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Brewing

Brew Day – Bye Week Porter

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So, the Buffalo Bills are my team.  It is the bye week.  Let’s brew a beer during the normal time of the Bills Game!  Hence, the Bye Week Porter is born.

 

I got the 007 starter up and running in prep of this.   Gotta love getting some happy yeast while using the StirStarter.  I now overbuild my starters and split off some to save for the next starter.  This beer has Chocolate Malt and Dark Crystal Malt as a steeping setup.

During this brewing, I also busted out two new toys.  The GEEKHOM Digital Thermometer and some Big Time BBQ Silicone Gloves.  These two new tools are great.  The thermometer allows me to keep my mash nice and steady, and not too high.  The gloves are great, as you can actually dip your hands right into your wort to clean out the inside of LME containers!

 

I have a few projects upcoming that will use this beer.  I plan on beer brining my turkey, and may even try some baking with it!  Oh yeah….and drink some too!

 

 

 

 

 

I finally took a selfie during brewing!

 

Things to ponder:

  • I hit my target gravity RIGHT on the button.  If it ferments well, it should be right about 6%
  • I like my new toys.
  • Porters are tasty, and it has been a while since I brewed one!
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Homebrewing Reviews

Carbonation Keg Lid – Brewing Hardware Review

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I was fortunate enough to score a Carbonation Keg Lid from the Weekend Brewer.  I decided that using it on a small 2.5 gallon keg was a good choice.  This is one of those tools that should be in every homebrewer’s inventory. I got this to work alongside of my new kegerator setup. To test it out, I used it on a small batch of SMaSHing Nuggets 2. I figured I would be able to truly compare my bottled beer to the kegged beer.


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Brewing Homebrew Talk

Speed Cider Update – Split Testing Into 4 Types

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So my next chapter of the speed cider has begun.  But not before I let the speed cider go for a little longer then I expected…though I am glad I did.  The cider kept perking away, so I let it.  The T-58 cleared up from the cloudy cider to almost the same color!  Amazing!  Now it was time to split the two batches in half, and have a little fun with it!

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Brewing Homebrew Talk

Brew Day Update – PSA BAG YOUR HOPS

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We interupt this primary fermentation for the following Public Service Announcement….  BAG YOUR HOPS!

Well, I am at about 36 hours since pitching my yeast starter into my maple rye imperial stout.  I have had issues.  At 6 hours post pitching, I removed the airlock parts and attached a blow-off tube to a growler.  at 18 hours, my wife texted me and told me the growler had been put into a pot since it was bubbling over.  At 19 hours, she noted that some beer was dripping out of the top of the fermenter – it popped the screw top off the big mouth bubbler enough to let some through.  Not a ton of cleanup, but enough.

At 30 hours, I noticed the bubbling had stopped in the growler.  I found out that all those loose hops have been pushed above the krausen level and made basically a big, wet, sticky stopper between the CO2 and the blow-off tube….hence stopping lots of escaping gas from that outlet.  Poke a hole in said layer and the bubbling resumed.

Takeaways from this?  DON’T BE LAZY and not CONTAIN YOUR HOPS.  Use a muslin bag, a reusable bag, or a hop spider.  Don’t just put a few ounces of whole hops in….it may make for more work for you in the long run.

We now return to our regularly scheduled fermentation.


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Brewing Homebrewing

Brew Day – Brewing A Maple Rye Imperial Stout

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Well, with the long weekend, I had to get a new brew in.  Brewing day is always a fun day!  I started my yeast starter, some White Labs 007 that I had done a overbuild starter of before.  That stuff cranked up without a problem.  Then I had to make the final decisions on just what I was going to use for my maple rye imperial stout.  I had some maple syrup that a buddy made, and he told me I had to brew with it…so I accepted the challenge. Continue reading

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Brewing Brewing Equipment Homebrewing Reviews

Brew Day Update: Steamin’ Kalifornia, My New 5 Gallon Keg, and a Carbonation Cap

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So I had to do some brewing.  The bug to brew a new batch was there after a trip out to Boston MA where I tasted QUITE a few great beers at four different breweries!  So I decided that I needed to fill my new 5 gallon keg with a batch of a style I had not tried before.  I figured something that was not crazy, but a good session like beer would be the best choice.  A California Common or Steam beer would be a great hang out and drink style.  Thus, Steamin’ Kalifornia was born.  I also had a few new toys, a 5 gallon keg and a carbonation cap.

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Drinking a great beer from Trillium while brewing this batch!

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Homebrewing

Homebrew Brined Hoppy Pickles

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Lately, I have been quite busy…watering my garden.  We are not getting a lot of rain this year, so I am out with the hose, making sure my hops are well hydrated.  Since I water so much, the cucumbers have been going like mad.  I have a son who loves raw cucumbers, but he can’t keep up.  So, let’s try canning for the first time.  Let’s try pickles for the first time.  Let’s make sure we include homegrown hops and homebrew in the brine.

 

So I started to research to find a recipe that fulfilled a few things for me:

  1. Uses my homegrown cucumbers.
  2. Uses some homebrew
  3. Incorporates some homegrown hops
  4. Possibly incorporate some homegrown hot peppers.

 

I wasn’t sure if I could get all those parts in.

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Brewing Equipment Homebrewing Reviews

StirStarter Review – A Great Upgrade For Your Homebrewing

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An important step in homebrewing is learning how to make a yeast starter.  The easiest way to get it going the right way, is to use a stir plate.  Enter the StirStarter.   Before I get into the review of the StirStarter, I think it is good to look at my history with starters.

 

This is a step that I really didn’t get into at the beginning of my brewing.  More often than not, I just used dry yeast….sprinkle and go.  Occassionaly, I used liquid yeast, but just did a smack pack…smack it and go.  

 

Well, then tried my first yeast starter.  I started with a 2 liter flask, and used an airlock.  DON’T USE AN AIRLOCK! ( The airlock does just that….it stops oxygen from getting in there, which is needed to promote good yeast growth).   I would walk by and give a little shake.  I got some propagation, but not nearly enough.  After finding out not to use an airlock, the next time, I used sanitized foil on the top of the flask.  That is the better choice.  Now I was moving forward and learning some stuff along the way….and that is what we should do, right?

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