Brewsky

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Posts about beer, drinking beer, brewing beer, bathing in beer, fantasizing about pouring Saranac Season's Best over a naked Minnie Driver, etc..
But I had a Péché Mortel Imperial Stout last night and almost wept with joy. That was the best imperial stout I have ever had. The coffee overtones were perfect and balanced the high alcohol content just right. Highly recommended if you can find one near you.
posted by by Robb Allen @ 10/4/2013 9:19:01 AM | Feedback (2)
Back in 2006, I decided to make a monster of a beer – Ithurtzwhen IPA. The thing ended up being around 12 to 13% booze and had nearly 9 oz of various hops. It was more of a "Can I do this?" kind of beer than anything, and it was fun to make. When I bottled it, the yeast had a very difficult time reactivating due to the alcohol, and most of the bottles were flat and required force carbonation. Because of this, I never really drank much of it and it ended up just sitting in my...
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posted by by Robb Allen @ 6/27/2010 10:51:28 AM | Feedback (9)
Oh yeah, it's good. It's reeeeeeeally good. I ran out of CO2 halfway through force carbonation, but picked some more up yesterday. As of this morning it's accepting no more so it should be completely carbonated now. This picture is from last night where it was 80% carbonated and it was still delicious. Unfortunately, the only tap I have sucks. It's a standard picnic tap so it's either all the way or nothing. I have to regulate the pressure in the keg to assist with pushing it out and that...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 7/9/2008 6:20:47 PM | Feedback (0)
When boiling water in your 5 gallon, stainless steel kettle over a propane burner on high, ensure that your daughter's favorite fishy plate did not somehow miraculously adhere to the bottom of said kettle while filling it up in the sink. Said plate is not dishwasher safe, and apparently not open flame safe either. Update From the comments, this is too priceless not to highlight re: Helpful brewing tips - BugSpray The four rules of brewing: Pots are alway cleaned before using. Never heat...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 7/3/2008 3:11:12 AM | Feedback (0)
Time to make some homemade beer again. 'Cept this time it's just going to be root beer since I don't have the time / $$$ to brew a real batch, but that has to change soon. I've been wanting to make my own sodas for a while. For about $10 total, I can make 5 gallons of some of the best damned root beer in the world. That ends up about 18¢ a glass. I'm using Gnome extract for this, but some day I want to brew it from scratch with wintergreen leaves and whatnot. Root beer now, real beer soon....
posted by by Robb Allen @ 7/1/2008 2:00:41 AM | Feedback (0)
Seems like Greg and Law Dog are proffering their recipes for martinis, so I thought I'd give my opinions on them. Gin - Brand unimportant as all gin tastes like what you'd expect cheap cologne to taste like.Vermouth - A thilly thounding thpirit. Again, as it will be mixed in with the gin, it's quality is irrelevant.Olive - disgusting little rancid grapes. Mix any ratio of gin and vermouth in a mason jar. Shake the living fuck out of it or stir it with one of those mini tongue depressors they...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 6/3/2008 9:48:36 AM | Feedback (6)
The Brother-In-Law gave me some Blonde Ale he made in February. I had forgotten about it until I was cleaning out my closet yesterday. So I put them in the fridge and had one tonight. Delicious! Try that with a mass produced beer and see how skunky it tastes. Oh, did I mention it was made in February. 2006??? Born-on-dates are for carbonated horse piss.
posted by by Robb Allen @ 10/14/2007 7:51:49 PM | Feedback (2)
Me? I'm a beer guy myself. Vintage in my terms is a 6 pack of Dog Fish Head 90 Minute IPA that's sat for more than a week. J.R. however has taken a break from gun blogging and written a review of a new wine he tried. I think he's done a rather nice review. I might even try to find a bottle of it somewhere as I, too, sometimes partake of the grape. However, I admit to being a cretin. I don't match wines with food the way I will with a beer. And then again, I match beer with food by my own...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 8/6/2007 10:23:38 PM | Feedback (3)
Sebastian is not only a fellow gun nut, but a fellow homebrewer too. Fantastic! Now if I could only get off my lazy ass and actually brew something.
posted by by Robb Allen @ 7/11/2007 10:50:55 AM | Feedback (5)
Which also happens to be the reviewer's first beer review. This is from my Ithurtzwhen IPA, a 12% monster beer I made last April and gave a few bottles to my friend at work. The beer was so alcoholic that the yeast died off (very happily, I might add!) and never carbonated in the bottle so you have to force carbonate each one individually. It literally has taken almost a year for the beer to age to the point of drinkability. But I'll let Steve describe the experience. Wow, my first beer review...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 3/8/2007 8:21:10 AM | Feedback (0)
At least for me Hat Tip to my Brother-In-Law Tracy who I don't think has a blog yet but should.
