Super secret beer update

Well… After crunching the numbers and doing the figuring.  I have completely worked out the recipe. I have decided to make the first batch with an extract instead of all grain. It’s just an easy way to get right to the taste portion instead of having to tweak my grain bill. I want to focus on taste and color first. The hard part was attempting to figure out which extract to use and how much of what type to use.
       I settled on a liquid and dry combination. The numbers and gravity are all within range and the color will be nice and dark.  I will focus with this first batch on how well I can make the flavors work together. I plan on brewing this secret blend up hopefully this weekend and with any luck, will have good news to share with you folks.

Brew update

A short update on the pilsner and pale ale going on. The bubbling has just about subsided on my pale ale.  It is smelling wonderful. Bottling shall commence on friday.
      The pilsner is also chugging along. I wanted to be fast about checking gravity. After breaking through the head to check gravity, I got a good look at the bright clear beer sitting and begging. It’s got some more time to go but man…. I can hardly wait.

Back in the saddle again.

Lasts nights reflection during my brew process brought something to my attention.  I, although disappointed,  won’t quit. I can’t. It’s become an addiction to brew.

Last night’s beer brew went off without a hitch. Even after pouring five gallons down the drain. Well… almost without a hitch.  I did drop about half my hops at one point, but other than that it went as planned. As you can see, by the video at the top, brew is bubbling up nicely and picking up steam. By mid June it will be bottled and enjoyed. I am looking forward to a cool pale ale during the warm summer days.

But enough of that. The real purpose of this post is to put my latest plan out there.  I am planning and designing a wort chiller.  I will post the plans as soon as it’s built and tested. I have figured on some simple materials and with luck this will work out nicely. Until then….

Rebuilding (Either my confidence or beer supply)

So, here I sit.  Waiting for the bittering  hops to hit the wall before adding my aroma hops.  At this point as I sit here, sipping on a red stripe Jamaican  lager, a simple thought crosses my mind. As a kid, when you fall down, you should jump up and go again.  I’m not gonna lose a minute after the catastrophe that was my last batch of beer.

Back at it this soon and still pondering what to use in my secret beer as far as yeast goes.  I am seemingly enjoying myself at the current moment.  The beer smells great and life couldn’t be much better.

failed attempt to brew

It is with a heavy heart I must confess… my first batch of all grain is toast… I should have took a bit more of a look in ingredients and yeast choice.  A simple misunderstanding to this little project from what it should have been to a bitter tasting mess.

A few degrees means life or death in most brewing settings and boy, was I way off. It was never cold enough. Perhaps if I would have had my ex sit in the room with it,  the icy chill from where her heart should have been would have done it.   But alas, I have moved upward and forward. All there is left to do is pour this failed experiment down the drain, clean up, refresh my head and start over.

Beer bomb at home.

I would like to start off with this. I am not, by any means an expert at the craft of home brewing.  In fact, I am rather a noob to the whole experience.  I have found it to be an outlet, and a way to find peace, in my otherwise crazy day to day.  What started as a simple hobby has turned into an obsession.  And now, as I have gained valuable knowledge, it has grown into a passion. 

I would like to relive with you, my very first brew experience.   Like most, I had very basic equipment and nothing more than simple instructions to go by.  I started with a simple extract “beer kit”. I figured it would be the easiest way to start this adventure. After cruising the interwebs, I finally settled on a chocolate oatmeal stout. It sounded good and being a fan of dark beers, I jumped on it. 

The brewing process was simple and straight forward. Steep this, add this, and then this, and finally add that. Beginners luck held true and my hot break was caught before it decided to boil over.  Not being fully prepared all I had was a five gallon plastic water jug to use as a fermentor. Now I know alot of folks use these, but I didn’t consider one simple fact. 5 gallons of liquid in a five gallon container doesn’t leave much room for expansion. Couple that with one piece airlock that is known to clog and you have the makings of a huge mess.

Now, let me be clear, a bit of a mess may be expected from time to time.  But not an explosion of beer and foam on this grand of a scale.  I was fortunate enough to hear the loud pop… and went into the craft room to investigate. The mayhem that ensued was one of sheer pandemonium.   Beer and foam covered everything from the White carpet to the ceiling was a horrid sight of beer and foam.  Thank goodness my woman was sound asleep and didn’t witness the horror. After a three hour clean up, I discovered my airlock and plug were missing. Upon retrieval, I instantly saw what had caused this major beerspolsion.   The airlock had clogged solid…

After that, the whole process was smooth sailing, and the final product was one any first time brewer would have been proud of. From then on, I was hooked.

I will continue to chronicle my adventures in this new territory and keep everyone up to date.