So it has been a busy place around here. I have a bunch of posts to catch up on. Today, I made a new treat. I made some chocolate chip cookies with spent grains. These are much different from the last bunch of beer cookies that I made. I was working with a 1 gallon kit that I was reviewing, and it had some grains. I just got the latest edition of Zymurgy, and there was a recipe right near the front….so I had to make some spent grain cookies!
After my review of the Bouncer beer inline filter, a comment popped in from a reader. I noticed a cool website address attached to it…so I decided to investigate a little bit. I got totally hooked! Here was a guy who is in my state, and doing a hopyard! So, I decided to contact him. Jeff Stannard of Stone Hard Hopyard was kind enough to respond. His website, starterhops.com is all about hops. So let’s get to know him a bit!
Hey Jeff – Thanks for agreeing to an interview!
So a little ways back, I was able to test out and review the Bouncer inline beer filter. I thought it would be a great time to pick the brains of the guys behind the product that is starting to take the homebrew community by storm! There has been some great feedback about the Bouncer, and people are chomping at the bit to get the Mac Daddy, which is my favorite of the two! Without further interruption, here is an insight with one of the Bouncer’s creators, Doug Kline.
Doug, thanks for agreeing to a quick interview about you and the Bouncer!
Thanks. Would I like to drone on about my favorite hobby? Sure! I’m more of the brewer (of the two creators), so I’m going to respond.
Happy 2017 Homebrewers! Last year, I set out on my New Beers Resolutions. I figured it was time to revisit them, a year later and see how I am doing. I think it is also a good time to set some new resolutions! It is always to set goals, even in our homebrewing, to help elevate ourselves to a higher level.
Let’s look at what I resolved to do last year, and examine how I did with it!
So holiday time rolls around, and parties are a plenty. I had to come up with a new luncheon treat to bring to work, and I wanted to use my own homebrew in it somehow. After some research I found this recipe. Perfect! It uses beer, chocolate chips, bacon (everybody loves bacon, right?!?), and cayenne pepper. As with most things, I had to do some modifications to make it my own and work with what I had at home, so here is what I came up with.
So for the second year in a row, I home brew beer brined a turkey. I learned a few things from last year, and put them towards my quest of a GREAT turkey dinner. This year I made some major improvements in the finished product, but I am still working on it. The bacon homebrew brined turkey experiment of 2016 was off and running!
Have you ever paid attention to any of those” suggested posts” on Facebook? More often than not, I just swing right by. One did catch my attention though, it was for the Bouncer. I am glad I took the time to really check it out, and contact Tim and Doug about what looked to be a really cool product. Homebrewing is filled with gadgets, and guys find really cool ways to to fix problems we run into. The Bouncer and the Bouncer MD solve all sorts of floating issues! It is two different beer inline filters that accomplish great things! So here is my product review of the Bouncer and Bouncer MD home brew beer inline filters. If you want the cliff notes, the answer is yes….go buy it….you won’t be disappointed. Oh wait, you want more details? Read those below.
So I harvested a full five gallon bucket of wet hops from my garden, and I mean a FULL bucket. With the harvesting all that Nugget hops, it was time to make another SMaSH beer. This time I decided to make two variants, one with light malt and one with dark malt. Last year, I made SMaSHing Nuggets. This year, I modified the recipe a little bit, and created SMaSHing Nuggets 2.
When I went out and harvested, I barely got much off the plant from the inside parts of the two bines. I recklessly went through and pulled out handfuls of whole hops, from all over the bines. In less than an hour I had filled a 5 gallon bucket and still left a bunch of the plants. So, I had pounds of hops to work with. Wet hop beers are a great thing to make, as the fresh flavors cannot be beat. So I started into SMaSHing Nuggets 2 just a few hours after the harvest.
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!
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!
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.