posted by by Robb Allen @ 1/29/2007 11:54:23 AM | Feedback (2)
I meant to blog about this earlier, but I seem to be out of motivation. So here it is, finally. I moved the Abbey Normal Chimay Red Clone into secondary over the weekend. Now, during brewing I totally failed to take an original gravity reading so based on my ingredients and calculations, it should have been around 1.068 which is considered a high gravity brew. During the move to secondary, I took a hydrometer reading and the final gravity was 1.009. This indicated about a 86.76% apparent...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 1/24/2007 9:16:20 PM | Feedback (1)
Saturday's brewing session went pretty good. One thing I have to now take into consideration is that just because I have a 15 gallon keg to boil in doesn't mean I have to boil the ever loving heck out of the wort. I ended up boiling off way too much and had to add water in at the end. Forgot to take a gravity reading too. Oh well. Even though I didn't think I'd have time, I went ahead and made a yeast starter. Turned out to be a good move as the yeast was extremely active and I had activity in...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 1/15/2007 10:04:28 AM | Feedback (5)
Well, I've not brewed in a while so this weekend I get to fill up one of my kegs. I'm going to do a clone of Chimay Red, which is one of the finest beers out there. I figure if I can even get 1/100th of the taste it would be fine. Here's my recipe Abbey Normal (Chimay Red Clone) 18-B Belgian Dubbel Size: 5.0 galEfficiency: 75.0%Attenuation: 75.0%Calories: 226.61 per 12.0 fl oz Original Gravity: 1.068 (1.062 - 1.075)Terminal Gravity: 1.017 (1.010 - 1.018)Color: 25.2 (10.0 - 14.0)Alcohol: 6.7%...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 1/11/2007 12:07:10 PM | Feedback (4)
100% Success. This is a great wheat beer. Tastes very, very wheaty with fairly strong tropical overtones. I fermented high to get a ‘banana-like’ flavor out of the yeast and the addition of 5 pounds of mangos to the secondary fermentation gives it that extra fruitiness. No, it doesn’t taste like mango juice – if I didn’t tell you there were mangos in it you’d have no idea. But it ended up perfect. Low in alcohol, around the 4% range since I wanted this to be Light, refreshing and thirst...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 8/9/2006 8:54:00 PM | Feedback (2)
The other night, I poured myself a Tommyknocker “Maple Nut Brown Ale”. It was terrible. It actually tasted like it had a bad infection. The other one I had was wonderful, with strong maple overtones. I was saddened as I was really in the mood for a beer. Luckily, the Mrs. found the last bottle of my dopplebock that I had forgotten about sitting in the fridge. I cried. It was sooooooo good. It had aged a good 10 months and was just phenomenal. It’s easy to want to drink all your beer right...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 8/2/2006 8:47:00 AM | Feedback (2)
I was going to take my new brew keg on her maiden voyage with a nice, easy drinking wheat beer when a coworker mentioned he was making mango wine and I thought “Hmmm. How about a mango wheat?”. So that’s what I’m doing. Here’s the specs 4# Pale Malt 2 row3# Wheat Malt1/2# Crystal 10L 1/4 oz. Simcoe @ 60 minutes1/4 oz. Simcoe @ 5 minutes WYeast 3068 (Weihenstephan Weizen) 5# mangoes, sliced, smushed and frozen to be added to secondary for 7 days. I plan on doing a decoction for this one...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 7/19/2006 2:31:00 PM | Feedback (1)
<p>A little how-to on building your own mash paddle from wood. A great tool for all homebrewers. Includes pictures, step by step instructions, and a little thing I call "snark"</p> <p><a href="http://blog.robballen.com/archive/2006/07/10/Someone_here_needs_a_good_paddling.aspx">Click here to read the whole article</a></p>
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posted by by Robb Allen @ 7/10/2006 8:59:00 PM | Feedback (3)
How can you get any cuter than a picture of a baby standing next to your new keg?
