Tonight has thus far been an awesome night. Decorated the Christmas tree with my wife and Buster boy while sipping coffee and Jameson. I decided to chill my newly ready-to-drink American IPA 2. I had low expectations for it, and for good reason (or what I thought were good reasons). When I brewed it, I accidentally added around a half gallon of not sanitized tap water. Also, I was unable to take any gravity readings, since I broke the last two that I owned. ALSO, I threw every hop I had left in the fridge into it. I was leaving for tour in a few days and thought what the hey, I may as well use these all up. I was afraid it would come out watery and too hoppy, or at least have a clashing hop profile since I didn't take much care in choosing the hops that went into it.

So, I cracked it open about 20 minutes ago.


Great balance of hop bitterness and malty sweetness. Great looking head that lasts for days. And to top it all off, its the clearest beer I have brewed to date. I am for sure going to try and brew this again. I just need to figure out how much water I added at the end and figure out how to adjust for that... which I don't mind, because learning about beer is fun.

So the moral of the story is this: No matter what you think you did to screw up your beer, RELAX, DON'T WORRY, HAVE A HOMEBREW! Chances are it will turn out just fine.


Brew day... Arrogant Bastard with an apple twist!

Woke up, this morning, took the dog on a walk, ate some food and started brewing! Today was supposed to be an Arrogant Bastard clone, with this recipe:

Recipe Specifications
Batch Size: 1.25 gal     
Boil Size: 1.43 gal
Estimated OG: 1.083 SG
Estimated Color: 19.1 SRM
Estimated IBU: 60.0 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Amount        Item                                      Type         % or IBU     
3 lbs 7.2 oz  Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM)            Grain        90.31 %      
5.9 oz        Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (120.0 SRM)    Grain        9.69 %       
0.20 oz       Chinook [13.00 %]  (60 min)               Hops         29.3 IBU     
0.20 oz       Chinook [13.00 %]  (45 min)               Hops         26.9 IBU     
0.30 oz       Chinook [13.00 %]  (2 min)                Hops         3.7 IBU      

Mash Schedule: Temperature Mash, 1 Step, Medium Body
Total Grain Weight: 3.82 lb
Temperature Mash, 1 Step, Medium Body
Step Time     Name               Description                         Step Temp    
60 min        Saccharification   Add 4.78 qt of water at 165.9 F     154.0 F      
10 min        Mash Out           Heat to 168.0 F over 10 min         168.0 F      

The only problem is I had to substitute Nugget for Chinook. Its supposed to be a good replacement, but in my opinion its not as piny as Chinook, so that's a bit of a bummer. Im sure it will turn out great though! Also, since its technically not really a clone anymore, I decided to get fancy and add a little apple smack to it.

All in all it was an extremely smooth brew day. Had an almost perfect mash, only had to add heat once. I really have to get myself a cooler to mash in. At the end of the boil, I steeped 2 diced Granny Smith apples!

Left them in for 20 minutes and removed them right before the ice bath. It cooled down quick, then I just stuck it in a jug and pitched in some S-33.

Easy peasy. Has not started bubbling yet, but Im sure it will soon enough. My first brew in three weeks and damn it felt good! Next up will be a blackberry red ale, hopefully within the next couple o days.

Also, watch Out Of The Wild. Awesome survival show.

The Great Post-Tour Bottling Extravaganza

I might sound like a whiner to people who consistently bottle 5 gallons of  beer, but I have to say, after the last few days I really don't want to bottle another batch of beer again. I filled up ALL of my jugs before I left, and when I came back all 6 were ready to hit the bottle. I went ahead and did it over a few days and ended up with this:

Life is gonna be great in a few weeks...

An army of beer! All of them with approximately the same... uh... due date. 35ish love children of water, hops and grain, all going to be ready right after Thanksgiving. Perfect timing, since I won't feel obligated to bring over a bunch to any sort of Thanksgiving get-together that I might be attending (sorry Joe).

They all taste awesome so far. The only downside to all of this is the one batch that is now lonely in the closet (ran out of bottles):
This will be my 2nd Mack And Jacks clone that I got a little experimental with. Used Maris Otter instead of American pale malt, and Windsor yeast instead of the Fermentis American ale yeast. I'm interested to see how this one tastes compared to the first clone. This one is noticeably darker, but that's all I can tell for now.

I don't think Ill have to worry about this little guy being alone for long... as I have 5 clean jugs now awaiting fresh brews!
One more thing I wanted to mention today... I have noticed quite a difference in taste between my pop-top bottles and my Grolsch swing-top bottles. It seems that the Grolsch bottles for some reason always have a distinctive taste that I don't get in my regular pop-tops. I am chilling one of each right now, and hopefully tonight Ill do a proper taste test so I can know for sure wtf is going on with that.



Tour was crazy. Worked my ass off setting up other people's drums and guitars, but now I'm home drinking my beers and all is well. Just bottled my American IPA, and it is DELICIOUS. I also am going to bottle probably 5 more gallons of beer by Monday, so I'll have plenty of updates from that.

More good news! My buddy James from That Band With The Fat Kids is getting into homebrewing as well, and I just gave him a bunch of tips this morning. Hopefully  his stuff turns out as awesome as mine!

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