[ Comments Off ] Posted on 02.18.12 under Uncategorized

Made some beer today.Now that I don’t do Facebook so much any more, here’s my outlet.

Four vessels fermenting.

1. IPA. Made to 1.060, with mild kettle hops, planning on absurd dry hopping, and pushing it through to keg in a week, or maybe two. Fermenting pretty warm with US05. Mashed LOW. Lower than intended.
2. Lite Beer. Five gallons in kettle brewed strong (1.080 – corn sugar FTW) and diluted going into fermenters. Wort:water ratio of 2.5:1.5 yields eight gallons at 1.050. Made with lager yeast. Trying the two dry strains they had at the LHBS (S23 and W34/70, I think). Fermenting together at 50°F. Not ideal for ether, but in the range for both. This accounts for two fermenters.
3. Apfelwein. Of course. Apple juice + corn sugar + yeast = too easy to not do when you have buckets of sanitizer on hand. Last batch I made (kegged today) was OG 1.050, made with no corn sugar. Came out real dry, and very tart, and definitely different than the corn sugar version. The one I made today, I put 3# corn sugar in there. Too much, on reflection. But weighing corn sugar is so tedious, and they sell it in 3# bags. OG 1.080 should equate to a sweet strong brew that takes a while to be ready. I anticipate making another batch while this one is still working through, in a few weeks, when I’m likely to brew again. Wifey asked for a GF beer. I’ll have to brew again soon if that will fit in with my current pipeline woes. I think she’ll support my plans.

In the mean time, I have approximately 8 Barley Wines left and a freshly tapped keg of 5% apfelwein to make it the next month or so until today’s stuff is ready. I pulled out some old stuff from stores to try to avoid retail alcohol. We’ll see how the master plan works.


[ Comments Off ] Posted on 02.16.12 under Uncategorized

About to brew again this weekend. I am very glad it’s predicted to be nearly 50 degrees out. Warm enough to spend several hours exposed to the elements, including mostly wind and water. And just in time, really. I kicked two kegs the past two nights with one more about to gasp its last spurt of foamy horror. At least I have a recently fermented keg of apfelwein chilling in the fermentation fridge ready to report to active duty when the time comes. And the time is drawing near.

I think that between that apfel and the last gallon of Barley Wine I can last two weeks until the IPA is in the keg. But if not, there’s always Dubra or Busch Light to fill the gap. Sometimes it is about quality, and sometimes it is not.

Favorite Styles

[ Comments Off ] Posted on 02.07.12 under Uncategorized

I typically tend to want to brew a lot of IPA. So I sometimes get to thinking that this might be wrong. Like I should want a seasonal variety, including stouts, barley wines, etc. So around this time of year I get to brewing those things. Then I find myself without IPA and feeling like I should have kept making IPA.

I think I’m about to realize that I really just want IPA and lite beer with a little bit of pizzazz here and there, but mainly pizzazz-free, with good old stable IPA and lite beer.

In this light, I plan my next brew day. Guess what, IPA and lite beer! Five gallons of IPA, made to about 6%, 60 IBU, tons of dry hops. Eight gallons of lite beer, made to about 4%, 8 IBU, and fermented cold. I’ll be testing the dry lager yeasts, to see which I prefer.

Lately I’ve been obsessing over Magic: The Gathering. My 6YO son is into it big time, and the game holds a tremendous amount of nostalgia for me. It’s been easy for me to dive right back in (especially given the massive amount of cards I have, which I am glad to have not sold).

The point is that I see a parallel. Rather than make ten decks that are all OK, I’d rather have a few that kick ass. Same with the beer. Rather than make a bunch of recipes that are mostly just OK, I want to focus on a few main ones and make those 0.25 oz adjustments needed to make them perfect.

Sure it might be fun to play a G/R Common Weenie deck every now and then, but nothing compares to dominating with B/R Vampires to win in five turns. Or in beery terms, making a decent stout is good, but a knock-your-socks-off IPA is really the goal.