Thursday, May 31, 2012
First, I had to prep my materials. This meant boiling a cup of water and adding priming sugar- check your recipe for how much.
It also meant cracking the lid off the fermentation bucket. I didn't use a secondary for this brew, so this was the first look I was getting at this beer since I pitched the yeast. I was a little nervous because I let primary go an extra week due to a business trip to Miami. I was pleasantly surprised with what I found.
Next up was to transfer to the bottling bucket and add the priming sugar solution. I took a video- the quality isn't great, but here's what it looks like.
Once in the brewing bucket, it's all up to the brewing wand and the bottle capper.
I use an old school Pepsi crate to house my bottles during the bottling process. I've tried to use old six pack holders and had pretty decent success until this batch. After bottling and capping a six pack this time, I picked it up only to have the now wet bottom fall out resulting in five broken full bottles... Moment of silence...
Thank you. Once all the bottles are filled and capped they can go into storage. I should have taken a video of the capping process. If I was more thoughtful and it wasn't a two hand job and I wasn't already receiving extra help from the kiddos I would have. Maybe next time I'll enlist some help. After cleaning up all my mess and wiping the tears away for my now wasted holiday 5 pack it's time to transport the newly bottle beer to the beer cellar, er basement, for storage until such a time that I can drink them. I typically like to give at least 2 weeks if I can't wait or am running low but prefer longer conditioning times so as to allow the flavor to fully develop. In most cases the longer you wait the better your results, but it's a fine line between waiting forever and just drinking the beer already. One of these days I'll get to a point where I've got enough home brews on hand that waiting won't be such a big deal. But I'm not there yet.
Make sense? Have questions? Leave a comment or send an email- I'll get back to you.
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
So here you go.
12 cups fresh strawberries
4 cups white sugar
2 tsp acid blend (I didn't have citric acid on hand and I figure this will get it close)
EC-1118 yeast (I've also used champagne yeast in this recipe nicely)
1. Cut the tops of the berries and place in a glass jar. Crush the strawberries with you hands. (Here's proof I did that).
2. Add the sugar, acid blend to the crock and mix together.
3. Pour ~1 gallon of boiling water (Should have mentioned you want to start some water boiling before cutting the strawberries).
4. Cool to less than 85F
5. Pitch yeast
That's as far as I've gotten so far. Here's the rest of the procedure, and I'll keep posting updates as we go.
6. Shake/stir daily for 7 days
7. Strain into a fermentation vessel.
8. Top up to 1 gallon
9. Rack after 30 days.
10. Rack again after 30 more.
11. Bottle, age, and enjoy
Here's where I'm at now. More to come.
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Monday, May 28, 2012
Done? Amen. While they're out, me and the little two got to play GeoTrax. If you don't know what GeoTrax is- you' haven't lived. Pre-school train sets have come a long way since I was a kid. This thing is phenomenal. It's a young boy's (and old man's) dream. You can plan and re-plan, build and re-build some fairly sophisticated train tracks with easy to snap together parts. Do yourself a favor and get some of these for your kids.
They've long since grown bored of that, and we've cleaned up the mess. So I've got a few minutes to blog. Just finished up a guest post for Redsneck. Look for that in the coming days. After bottling the cherry poppin' wheat yesterday, I've now got 3 empty fermentation vessels. What's next? I'm leaning toward a cream ale and probably about to start some Octoberfest.
Looks like it's time to play Little People. Bottoms up!
Sunday, May 27, 2012
Post pleas on my behalf in the comments section, but it's not looking good. She's saying now that I'm asking for more than half of what she has. Might need to make my own trip to the berry patch.
Thursday, May 24, 2012
I spent Monday night at the new Marlins Park (I'll be guest blogging about this over on Redsneck). Here's a sneak peek of a pic I took of the outside.
Heineken: which struck me as odd
Corona: which I suffered through for the first few innings
And a Dominican pilsner called Presidente.
I ponied up the $9 for the Presidente in the 4th inning because I couldn't bring myself to taste any more Corona. Turns out it's essentially the Dominican answer to something nondescript like MGD, except that it's owned by InBev which of course makes it part of the evil empire. So the search for craft beer was looking bleak after 2 days.
I spent Tuesday in meetings and prepping for my Wednesday morning talk. I did wander the streets of downtown dropping into a few shopping areas and stores in search of anything local or craft like. There wasn't even a Sam Adams to be had. I did find cases of Yuengling in a CVS but I can get that in Ohio now.
This brings us to Wednesday. After the meeting was over I was waiting on a shuttle with a coworker. She mentioned that she had a local Amber at the hotel bar the first night of the conference. I of course felt like a dumb ass for not checking the freaking hotel bar, but decided we still had time. We needed food anyway and had time to kill. We arrived at the bar to find out that they were out of this mysterious local amber, but we could have all the Presidente we could drink. How could I resist that. So I had 2 bottles of that with my blackened mahi sandwich- phenomenal meal by the way. If you find yourself at the Miami Hyatt Regency check out the bar and get the mahi.
So, all in all, the search for craft beer was a bust. Next year's meeting is in Boston. I do not expect to be shut out again.
To make it up to you, I'll give you a bonus song from a guy that left way before his time.
I'll fill you in on the beer situation in another post, but don't get too excited.
