TOM LEEDY AND HIS AMAZING PIPES

GO HERE AND LOOK AT THESE PIPES. Even if you don't smoke, you have to appreciate these as works of art. I just ordered one from him yesterday... hes making one custom for me. Amazing dude to work with, even sent me pictures of the block of briar that will eventually be my new awesome (huge, apparently) pipe. 


I can't wait.

THE PIPELINE IS FULL

Feels good. 3 fermenters and 3 kegs all full of beer. I ended having to dump a terrible stout that I had in one of my kegs... first time Ive ever had to do that. O well, I guess there is a first time for everything. Ill never use Windsor yeast again.

Im happy about this mainly because now I will have to kill a keg before I can keg another. I'm hoping it will force me to let my beers age longer then I have been lately. Ever since Ive gotten a kegging system I have been pretty much racking from the primary once I hit my TG straight to the keg, force carbing, and drinking. The beer has been great, don't get me wrong, but in the back of my mind I always know that it could be BETTER if I had given a couple more weeks. And it takes one dude a long time to drink 3 gallons of beer... especially when this particular dude has 3 different beers to choose from, so it looks like I won't be actually brewing another batch for at least a couple weeks.

Next project I believe will be a box for all my beers to go in, with pimp lookin taps and everything. Hopefully Ill get started on that this week!

THE NON-ALCOHOLIC BEER EXPERIMENT

Recently I was thinking about my buddy Kenny and an idea he had. He was talking about how there basically is no good non-alcoholic beer, and he was right... the choice is pretty much  O'Doul's, and even if you find another kind it will definitely just be a bad lager. I was in the mood to experiment, so I grabbed the gallon of winter warmer I had in the fridge and decided to give it a go.


From my research I found that its a pretty simple process (in theory) to remove the alcohol from beer... you boil it. Alcohol evaporates at a lower temperature than water (~165 I think) so all you really do is heat up the beer, and when the temperature starts to rise up to 170-180, you know the alcohol is gone. Long story short, thats exactly what I did!
After the alcohol was gone, the temperature shot up VERY fast. I had a boil over. Behold the aftermath.

Before I started my brain kind of told me that I should add some hops at the end, which I did. Huge mistake. I didn't consider that the hops would not be boiling, so I pretty much just made hop tea in beer. It tasted terrible.
And even though it tasted bad, I choked down 2 pints without the slightest hint of a buzz, so... SUCCESS! Im gonna try this again sometime, and next time I won't add the extra hops.

I think it would be cool when I start my brewery to have a good non-alcoholic beer. Its a whole group of people that:

A. Cant for one reason or another enjoy alcohol
B. STILL LIKE BEER

And the sad thing is, they have no access to the awesomeness that is craft beers! Yes, I think this will work, I just have to, you know, get good at it first.

THREE CHEERS FOR KEN DAWG!







video
My buddy Kenny got a fridge and made his first lager! Im extremely jealous, but at least I have this pimpin video to drool over. Check out that nasty krausen on top, thats insane.

I love helping my friends. Every time they tell me a new story or crack open a new brew, its like Im there drinking it with them. Hurray for friends helping friends!

HAPPY B-DAY, COMMUNITY RECORDS!

Today is the 3rd birthday of my band's label, COMMUNITY RECORDS! I know this seems like it has nothing to do with beer, but I have drank more beer with these guys in 2 summers than I have cumulatively in my life. I love them and everything they do, and if you have never heard of them (which judging from the people that read, you most likely have lolz), please go to their site and at least check them out and what they stand for.


Best label, best dudes, my best friends. 3 MORE YEARS! 3 MORE YEARS!

GODISGOOD

First, here is a reason why God really is good. MY BUSTER MAN!
Too cute.

Second, here is the beautiful grossness that makes beer the wonderful thing that it is. Back in the day, when no one knew how beer fermented and turned into a foamy, bubbling brew, it was called Godisgood. Nowadays, we just call it yeast, and here is my latest harvest of Nottingham.
Almost a full pint! I could have filled the thing up, but the other jar where the good yeast was separating form the trub still had some junk on the bottom that I didn't want, so I just dumped it out along with about an inches worth of yeast. No prob, this jar alone is probably enough for 3 batches, and each of those batches can be re-harvested more than 10 times before the yeast starts to mutate and I have to buy another packet!

