Thursday, July 24, 2008

Winter Warmer - Update

Hi All,

Here is a short update on the Winter Warmer. I went to transfer to secondary last Saturday and it was still bubbling away. So I took a gravity reading and it was still rather high. I put the cover back on, refilled the airlock and gave it a few more days. On Wednesday night I checked to see the bubbling has stopped and it had so I took another gravity reading and it was right at the top end of the range so I was ready to transfer to secondary. I did the normal clean and sanitize routine and the nice dark sweet liquid went to its resting place for about the next month. It tasted really nice flat and unaged. Its going to be a long 4 month wait. I probably won't wait that long so I can see how it progresses but it should be at its best in that time range. Talk to you after bottling!!

Matt C.

Fermentation Friday July 2008

Hi All,

This months Fermentation Friday is titled "What one tip would you give a beginner homebrewer before they brew their first batch and why?" I think this is a perfect topic for me as I am still an a newbee in the art of brewing. I wish I had known my tip before I brewed for the first time (actually the second time you'll see why later.) Before I get into my tip I would like to thank John and Mike at Brew-Dudes for hosting this months session. As a newbee I am looking forward to reading all the tips that will come from all you experienced brewers out there.

My tip to beginning brewers is don't stress its highly likely you won't have any issues with the brewing process. You may not make the best beer ever the first time but you will get something that looks tastes and smells like beer.

I first tried brewing a few years back with a Mr Beer kit I got a garage sale. The box had been in the guys garage for 2 years, the yeast was expired, and the light malt looked more like mud. Lets just say it didn't work out so well. So I basically figured that beer making was too hard and wasn't worth the effort.

Fast forward to Nov. 07. I had gotten out of beer for a while so I didn't think much about beer for about three years until I went on my trip to Germany. After that it was all beer all the time. It was all I could think about. What better way to get totally into beer but to make it yourself. I was really leary about trying it again due to my failure the first time but I decided to give it another go. I had my family get me a decent beer kit and a good fresh ingredient kit. I also read every article and website I could find to get tips and tricks to being successfull. For the first kit I followed the directions to the T. I was meticulus (if thats the spelling) with cleaning and sanitizing and everything went perfectly. I ended up with a good beer after a few weeks. My next few brews I started trying new ingredients and different processes. I even made a few dumb mistakes like forgeting to add the hops for the first 1/2 hour of the boil (I just boiled for an addition 30 minutes) and adding the yeast at close to 100 degress (i realized my thermometer was broke a few hours later). Guess what all the beers turned out great.

In other words beer isn't as fragile as some people make it out to be. You can make some significant errors and still turn out a good brew. It may not be world class, it may not be what you are expecting but it will probably be good and its yours. It doesn't get better then that. To quote the man Charlie Papazian "Relax have a home brew". I know you can't yet cause you haven't brewed any so just grab your favorite craft brew (or brew some good coffee) both are close enough for the first brew session.

Thanks again Brew-Dudes for hosting. Talk to you all next month!!


Sunday, July 13, 2008

Brew Day - Winter Warmer

Hi All,

I just brewed a winter warmer this weekend. I know its not winter but this baby has to age for 4-6 months. In this time frame it will be ready by Thanksgiving. I tried the the pre-fermented wort and it tasted really good. I am looking forward to trying it after it ferments. The Basic recipe for the brew is as followed.

Winter Ale
6lbs Dark LME
3.3lbs Gold LME
4 oz. Carafa II specialty grains
8 oz. Munich specialty grains
8 oz. Cara Wheat specialty grains
4 oz. Chocolate Rye specialty grains
4 oz. Melanoidin specialty grains
½ tsp Caraway
1oz Northern Brewer Hops
1oz Hallertau Hops
Irish Moss
Wyeast German Ale #1007

30 Minute Specialty Grain Steep at 155

After first boil add 1/2 oz Northern Brewer hops for all 60 min
Add 1 oz Hallertau for last 30 min
Add 1/2 oz of Norther brewer for last 20 min
Add Irish Moss for last 15 min
Add 1/2 tsp Caraway for last 10 min

Strain Cooled Down Wort
Add Yeast

Ferment for 1 week
Secondary for 2-4 weeks
bottle or keg and let condition for 4-6 months

I will keep you updated on the Winter Warmer and if you are thinking about brewing a holiday beer you better start soon for proper conditioning.

Talk to you all later peace out!!


Friday, July 4, 2008

Session 17 - Drinking Anti-Seasonally

Hi all,

First I would like to thank Rob at Pfiff!! for hosting this months session. Second I am going to announce to the world (or atleast the beer community) my new blog "A World of Brews". What better way to kick off the first post on a new blog then a first friday event the session. I haven't finished the design yet but if I don't start sometime I probably will never be done. Without further ado her is this months thoughts on Drinking Anti-Seasonally!!

I never really thought about this topic before this year. Do I have a seasonal preferences in beer? I first had a discussion with a few people in my running club and they all said they loved IPA's in the summer and Imperial Stouts in the winter. I said I didn't really care I was more interested in trying different styles and brands of craft brews. So far this summer. I have had everything from Barleywines to Imperial Stouts. When I get done with the lawn or coming back from the store I look whats in my fridge and I think about what sounds good or looks interesting. I will say that most of the time summer or winter it is a hoppy IPA or DIPA. That is my favorite style and every season is IPA time. I also do enjoy other "summer time" beers all year around. This includes Kolsch, Hefeweizen, and Pilzners.

I guess I am a rebel doing my own thing. Kind of like a chunky James Dean. ;-) I guess after really thinking about it I do lean towards lighter beers in the summer but I am not sure its because of the heat but it may be who knows. I say don't think seasons think good beer and drink what sounds good to you.

Peace out until next month!!! Thanks again Rob!!

Matt C.

PS. I may someday get to moving over my beer posts from my first blog Matts Simple Life but until then if you are interested please go to the site and read them from there!

Here it the update at Rob's at Pfiff!! Enjoy!