot of brewing due to the very warm summer we’ve had (and the propensity boiling 6 gallons of water has for heating up a 14×72 steel roofed trailer), and have been busy with work and life in general. But tonight I’m brewing, so I should at least say something!
Continue reading A long time coming…
I’ve been pretty neglectful in keeping progress updated, so I thought I’d drop a note to say that we’ve got several new recipes onhand. The first (and most dear to my heart) is the first beer we brewed at the trailer, a clone of Victory’s Hop Devil Ale. You may be asking why we’d go back and do the clone over again, so let me explain. I love Victory Hop Devil. Some people love Jesus, some people love ice cream, others even love Hello Kitty, me, I love Victory’s Hop Devil Ale. One of the most amazing and delectable beers ever made on this planet. I’m stuck in Iowa though (hey, prohibition ended like 8 decades ago guys!), so no Victory for me. 🙁 As well, the first time around, we seriously shortbrewed this delectable concoction, ending with only 3+ gallons instead of the full five.
Continue reading New recipes on-hand
Here at the trailer we are reviled for keeping things cold. Our friends and guests are often aghast at the “comfort” levels we maintain. We keep the thermostat set for a temperature range of 62-65 throughout the winter, mostly because we prefer the cooler temperatures. This has an interesting side affect of keeping some rooms cooler than others (well, this and the fact that many of the vents are blocked off). In fact, the bathroom closet maintains an average temperature of 45 degrees throughout the winter! Obviously this is an opportunity, one that we can’t ignore!
Continue reading Lagers, Kegs, and drinking.
A few weeks back I decided to brew a “Mocha Porter”, obviously an attempt on my part to duplicate a wonderful concoction from the great guys at Rogue. I started with the Robust Porter partial-mash recipe kit from Austin Homebrew and decided to tweak it. Along came 2 ounces of Scharffen-Berger Cacao nibs and 8 ounces of a locally roasted Hawaii Kauai Reserve coffee.
Continue reading Brewing with coffee
Last weekend we decided it would be kind of fun to make a “hard” cider. Given the overall simplicity of brewing a cider, we charged headlong into it. We already had some dry champagne yeast, and the ‘rick decided to to pick up some Apple Cider from the god-fearing grocery store and go to town. I cautioned that we should bring the entire mess to a boil before attempting to ferment, but like all good ideas I have the ‘rick choose to ignore me. (Sidenote, don’t the “intellectually superior” piss you off sometimes?) At any rate, five gallons of Apple Cider were dumped into the the carboy, along with the dry yeast and some spices we boiled into a pan of water, and we waited.
Continue reading Boiling is always a good thing…
We had a busy weekend here at the trailer, brewing three 5 gallon batches of beer. We also experimented with propagating the yeast cultures prior to primary fermentation, with explosive results. But we’ll get to that shortly. For this weekends brew cycle we did an Altbier, a Double IPA, and a Hoppy Ale (not sure how much difference we’ll notice between the last two, but it’ll be fun trying to find one!). The yeast starters were used on the Double IPA and the Altbier. We determined that because of some slow fermentation starts previously with high-gravity beers, and older yeast cultures, that it would be a good idea to try and get a good jump start on the process.
Continue reading Blow-Off Tubes, and why bigger is better