Still on Schedule

I was able to IMG00075 keep on schedule by sneaking in a brew day just before May said Adios. I did a double brew day again, which is still just working out terrifically. Batch #1 was a 5.5G batch of a Light Rye beer, and batch #2 was a 10G batch of my “Sweet Mutt Honey Brown”.

One thing that helped my out immensely was my brand new immersion chiller. It cooled the wort down to pitching temperatures in no time flat. I’m running the water off into a 50G drum I have, and after I get a water pump set up, I’m going to be pumping that water onto my lawn through my sprinkler.

My Vienna Lager is really tasty now. I’ve been having some carbonation problems with it, but I haven’t minded sampling it repeatedly 🙂

I tried my Hefeweizen for the first time the other day, and it’s still pretty young. Tastes more like a wit bier right now, but I’m sure it’ll come around.

In June I’m scheduled to do my two Marine Corps Birthday brews, and I’m hoping to get those done pretty quickly so that I can maybe get a couple of unscheduled brews in as well. Although I have a decent quantity of beer laying around the house, there’s still very little that’s ready to drink. I’m hoping to rectify that 🙂

Until next time, keep brewing!

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Double Brew Day

IMG_4865If you’ve been keeping up with my homebrewing posts, you saw that I was running behind, and had to change my schedule a little bit.

I scheduled 2 brews for yesterday, figuring it would take less time than doing it individually. Boy was I right!

Not only did it save time, but having all the equipment already out made the second brew just fly by. I was even considering trying to do three in a row. 🙂

I did all of the mashing in the kitchen, heating that water on the stove in a couple of pots, with my mash tun on the kitchen table. Then I would carry the wort out into the garage with a bucket where my brew kettle was sitting on the propane burner.

After finishing Sparging, I didn’t have to sit around waiting for my kettle to come to a boil, I was busy in the kitchen getting ready for the next batch. I did have a hour and a half delay in between batches though, I had to roast some malt and I didn’t realize it was going to take as long as it did.

While the first batch finished boiling and was cooling, I was getting the second batch ready. While it was coming to a boil, I was racking the first batch.

All in all, it went really well. The delay worked in my favor, because there wasn’t a point where I could have used a second burner. I did however just pick up another burner, and as soon as I get a high pressure regulator for it, I’ll be good to go.

I’ll also be taking part in a group buy in Denver later on in the month, and I’ll have 100 lbs of malt on hand, I may have to throw even more extra brews in the schedule. We’ll see.

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Adjusted Brew Schedule Revision 2 and some updates

5WeekApfelwein If you didn’t find it on your own, I posted my 2010 Brew Schedule. I never mentioned it on the blog, so you would have had to notice the link at the top of the site.

If you didn’t check it out, don’t worry, because I had to make some changes to it. Here’s what I did:

1. Re-scheduled missed brews – I was late on both my 90 Shilling clone, and my Octoberfest. Those were supposed to be brewed in February and early March, but I skipped right over them, just too busy. I moved them to the first weekend in April.

2. Moved the Lambics – Since I’m going to need a big pile of fruit for those, I thought it made good sense to make them when that fruit was actually in season. It’s going to be like 6 to 18 months before I drink them anyway, so it’s not like I’m in a hurry.

3. Added a Hefeweizen in April, and a Rye beer in May – I don’t know why I didn’t have these on the schedule anyway, Hefeweizen is one of my favorites, and I’ve always wanted to make some rye beer. Not to mention it will give me something a little lighter to drink in the summer.

If you look at the schedule, April is going to be a busy month, I’m making 2 brews on one weekend, and a third the next weekend. July is pretty busy too, with 3 brews that month too. We have some relatives visiting us over the summer, so I wanted to have a good selection of beer available.

Believe it or not, I’m actually hoping to squeeze in some more brewdays, but we’ll see about that. I’m hoping to start on making a electric Hot Liquor Tun (HLT), which basically just heats and holds hot water, which would save me a  lot of time and propane. I hope that I’ll also be getting a wort chiller for father’s day. Both of these should cut some time off of my 8 hour brew days.

Next month I’ll be picking up a 50 pound sack or two of malt from a group buy I’m taking part of in Denver. Near the end of the year, I may have to start brewing a little extra in order to use that all up.

I’ve been having some trouble with my kegging setup, nothing real bad, but I still need to do some work on it. Of course, Pinewood Derby is coming up pretty quick, so I may be doing more of that over the weekends rather than hobby projects. I’ll find out tonight if the Vienna Lager I made is carbonated well enough.

Hope everyone has a good weekend, and thanks for reading!

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Beer – Now A Health food?

Beer PintI ran across a couple of articles today that were pretty interesting. According to this Forbes Article, drinking 1 – 2 beers daily can:

  1. 1. Cut Men’s risk of dying from a heart attack by 30 – 35%.
  2. 2. Raise your HDL (good cholesterol).
  3. 3. Make your blood cells less likely to clog an artery.
  4. 4. Help protect against type 2 diabetes.

I also ran across this article in wired citing a study that linked beer consumption with higher bone mineral density. Evidently Beer has a good deal of bio-available Silicon, which our body needs.

I’ve also seen research, but am too lazy to go look it up now, that shows that an active chemical in hops may be able to help stop prostate and breast cancer. Those studies are still in the early stages though.

Go Beer!

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Revvy’s Vienna Lager

Yesterday I brewed a 5 gallon batch of Revvy’s Vienna Lager. I had to make some substitutions though. My homebrew store only had 3 pounds of Vienna Malt, and I needed 8. One of the employees told me that Munich malt would taste the same, although it may make the beer darker.

I’m not really too concerned with the color, and I was going for a Negra Modella type beer, so dark was OK with me.

I ended up using the 3 pounds of Vienna they had, then 4 lbs of Dark Munich, and 1 LB of light Munich. All this is being fermented by some Munich lager yeast.

This is actually my first lager, and I’m hoping it turns out well. I had purchased a chest freezer on craig’s list, and a temperature controller. All this time I had been brewing in warm weather, and I’ve only recently realized that the challenge may no longer be keeping the wort cool, but rather keeping it warm. My garage has been a cool 40 degrees lately, which would be ok for the lagering stage, but could cause issues with the fermentation stage. (Lagers generally ferment around 50 – 55 degrees.

I left the carboy in my kitchen overnight, and had some nice activity going in the vapor lock when I woke up this morning. Then I moved it into the freezer (which isn’t plugged in) in the garage, and the temp quickly rose from 40 degrees to 50 degrees. I’m hoping that the fermentation activity and the mass of the liquid will keep the temp in the freezer in the 50’s.

This should be the first batch that I keg. I’ve got everything to keg now except for some tubing, and the Cornelius kegs.

I’m very much looking forward to kegging the beer, bottling is just a pain in the neck sometimes.

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