Greatest project ever. The other day I went to Walmart and picked up a 5 gallon drink cooler for 20 bucks. Im not usually one to shop at Walmart, but... the deal was too awesome, and damn am I sick of mashing in a boil pot that loses heat constantly and having to strain my grains into multiple other pots. Its a mess and it sucks, so in this case, I don't care that I supported one of the most evil corporations ever.

Yesterday I went to Home Depot (and by "yesterday" I mean two trips yesterday and one final one today because I kept needing more parts) and picked up all the stuff I needed... a 1/2 inch ball valve, some washers, a 3/4 inch to 1/2 inch converter thing, and some neoprene washers. I removed the old valve from the cooler, screwed in my new parts, and voilĂ !

 New mash tun!!! I even added a little copper elbow on the inside that points down about 1/4 inch from the bottom.
Now all I have to do is float the mash and drain the wort out of the ball valve, through a mesh strainer directly into the boil pot. No more dumping grains all over the place and getting hot wort all over the counter. I am ECSTATIC about this!

A note for anyone that wants to do this... I highly recommend replacing ALL plastic pieces with metal equivalents. The main reason I kept running to the store is the new metal parts were stripping the plastic pieces, and it kept leaking. The cost of the whole rig? 40 bucks. Brew shops sell this for 80 bucks and up, so ya, Im pumped.



This weekend I went back to Hemet to hang with friends and family. Saturday I made plans with my buddy Kenny to help him with his first 5 gallon batch. We headed out to the brew store early, got all the ingredients for a Mack And Jacks clone. We were super pumped, ready to brew. We jumped back into the car and... o God... the battery was dead.

We ended up spending 4 hours in the parking lot sorting the whole thing out. It was a nightmare, but like most bad days, it ended great. We went back, drank lots of homebrew that I brought back on the plane, and brewed up Kenny's first batch of beer! Was a relatively smooth and painless process, and really made me want to get into doing bigger batches. One day...

I'm just really pumped that all my buddies enjoyed my homebrew and are getting into it themselves. Its one thing drink a great beer you bought, but a totally different thing to drink a great beer you made yourself.


The other day I was searching around for a good Blue Moon clone. What I found was this thread on Basically, someone posted there looking for a Blue Moon clone, and instead of getting a bunch of educated guesses from people that really didn't know, he got a response from a guy that actually helped brew it back in the day when they were originally creating it! Needless to say, I was PUMPED. I love Blue Moon, and I can only imagine how awesome it takes fresh from the brewery.

So anyways, I took all the info, plugged it into BrewSmith, and got this recipe:

1 lbs 3.8 oz Pale Malt (2 Row) Bel (3.0 SRM) Grain 50.00 %
15.8 oz Wheat Malt, Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 39.92 %
4.0 oz Oats, Flaked (1.0 SRM) Grain 10.08 %
0.29 oz Hallertauer Mittelfrueh [4.00 %] (90 min) Hops 17.4 IBU
0.05 oz Orange Peel, Sweet (Boil 5.0 min) Misc
0.24 oz Coriander Seed (Boil 10.0 min) Misc

Yeast- S05

I made it two days ago before I left for California, and last I checked it was happily bubbling away in my brew closet. Ill take a picture next week and post it, it looks great! I definitely recommend this to anyone, I have a feeling its going to be great. Make sure you do a protein rest when mashing though, all that wheat needs the extra time to make more food for the yeasies. 

Next week Im bottling my blackberry red ale, so hopefully I can give a good update sometime soon.


The second beer I ever made was a brown ale/Newcastle clone recipe. The color came out awesome, but it tasted like piss. I forced myself to drink it as punishment and as a deterent from ever making crappy beer ever again.

For the most part, it has worked out... but yesterday I took the TRUE test by trying my hand yet again at a brown ale. I created the recipe myself, here it is:

BeerSmith Recipe Printout -
Recipe: Beer1
Brewer: bryan
Asst Brewer:
Style: Southern English Brown Ale
TYPE: All Grain
Taste: (35.0)

Recipe Specifications
Batch Size: 1.25 gal     
Boil Size: 1.43 gal
Estimated OG: 1.035 SG
Estimated Color: 21.6 SRM
Estimated IBU: 13.1 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Amount        Item                                      Type         % or IBU     
1 lbs 1.6 oz  Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM)          Grain        69.18 %      
4.0 oz        Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM)     Grain        15.72 %      
1.6 oz        Honey Malt (25.0 SRM)                     Grain        6.29 %       
1.4 oz        Chocolate Malt (450.0 SRM)                Grain        5.66 %       
0.8 oz        Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM)              Grain        3.14 %       
0.10 oz       Brewer's Gold [8.00 %]  (60 min)          Hops         13.1 IBU     

At 1.035, its the lowest gravity beer I have made to date, and you know whats great about that? Less grains=LESS MONEY! This brew, including the Nottingham I bought, was only 5 bucks. Holler at your boy.

I have never used Honey Malt before, but I heard about it the other day and really wanted to try it out. Its supposed to be exceptionally sweet, and that's what I'm going for. Of all the brews I've made, I have never made one that is all sweet malty goodness, so here's to hoping it turns out that way.

Three cheers for beer!!!

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