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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

Ask The Brewmaster Brewing Equipment Homebrew Talk

Why Use A Conical Fermenter?

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In the realm of brewing, there are just a few equipment upgrades that really make a big difference in your brewing process.  The big thing?  A conical fermenter.  When you visit a brewery of any commercial scale, they are not using a bucket brewing system like most home brewers.  They don’t have carboys lined up.  They have large shiny conical fermenters.  These pieces of equipment for homebrewers are like vision of sugar plums dancing in children’s heads.

So on my wishlist for the holidays this year was a conical fermenter.  I knew that a bright shiny stainless steel one was not an option, so instead I asked for a more affordable and movable one.  I went for the FastFerment Concical Fermenter.  I chose this one for a few reasons.  The price point was right on, there were a bunch of add-on accessories,  and it was movable.  I will post a full setup and review of it in the future. Continue reading

Bottling

Bottling Day – Lt. Topper Reports For Duty

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Today I bottled the Lt. Topper.  It is a Heady Topper clone.  OG 1.080 and FG 1.020 for a abv of 8.1%.  The true Heady Topper rings in at 8%…o not too far off!  The 6.5 gallon pre-boil ended up as 4.75 gallons going into the bottling bucket.  This left about half a gallon or so of trub between the bottom of the carboy and the bottom of the bottling bucket.  It is unfiltered, so there was lots of tasty greens left behind from all those hops additions.  Now to wait a few weeks and see how it carbonates!

Ask The Brewmaster

Finished Homebrew Beer Brined Turkey

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Well, Tommy The Turkey tasted pretty darn good!  As you can see, he turned a nice golden roasted color.  My homebrew beer brined turkey experiment was a success!

 

As far as taste, the saltiness of the brine was definitely present.  The turkey was juicy.  The flavor of the two beers I used, a pilsner and SMASH made with nugget hops, was very present, but not overpowering.  My boys loved it.  The in-laws definitely liked it.  Even my wife, who doesn’t love turkey or beer, said it was good.  Leftovers stayed very juicy and moist.  When reheated, there was a smell of brew in the air.

 

Would I do it again?  SURE WOULD!  Next time, I would definitely get the bigger ziplock bags (5 gallon size).  I may soak it for longer.  I would definitely go bigger than the 14 pound bird I used this year.

Ask The Brewmaster

Beer Brine Your Turkey With Homebrew

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Tis the season to be FOWL…..Ok, maybe you just want to try something different with your fowl.  Thanksgiving is the perfect time to showcase your home brewed beer.  This year, my 14 pound Tommy the Turkey is making a 2 day swim in a homebrew beer brine before I give him a little roasting.

I read an article in BYO magazine about using homebrew to beer brine your turkey.  After a quick discussion with the powers that be, I put the plan into motion.   Continue reading

Brewing

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!

Brewing Homebrewing

Brewing Day: RISing Mounds

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So the wife went out for a Girl’s Night Out…so I decided to brew once the boys went to bed.  I made a yeast starter the night before.  I invited over a good friend, Chris, to be an assistant brewer for this batch, and taste a little craft brew (READ – excuse to drink beer together).IMG_20151107_232313879

Before Chris came over, I did some work ahead of time.  I took a pound of oats, and toasted it in the oven.  About 15-20 minutes on a bar pan gave it a slightly darker color, and a little more toasty flavor.  I tossed that into a muslin bag.  I also added the pound and a half of other crushed grains I had for the recipe into another bag.  I steeped these for about 70 minutes.  I used my new big pot for it’s second brew.  I love this pot because of the internal basket.  It leaves about 3 inches of space between the basket and the pot, so there really isn’t a way to scorch your grains.  I got a nice dark color, and a little bit of oatie goodness in there, and it was time to ramp up the flame.

 

For the main brew, I remove the basket, as it is no longer needed.  Chris showed up just after I added almost 3 pounds of dark dried malt extract, and was in the process of adding the first 6 Continue reading

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