Tuesday, May 25, 2010

One Beers Trub is Another Batch's Treasure

After moving King Harvest to secondary, I pondered what to do with the leftover watermelon. I decided to go stout. I crushed up some country malt sample packets given to me by a local brewer, and just added some DME for ease. Good ol' Zeus to bitter, and some NZ hallertau for aroma plus about a gallon and a half of the dregs from KH. I decided to add some brett lambicus just to see what happens. I'm not sure if I've ever had a watermelon stout, or a brett infected stout, or a sour watermelon beer at all. A mere 3 hours after I brewed it there was an explosion! Of course I was out so not only did I miss it, but it made an extra large mess.

(notice the lid to the airlock in the bottom right hand corner )

Thursday, May 20, 2010

King Harvest II

The O.G. was 1.062 before I added any watermelon, and I didn't take the time to measure the watermelon puree's gravity. It tastes like last year's batch, but a little stronger. I'll save the dregs from primary, and I'm going to add a wheat mash to it, and a sour yeast of some sort(probably brett).

Friday, May 14, 2010

Thursday, May 13, 2010

King Harvest

Last year at spring time I was really excited about fruit beers, because I started brewing in the winter of 2008, and there was no more fruit to be had. One of my first(and favorites) was the watermelon wheat. A regular beer with a 50/50 wheat/barley base, and a shitload of watermelon. Last years batch had a 20lb watermelon(without the rind of course) pureed and added in primary. This year all I could find were 2 15lb watermelons, so I decided to just go for it. I also tried to weigh all the rind that I cut off, but my scale does not go that high. I added the puree about 3 days after I initially pitched the yeast, because I kept getting home after 10:00 pm every day, and I'm sure my neighbors wouldn't appreciate my blender whirring for a half an hour while they're trying to sleep. It might work out for the best, seeing as how the yeast will have a bit of a head start.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Welcome Home!

(This is all the "shake" from a 5lb. bag of Zeus hops. Mmmmmmm)

When I said my posts would be sporadic I lied. I meant non-existent. Between moving, not brewing, and losing my camera it was hard to come up with anything worthwhile. Now that I'm pretty much fully established it's going to be trial by fire. I'm upstairs now, which is VERY different from my last house. I could be as loud as I want, and make the biggest fucking mess, and no one would care in my old place. That is definitely not the case now. I plan on hooking EVERYTHING up to quick disconnects, and streamlining my whole process. I try to re-use, and/or save as much water as possible, but now I'm trying to store any extra water in kegs, carboys, and buckets. A pump, and a plate chiller would be the shit. I brewed my first batch of beer in my new place, and things went pretty smoothly.

I had plans to do a beef jerky stout for my inaugural experiment, but my new roommate works at Elephants Delicatessen, and brought me home one of the best fucking pieces of pie I've ever had(I'm sure the drunk munchies had nothing to do with it). All I could think of was a pint of stout to go with my dessert. Being the ambitious brewer I am, I did another double batch to split in two. They will both live an identical lifestyle until it's time to keg. One will condition with jerky, and the other will mellow on top of an entire marionberry pie.

My next project is to brew a 6gal. batch with the private collection Wyeast"Leuven" Yeast, and split it up into 1gal. jugs, and add different bacterias and yeast. Claussenii, delbrucki, lambicus, and bruxellensis.

The pilot brewery is back in operation.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Oregon Trail

I'll be moving over the next two weeks or so, and my posts will be even more sporadic than ever. I've decided not to brew for a minute, seeing as moving 50 gallons of beer in glass carboys is a hell of a task. If I'm not brewing then I don't have much to talk about.

