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Ask The Brewmaster Homebrew Talk

Clarifying Or Not To Clarify – That Is The Question

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So one of the things that I have been thinking about lately with brewing is things that clarify your homebrew.  With a major explosion on the interwebs today based on two articles: 

  1. BRÜ’S VIEWS W/ JOHN WIBLE | ON THE HAZY BEER CONTROVERSY

  2. New England/Vermont-style IPA Is/Not a Thing

I decided it was time to think about this again.  I think that really most beers “look the part” in beauty pageants. 

I have some Irish moss in my supplies.  I have used it before.  Did I notice a difference?  Can’t say that I did.  Why?  Well, my brewing has been an interesting journey.  I really never made the same brew more than once.  There was one brew that I made 7 times, but the thing was, I never used a clarifying agent  with it.  So let’s dive into what it does and how it can help. Continue reading

Homebrewing

Transferring Commandant Pliny and Harvesting Yeast

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Well, yesterday was a first for me.  I harvested my first yeast.  I did a transfer of my wort from the primary to the secondary for the Commandant Pliny, a Pliny the Elder clone.  When I did this, I also dry hopped it for the first time toIMG_20160325_162328983 get it closer to bottling.  A few things to see here – there a HUGE amount of trub at the bottom due to all that hops.  Unfortunately I will not get a full batch due to this.

I also harvested my first yeast ever.  I wIMG_20160325_162331946atched a lot of videos and read articles to get myself ready.  Here is the process:

 

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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

Ask The Brewmaster Homebrew Talk

Interview With Chris From Homebrewfinds.com

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So Chris from HOMEBREWFINDS.COM agreed to be my first interviewee.  I found his site a while ago, and find myself visiting quite often.  I think it is cool to find out more about the “man behind the curtain”.

 

How long have you been homebrewing?  What got you into it?

I started brewing in 2007. I had been interested in craft beer for a few years and watched a Modern Marvels on the subject of brewing. There was a segment in that show on homebrewing featuring Drew Beechum. It looked like something I wanted to try… so I did. I did a lot of research and decided on a Coopers setup. I thought that one purchase was all I’d ever need. 🙂

What was your biggest homebrewing mistake or let down? Why?

My biggest mistake would have to be the time I dropped a full 6.5 gallon glass carboy down 2 or 3 steps. There’s nothing quite like a hours long brew day that results in – no beer, glass shards in your feet, loss of equipment and a massive mess that you have to clean up with bleeding feet. That incident prompted me to (mostly) stop using glass fermenters. That’s one of the reasons I like my Speidel Fermenter so much. I do still use glass fermenters, but only for aging sour beers. Continue reading

Ask The Brewmaster Brewing Equipment

FastFerment Conical Fermenter Setup and Overview

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For Christmas, I got the FastFerment Conical Fermenter as well as a few of the accessories.  So I decided to do a quick setup and overview of it as my first video done for the website.  I will do a full review of it after I use it on an upcoming brew.

A few things to note:

  1.  I needed another quarter turn of the main valve assembly, and I found this out during my water test.
  2.  I forgot the carrying strap that I got as well.
  3. I need to boost my audio next time  (sorry)
  4. I should put away the kids’ games before videoing…..I got excited and blasted ahead without cleaning.

 

Ask The Brewmaster Homebrew Talk

Interview Series – Homebrewer Style!

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One of the best ways to learn about something is get information from people who have been doing it longer, have had more mentors, and have more information available to them.  So, I figured why not check in with some homebrewers on the internet, as well as homebrewers from my local area who have made the jump to commercial brewing.  Thus, the birth of the Homebrewer Interview Series!

As a starting point, I contacted Chris from HOMEBREWFINDS.COM.  You will notice that I mentioned Chris’s site in a past post and I find myself checking it often.  I reached out to Chris to see if he would be willing to chat with me, or type some answers to a few probing questions.  He agreed, so here we go!  The interview will be posted soon!

 

I am working on getting some more interviews set up….so stay tuned!

Brewing Homebrewing

Brew Day – Making Dad Show Brewing Challenge

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adventuresinhomebrewing.beer

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