10 February 2011

The brewery is still a brewin' (sort of)

Thought I could get by w/o using a blow-off tube for an Oatmeal Stout.
I was wrong...

16 October 2010

Homegrown Hops: More information

 After I dried the hops in the oven (pilot light over night) I had 3.8 oz.

I still don't know what Sterling Hops taste like. Now I just need to think of a beer to put them in.

23 August 2010

Hop Harvest - Sterling

Sterling Hop Harvest
This beats the one cone from last year, the first year.

30 July 2010

Sour Cherry Flanders Red

1.) February 14, 2009 - I brewed my first batch of Flanders Red
2.) March 10, 2009 - I racked it to secondary
3.) April 15th, 2009 - I think I witnessed some funk
4.) May 5th, 2009 - I added some oak chips
5.) May 2nd, 2010 - I split the batch in two and added cherries to half
6.) May 16th, 2010 - I thought I observed a new pellicle / pelicle, but really I think it was just floaters from the Cherry
7.) July 29th, 2010 - I bottled the Cherry'ed Flanders Red (26 bottles)
     - FG: 1.008 > primed w/ 2 oz of table sugar for 2.2 volumes of CO2

The aroma immediataly struck me as Flanders Red.  I'll update when I taste it and hopefully will be able to report the same.

Through the looking glass: Left behind after bottling Cherry'ed FRed

14 July 2010

Old News New to Me: Patent for Bland Beer

U.S. Patent # 4,180,589
December 25th, 1979

1.) A method of preparing a lager beer having a mild, bland, less aromatic character which comprises placing beer wort in a fermentation vessel and fermenting the wort in said vessel ...

12 July 2010

Activated Wyeast Yeast 'Smack Pack'

My first Flanders red ale was the first time I used a Wyeast 'smack pack' or any liquid yeast for that matter.  It made me nervous that the 'smack pack' didn't inflate very much. I had purchased the yeast sooner than I should have and this may have been the reason for lack of inflation, also I might not have waited long enough for it to do its thing. I made web searches using phrases like "smack pack inflation", "wyeast activator swelling", etc but I couldn't find any images. I found text descriptions of the inflation disappointingly vague, e.g. "you'll know." While "you'll know" is a very factual statement it didn't help me much when I "didn't know." Below is an image of activated / swelled / inflated Wyeast activator 'smack pack' versus one that hasn't undergone the change. I would have found this useful.

3763 3278 wyeast smack pack inflation swelling
It's coming out of its shell.

 Note: the yeast on the left (Wyeast Lambic Blend 3278) is the same one I had trouble with before. It had been smacked at the same time (~ 4hours) as the one on the right (Wyeast Roeselare Ale Blend 3763). I didn't wait to see if inflation would occur and ended up mixing the two together. Unfortunately I have been too anxious to see if it is 'good' either time I have used it.

Update: So, um, maybe there is a video on the Wyeast site. I hope it wasn't there forerver.

16 May 2010

I drank this...

More like I will drink this.  This post's title is in reference to Infinite Jest a novel by David Foster Wallace.  There is a scene where a child eats some vile-looking mold and goes up to his mother and says something akin to "I ate this" whilst his face and mouth are covered in green.  Its funny to me, but I am not sure if its supposed to be funny.

So why I am talking about this novel? Well, when I see this stuff alive in my beer I think that it looks fantastic.  This is what I imagine the child in the book was thinking too.  How can I not consume this? I can only imagine that the lay person (or adult) would think that this looks like trouble. I like to think of the "trouble" as flavor crystals adding awesomeness to the beer. Now I just have to wait, again.

Some pictures:
pellicle pelicle
Camera One, Camera Two:
I think that's a pellicle (white) forming on the left- I hope the other gunk is from the cherry concentrate
On the right there is no visible activity

A little closer