Aaron died of cholera.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


I walked into a local establishment to order some food, and of course check the beer selection. They had a bottle of each variety(other than draft beer) proudly displayed on a shelf above the register. One of the selections was black butte porter from deschutes. The particular bottle on display appeared really old, and I asked if I could purchase it. The server said she would ask the owner. I went back with a fresh bottle of B.B.P. today, and the owner was kind enough to swap bottles with me. The only stipulation was that I did not imbibe the aforementioned beverage. I agreed, but of course went home to refrigerate my trophy. I asked how old she thought the beer was, and she said she'd been in business for 7 years, and it'd been on display the whole time. When I opened the beer it smelled as fresh as ever. Quite thin, but twice as chocolatey as any pint of B.B.P. I've ever had. All in all it was a very good beer. This re-enforces my trust in beer. I've done some mean things to beer, and she's still so good to me. Old hops, culturing yeast from 2 year old smack packs, and dry yeast from '93. It's harder to make a bad beer than a good beer in my opinion. That bottle spent 7 years on a shelf with no love? How could that be? There's a beer out there for everyone, and I love this one.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Don't knock it till' you "DRY" it.

Working at a home-brew store, I'm around for a lot of debates about techniques, ingredients, and practices in home-brewing. Plastic vs. glass, iodophor vs. star-san, and of course liquid vs. dry yeast.

White Labs has a platinum strain of yeast called the "Australian Ale", and from what I can tell it's just coopers dry yeast in liquid form. So I decided to find out. I've brewed with the coopers dry before so I know what characteristics it has. My favorite is the bready flavor, and mouth-feel it leaves behind. I brewed a double batch(10gal.) of a standard pale, and added the coopers dry to one, and the coopers wet to the other. 12 hours after inoculating both batches the results were exactly what I expected. The dry yeast was already going, and had some krausen, where as the liquid was doing basically nothing. Things progressed as expected. The dry went very fast and finished quickly. The liquid took a few more days to finish out. The only thing uniquely different was the krausen they produced. The dry was thick, rocky, and almost filmy. The liquid had a beautiful white layer of foam. In secondary the dry took a few extra days to clear up, but the liquid yeast dropped out of suspension almost overnight. I just kegged them both, so of course I had to try them. The liquid had more of a hop bite, and was a bit lighter in body. The dry had a more subdued bitterness, and definitely more of the bready flavor. In a blind taste test everyone picked the beer brewed with the dry yeast, and I couldn't even tell much of a difference between them myself. We'll see what happens once they've conditioned for a bit. I'm not really sure what we're all supposed to learn from this, but in summation, BREW MORE BEER!!!




Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Friday, April 2, 2010

Mini Mead Experiments

I love sugar.
I love yeast.
Honey fermented with a Belgian yeast has been haunting me for months now, and my love for sour beer endures.

#1 This is my first run at anything fermented entirely with Brett, so I'm not sure what to expect, especially with honey as the only fermentable sugar.

#2 I'm getting a lot of banana flavor from the farmhouse yeast, and I love the low F.G.'s too. Ferocious little mother fuckers.

This Hef is B-A-N-A-N-A-S

Nice rotten red bananas, and plantains burnt to perfection in a cup of wort, and sprinkled with palm sugar.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

14.89 First Taste

So it's finally been a month since I bottled my first mini-sour. It was 10 times better than I expected it to be. Nicely carbonated, very clean and clear, not too bitter(I was worried), and it finally has that distinctive brett character. I want to start waiting 3 months between bottles, but I don't think that's gonna happen.

Told Ya' Once Black Eye.P.A. IV

This is batch four of one of my favorite beers to brew, and drink. It was initially modeled after Cascade Brewing's fresh hop beer, but is constantly evolving. It's dark and slightly malty, but has a definite dominant bitterness. Black Patent, rye, honey, acid, crystal, peated, and flaked barley are some of the malts that make up this crazy mash. Dark cherry juice, tart red cherries, and red raspberries go right into primary, and oak chips in secondary. I did this batch with mostly summit hops, so we'll see what happens there.

Basic Gluten Free Beer

Round 2 with gluten free beer. I fucked the first one up by going crazy and doing 9 lbs of sorghum, and 3 lbs of honey. More like a "sorghum wine" I suppose. This one might be a little too bitter, but I can always keg it with some cherry juice or somethin'. Down with celiac sobriety!!!

Friday, March 19, 2010


Kinda the same as before. Wheat base, honey, acid malt, and a bit o' rye. Mostly simcoe for bittering, and some NZ pacifica hops for aroma. I forgot to add any coriander, but I think it'll turn out for the better. I might salt it later once it's calmed down, and I can taste it.