Thursday, February 18, 2010

American Wheat Update

American wheat turned out well. I've been drinking it for almost a week, but I am trying to make it last. Since we left the hops in during the primary fermentation we ended up with a distinctly more prominent hops flavor. I feel that it has made what would have otherwise been a pretty boring beer into a more complex and interesting beer. I would compare it to full bodied I.P.A.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

"Mystery Batch" update

So far no visible signs of fermentation :( I have adjusted the temperature in my fermentation room (aka. my furnace room) as I fear it may have been a tad chilly. Hopefully I'll have some bubble by the morning. I had the same problem last time I fermented at my house. Perhaps it is time to reconsider the temperature at which I have my thermostat locked in... Anyway, I think I'll start posting pics of my beers once they go into secondary fermentation.

Update 02-15-2010
-Had to rig up a blow-off tube to keep up with the rate of fermentation.

Friday, February 12, 2010

BEER #3 "Mystery Batch"

I didn't want to have to wait so long between the time when my current batch will be ready and my next batch will be ready so I started another batch today. I was feeling adventurous so I cobbled together my own recipe from ingredients that a friend who no longer brews had given me. I was aiming for a Belgian Pale Ale, but I at this point have no clue what I will end up with. Another friend who brews came over for about an hours during the beginning of the brew process, but I pretty much made this one on my own. I started by grinding my own specialty grains in a burr grinder that I borrowed from work. I planned to use 1# of Crystal Malt, but ended up using almost a pound and a half. I used a mixture of light and dark liquid malts because that is what I had on hand and they were free. The key ingredient for this recipe is my choice of yeast. I went with a yeast typically used in Belgian Whites. I am pretty excited to see how this one turns out. Once again, I will update as I progress through the brewing process.

Beer #2 American Wheat Ale

We started beer number two on January 23rd. It was also made from a kit. This beer only took about two and half hours to brew due to its lack of specialty grains and only one hops addition. Almost too simple even for a beginner such as myself, I found the extreme simplicity of making this beer almost disappointing. We decided to transfer this beer to a secondary fermentor after the initial fermentation period, which lasted 12 days. We are hoping to bottle on Thursday the 18th. I will update this post after it is ready to drinking.

Beer #1 English Brown Ale

First beer was an English Brown Ale. A buddy of mine and I made this from a pretty nice kit. I was happy to find that in addition to the extracts it also contained some specialty grains for steeping. From my minimal amount of research I have deduced that this will give the beer more and better flavor than the extracts alone. We strained this beer after brewing to remove the trub from the wort and planned on a 4-6 day fermentation period. Over the course of the next several days I found that fermentation had stalled due to my furnace blowing a breaker. Once fermentation started we allowed for a seven day fermentation period after which we immediately bottled. One week after bottling we opened our first bottles. The beer had a wonderful depth of flavor, although it had not finished carbonation and the sugar levels were a little high leading to a distinct caramel flavor accompanying the expected smokey flavor. By the time the recommended three weeks had passed of bottling time had passed the I found the beer to have a pronounced hoppiness that complimented the smokey flavor very well. While this beer was not necessarily an outstanding example of what a homebrew can be, it was definitely worth the time and effort, and a very good go for my first attempt. My only real complaint was a slight yeasty flavor which I attributed to no transferring the beer to a secondary fermenter for clarification before bottling.


I've decided to take my blog in a new direction and therefore have given it a complete renovation. My new aims for this are basically less complaining, and more talking about my new hobby... brewing beer. Also possible blurbs about how I bike year round in state that has winter for nine months out of the year. Hooray for new directions.