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Category Archives: Brewing

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.


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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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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Brewing Homebrewing

Bottling Day – Cookies and Cream Stout Homebrew

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So today bottled my first attempt at my  Cookies and Cream Stout homebrew.  Ringing in at 5.6%, it is a little more than a session stout.  It bottled up at a nice rich dark color.  There is a strong chocolate smell and taste for the “cookie”.  I am hoping the “cream”, vanilla beans soaked in a little whiskey, comes through after carbonation and chilling.

Remember, I was tasked to make this for the Making Dad Show.  In order to keep the title of “Official Brewmaster”, I gotta hit this one just right.  A few thoughts about this one.  Continue reading

Brewing Homebrewing

Brewing Outdoors

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So part of the fun of homebrewing is being an advocate for the craft.  Sharing the process, sharing the results, and sharing knowledge is always important.  My buddy Sully has enjoyed many of my homebrews across the years.  I love getting Sully’s opinions on my beers.  Sully has always stated he wanted to try brewing.  He has gotten some kits in the past, but never brewed them.  On a “normal” poker night, when we didn’t have poker, Sully and I decided to get our brew on.  Not only was it a first time for him, but it was also MY first time brewing in the great outdoors, aka Sully’s patio. Continue reading

Brewing Homebrewing

Brew Day – Making Dad Show Brewing Challenge

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Back in the Fall, I was on the Making Dad With Chip and Zach.  After they tasted my Too Hot Mama, Zach quickly fired out a challenge for my next beer, a cookies and cream beer.  Challenge accepted.  For my first attempt at this challenge, I chose to whip up a “quick” 3 gallon batch.  I did this while NOT watching the State of the Union Address, but rather made my own State of the BREWnion address.  While steeping the grains, I watched a little Moonshiners on DVR and drank some tasty suds. Continue reading

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Homebrewing Update: Lt. Topper and RISing Mounds

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Today is a brew “maintenance” day.  It is these days during homebrewing that make you wish you could speed up time just a bit to get to the final product.  Patience, patience, patience.

I added the first batch of hops for dry hopping the Lt. Topper, the first beer in my CLONE WARS series.  It is a Heady Topper clone.  I will let this first dry hopping of just short of 4 ounces of hops sit for a few days before I transfer it to the secondary and add even more hops.   This beer smells wonderful.  I have a few cans of Heady Topper off to the side to be able to do a comparison.

Today is also the first of two coconut toasting days.  Today I am toasting 14 ounces of coconut to go into RISing Mounds, a chocolate coconut Russian Imperial stout.  I will also make a new addition of some more Royal Dutch Chocolate and some Mayan cacao powder.  This will all be at the bottom of the 6 gallon glass carboy when I rack it over shortly.  I may have to sample a little wort during the transfer for both gravity sake, and taste.  Oh yeah, and I will also add two vanilla beans soaking in bourbon….a little extra tastiness!

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