I did this last night in a hurry and didn't have time to take pictures and blog about it, but Ill be kegging a tripel this week so Ill do a step by step then.

Happy Valentine's day!

MASH TUN UPGRADES

Ever since I built my converted cooler MT, I have had sparging problems. I was using a mesh paint straining bag as my false bottom, and it was just too much trouble to get it to sit high enough in the MT. I was always burning myself with sparging water, spilling wort, getting stuck sparges... nightmare brews.


So a few brews back I decided to make a couple upgrades. I went to a thrift store and found the kind of false bottom hat usually goes in a steamer, but it had the same size of holes people put in the false bottoms built for home brewing. 1 dollar and an hour or so of snipping later, voila!

DREIMAISEHVERFAHREN!!!!!!!!!!!

Epically epic brew day today. First, I got a great deal on a new fermenter and brew paddle... 12 bucks for both!

THEN I totally rocked a Dreimaisehverfahren! What, you don't know what that means? Its a German technique also known to most beer geeks as a German Three-Mash Decoction.

HOT HOP COFFEE

Good news, hop heads! I discovered (for myself, as Im sure its been done a million times over) a way to get your hop fix in the morning without the risk of being labeled as an alcoholic! I call it, HOFFEE. Its like coffee, but with a smack of hops to it! Do you love hops? Do you sometimes have fantasies of waking up to a nice fresh double IPA? If so, read on, because this is for you!


AN ALL GRAIN BREWER'S FIRST EXTRACT BREW


Yesterday was a great day. I had an awesome day at work, got to go hang out with a couple of cute kids, and noticed a home brew shop was right on the way home. In light of this, I figured it would be as good a day as any to do my first extract brew! I stopped by the home brew shop and put together an ESB from the top of my brain, using only a calculator, my knowledge of malts and hops and a piece of paper. When I got home though, I did end up swiping BierMuncher of Homebrewtalk.com's hop schedule from his Red Hook Clone (but I did use different hops). Anyway, here is what I came up with:


Amount Item Type % or IBU
4 lbs 3.2 oz Pale Liquid Extract (8.0 SRM) Extract 86.60 %
8.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 30L (30.0 SRM) Grain 10.31 %
2.4 oz Special B Malt (180.0 SRM) Grain 3.09 %
0.31 oz Fuggles [6.00 %] (60 min) Hops 9.6 IBU
0.31 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.70 %] (30 min) Hops 7.8 IBU
0.31 oz Fuggles [6.00 %] (20 min) Hops 6.4 IBU
0.31 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.70 %] (5 min) Hops 2.0 IBU

Beer Profile  
Est Original Gravity: 1.057 SG
Measured Original Gravity: 1.055 SG Est Final Gravity: 1.015 SG Measured Final Gravity: ? Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 5.55 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 3.25 % Bitterness: 25.8 IBU Calories: 128 cal/pint Est Color: 13.6 SRM Color:


I used Nottingham dry yeast. Overall the brew went great. I really enjoyed the simplicity of the process, it took less than half the time of an all grain brew and I had way less of a mess to clean up afterwards. If it tastes good, I'm going to continue to brew them every once in a while for easy beers or on days that I really just don't feel like doing a full fledged mash. Anyways, heres a step by step on how to brew a batch of brewski's from extract!

EXTRACT BREWING

I just kinda realized I have never done an extract brew. Everyone starts at extract, but from my first batch to now Ive always been all grain. Its like I skipped a step, and now I recommended all grain to everyone without even really knowing the pros and cons of extract brewing first hand!

I think I might do one sometime soon and post a how-to. Also, now that I can hit my target gravities and mash temps perfectly, I might even continue to brew with extracts for the simpler styles that don't have a lot of specialty grains and the big ass beers that take a million pounds of malt. If I like how it tastes, why should I continue to make it harder on myself by fussing with grains and sparging and all that jazz?

Yes, thats what Ill do. Sometime between today and Friday, I will make my first extract brew!

BREWERY NAMES.

