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.
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?
Product Review – The BeerBox
This BeerBox review should be labeled WHY I GOT IT AND WHY YOU SHOULDN’T. I know, that is a harsh statement to start off a product review. The concept – GREAT. The actual product – great at first, but then downhill from there.
I fell in love with the BeerBox the first time I saw the ad. It was perfect. A great way to get into the idea of larger scale “bottling” of my homebrew, without the need for a kegerator. The Beer Box was a perfect size. Small enough to fit into the bottom of my beer and wine fridge, large enough to bring to small gatherings, such as tailgating at a Buffalo Bills games or holiday parties. The detachable CO2 injector was set up so it fit neatly into the design. These guys thought of everything….or so I thought. You can check out the whole product here: http://www.brewingtools.com/ Continue reading