Saturday, May 19, 2012
Stay tuned for what I hope to be reports on local craft beers from South Beach over the next four days. We'll redefine the South Beach diet. Cheers!
Friday, May 18, 2012
With that in mind, what should I be drinking when I get there? Have any experience with craft brew in South Florida? Drop me an email. But remember, Be a man! Put your name on it!
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Uncle Ben's Vanilla Porter
This is a recipe that I’ve received many compliments on. Now, don’t let the name fool you, it’s just a hint of vanilla to give it the flavor and not over powering at all. Also, as I’ve found with many of my beers, it’s best not to get too excited and crack into them too early. They seem to be better after they age for closer to 2 months than 1.
This recipe is based on a Stovepipe Porter by Otter Creek Brewing (Middlebury, Vermont) with my own vanilla twist.
Heat 1 gallon of water to 160F and add:
12oz British Chocolate Malt
8oz Belgian Cara-Munich Malt
8oz US 60L Crystal Malt
4oz Roasted Barley
Remove the pot from heat and steep at 150F for 30 minutes. Strain the grain water into the pot. Sparge the grains with 1 gallon of 150F water. Bring the water back to a boil, remove from the heat and add:
4lb Alexander’s Pale Malt Extract Syrup
3.25 Muntons Light Dry Malt Extract
6oz Malto Dextrin
1oz Chinook @11.6 AA (bittering hop)
Add water until the total volume in the brew pot is 2.5 gallons. Boil for 45 minutes then add:
1/4oz Cascade (flavor hop)
1/4oz Willamette (flavor hop)
1tsp Irish Moss
Boil for 15 minutes. Remove the pot from the stove and chill the wort for 20 minutes. Strain the cooled wort into the primary fermenter and add cold water until you reach 5 1/8 gallons.
When the wort temp is below 70F pitch the yeast.
Wyeast 1098 British Ale (can also use Wyeast 1028 Londale Ale instead)
When siphoning into the secondary is when we add our vanilla. I use pure vanilla extract but it can also be done by soaking vanilla beans themselves. Use 3-4 cap fulls of the vanilla extract bottle (they are very small) Word of caution, this does not seem like much for a full 5 gallons, but this can easily be over-vanillaed.
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
That's right. Now it's time to ask... New Guy (read that in a Jeff Brantley voice). Have questions related to homebrew? Send them in. Have questions related to some other obscure topic? Send those too. I'll choose one and post a response weekly. You might even see your name in lights. Drop me an email with your question here.
Friday, May 11, 2012
Thursday, May 10, 2012
until after I'd moved. Still on my list to take a trip back. The new law the governor is touting today will make my trip back a better one. A law enacted in March will lower fees and red tape imposed on smaller, local breweries (including a lift of the ban on samples)that should give them a better shot at competing with the big boys. What's Ohio get out of this? The governor contends that Ohio farmers will see the benefit of the bill as they expect an increase in demand of Ohio grown speciality grains. High five to the legislature and the governor for a much needed spark to the brewing and farming industries in Ohio. If you're ever back in Bethel governor, stop out for a glass of New Guy's latest brew.
CHeck out the story here.
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Monday, May 7, 2012
Sunday, May 6, 2012
Along the way I attempted to get you a video of the addition of hops, but my giant brew kettle made a camera angle that wasn't too close and too foggy difficult to show. In the spirit of a new guy, I'll probably post that eventually, but right now my time is limited-- heading out to enjoy some of that Dead Guy shortly. All that being said, here's the final run down on the cherry wheat.
New Guy Cherry Poppin' Wheat 2012
1. Boil 3 gallons of clean water (adjust downward if you don't have a giant kettle like I do)
2. Remove from heat and add 6.6 lbs wheat liquid malt extract.
3. Return to boil.
4. Add 1 oz. German Perle hops (@ 8.0% alpha).
5. Boil 45 minutes
6. Add Irish moss and a 21 oz can of pie cherries (I've used Comstock) pureed.
7. Boil 15 more minutes.
8. Flame out and cool to 75 degrees.
9. Pitch Wyeast 3333 (German Wheat) smack pack.
I came in with an OG of 1.049, so I hit pretty close to where beer calculus says I should be (1.049) which means I'm aiming for somewhere around 4.7% ABV which for me is a pretty decent session beer. I'll post updates as time goes by. I'm expecting this one to be pretty delicious.
Saturday, May 5, 2012
Thursday, May 3, 2012
What should I brew next?
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Now for the reason I'm late, and not brewing. On the way home tonight I heard this awful grinding noise in my front brakes. Sounded just like metal to metal. After wrestling the thing home, I made a bee line for the parts store- in my other car- and quickly dropped 85 big ones on new pads and rotors. Three beers later my car would once again stop. Consequently, I really got my money out of those brake pads. Pictures coming later if I remember. That's a big win! Then it was on to the database systems final exam. That wasn't such a big win, but it did not lead to me brewing that cherry wheat I've been planning for the past 2 weeks. At any rate, there's your song and my excuses. Back at it tomorrow with hopefully more time to get this cherry wheat in a bucket so I can start planning my next brew.
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
6.6 lbs wheat malt syrup
1 oz Pearle hops (60 min)
1 tsp Irish moss (15 min)
21 oz can pie cherries (pureed) (15 min)
Wyeast 3333 German Wheat yeast smack pack