I have been giving a lot of thought to brewery names lately. I think my favorite thus far is Dead Stuff. It sounds weird,  but I would name all my beers after things/ideas/places that are dead. It works really well when you get creative...

-Democracy Dubbel
-Chivalry IPA
-Ska LOL
-Pilsner! (since the US of A ruined the style for the most part)
-MLK Stout (lol, Andrew's idea.)
- The Roman Empire Ale

Good times. Makes naming beer fun, I think I found the winner.

GREAT NEWS EVERYBODY

So my buddy Andrew and I have been brewing together lately. He just got into it, and last night we cracked open the 2nd brew we ever made together. Holy crap is it awesome. Its a milk coffee stout, and I really can't believe how great it turned out. If anyone gets a chance, give it a try! Here's the recipe:


Type: All Grain
Date: 1/8/2011
Batch Size: 5.00 gal
Brewer: bryan Boil Size: 5.72 gal Asst Brewer: Boil Time: 60 min Equipment: My Equipment Taste Rating(out of 50): 35.0 Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 Taste Notes:  
Ingredients
Amount Item Type % or IBU
9 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) UK (3.0 SRM) Grain 59.02 %
1 lbs 8.0 oz Black (Patent) Malt (500.0 SRM) Grain 9.84 %
1 lbs 4.8 oz Roasted Barley (300.0 SRM) Grain 8.52 %
1 lbs 3.2 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L (40.0 SRM) Grain 7.87 %
8.0 oz Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) Grain 3.28 %
8.0 oz Chocolate Malt (450.0 SRM) Grain 3.28 %
1.00 oz Fuggles [4.50 %] (60 min) Hops 13.1 IBU
1.00 oz Fuggles [4.50 %] (30 min) Hops 10.0 IBU
1.00 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] (5 min) Hops 2.9 IBU
1 lbs 4.0 oz Milk Sugar (Lactose) (0.0 SRM) Sugar 8.20 %

 
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.079 SG
Color
We used S-33 yeast and steeped ground coffee in the boil. Hurray for good brew!

DEAR WINDSOR YEAST.

You suck and I hate you. You taste bad, smell bad, and suck at doing your  job. I will never use you again.

Love,

BRYAN

THE BEST THING TO COME HOME TO...

Is an awesomely violent, healthy fermentation! Here's a video of my latest brew doing its thing. Its funny... if I ever saw that without knowing what it was, I wouldn't drink it in a million years. But now when I look at it, I can see past the grossness and think those great words coined by Homer Simpson... "mmm, beer." Godisgood is good.


HOW TO KEG BEER

Today I kegged my cinnamon stout. The brewing itself was a nightmare that I believe was sent upon me by the devil himself. I could feel a legion of his minions laughing crazily at my misfortune as I:

-Mashed at over 160ish due to a broken thermometer
-Dealt with the worst stuck sparge EVER
-Spilled wort all over the floor
-Got drunk out of sheer frustration and don't really know how long I boiled for

SOMEHOW I hit my target gravity, 1.070. But after two weeks and re-pitching, today when I took my reading it was just under 1.030... OMG UNFERMENTABLES! It will be sweeter than expected, but I don't think thats a bad thing.

Anywho, here is my guide on how to keg and force carbonate beer!

HURRAY FOR BREW DAY

Today was a great day. Not only because it was brew day, but because I had made up my mind before I started that I would blog about it. I have not done so in quite a while, and I miss it. So, when I got home from the brew shop, I made sure the camera had plenty of fresh batteries and took a picture of my next beer-to-be!

Its basically going to be a dark, strongish winter ale. The last time I brewed this it turned out fantastic... big body, malty without being too syrupy, with a nice mild but definitely present hop profile that was just great. Loved it. So today I wanted to brew a 3 gallon batch. I went to the brew shop, and to my dismay they were fresh out of Vienna malt, which just so happens to be the BASE OF THE RECIPE. Bah. Anyway, my eyes wandered over to the Munich, and I thought to myself, "self, you always wanted to try a Munich base. Maybe the beer gods are telling you something." So, long story even longer, I went with the Munich!

I drove home, pet the Buster, and fired up the strike water.

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