posted by by Robb Allen @ 7/6/2006 9:41:00 AM | Feedback (0)
 My new brewing kettle from Sabco! Gonna do a nice wheat beer next. Unfortunately won’t be finished in time for the little one’s 1st birthday party (Guess I’ll just have to buy her a 6 pack of Dogfish Head 90 minute IPA instead), but shouldn’t take more than a week in the fermenter so it should be ready soon. I want a nice, light, crisp wheat that is thirst quenching. I’ve made some heavier beers lately so I need something a bit more suited to summer. As a side note, my Ithurtzwhen IPA is...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 7/5/2006 2:57:00 PM | Feedback (0)
How many Southern Baptists should you take fishing? Two. If you only take one, he’ll drink all your beer. (I was reminded of that joke here)
posted by by Robb Allen @ 6/29/2006 2:42:00 PM | Feedback (0)
Just racked my Ithurtzwhen IPA onto an ounce each of Cascade and Amarillo hops into the secondary. Took a gravity reading to see how much work the yeast did. For you non-brewers out there, a hydrometer is used to determine how much sugar is suspended in the wort (unfermented beer) and again after fermentation is complete. Pure water will read 1.000. A normal beer would start around 1.030 to 1.050 and end around 1.010 to 1.020. Bigger beers are higher. My original gravity (OG) for the...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 4/29/2006 5:01:00 PM | Feedback (0)
It’s BREW DAY!!! Today I’m making my Ithurtzwhen IPA, a asininely hoppy, alcoholic beer. Here’s the recipe Ithurtzwhen IPA Grain & Sugars % Amount Name Origin Potential SRM 4.8 1.00 lbs.  Crystal 10L America 1.035 10 7.1 1.50 lbs.  Victory Malt America 1.034 25 81.0 17.00 lbs.  Pilsener Malt(2-Row) Continental Europe 1.035 1 7.1 1.50 lbs.  Turbinado Sugar Generic 1.046 0 Hops Amount Name Form Alpha...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 4/14/2006 11:45:00 AM | Feedback (7)
So, I’m getting prepped to make my Ithurtzwhen IPA – Ridiculously Hopped Imperial India Pale Ale tomorrow. This is my most ambitious brew yet – if I hit my marks it could be between 11 and 13% ABV (your standard Bud is about 5.5%) Most 5 gallon brews use around 1 to 1.5 oz. of hops. This sucker uses 8.5!! So here I was this evening, sorting through 12 ounces of leafy green hops, measuring them out on a small digital scale and putting them into little plastic baggies so all I have to do...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 4/13/2006 9:46:00 PM | Feedback (3)
Woo hoo! It's finally brew day here at the Sharp as a Marble compound. Mrs. Marble is still sick, so it's a little on the hectic side, but she seems to have control of the girls so this should be fine.Now, the whole reason I am making a simple, extract based beer is because my next beer is going to be a behemoth and is going to need lots and lots of healthy yeast to help it on its way. The best way to get lots of yeast is to make a starter, which is nothing more than a mini-beer. Well, to get...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 4/1/2006 12:43:00 PM | Feedback (2)
Beer This is my dopplebock in all her glory. Seriously thick head. Smoooooooth. Malty. If it were a tad bit less malty, I’d be tempted to lie and call it a stout.   Who wants a glass?
posted by by Robb Allen @ 11/26/2005 10:08:00 PM | Feedback (3)
I bottled half of my dopplebock and kegged the other half last Saturday. Since the bottles have to self-carbonate, it will be two more weeks before they are even ready to be tested. With the keg, I put a wee bit of priming sugar into it, but went ahead and force carbonated it with the CO2. Being that a dopplebock is a lager, it should really sit for a few more months before I sample it. Yesterday, my will broke down and I grabbed one from the keg. Daaaaaaaamn. It...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 11/22/2005 8:37:00 PM | Feedback (1)
So, I brewed a dopplebock Saturday. My wife’s brother assisted me since he’s learning the ropes. It was a good experience, albeit a little lower gravity than what I was shooting for. 14 pounds of lovely grain  The Brewmaster himself, stirring said 14 pounds of grain Sparging (rinsing) the mash to get ready to boil 1 oz. of hops to start the show Sanitizing the immersion chiller at the end of the boil Immersion chiller and ice batch to cool the wort I hit most of my mash...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 10/10/2005 10:55:00 AM | Feedback (0)
The wife is taking the girls with her to some craft show for a few hours tomorrow. So what does an overworked, under rested man do with 4 hours of free time? Brew. Tomorrow, I’m going to make a dopplebock, or double bock. A rather simple recipe, mind you, but it should be rather delicious and strong. 14 lbs. German Dark Munich 6oz. German Carafa I 1.0 oz. Tettnanger@ 60.5 oz. Hallertau @ 15.5 oz. Hallertau @ 1WYeast 2308 Munich Lager For the first time, I’m planning on doing a...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 10/7/2005 3:37:00 PM | Feedback (2)
Helped my brother-in-law brew his first beer yesterday. He’s hooked. The problem is that he and his wife are DINKs, and permanently so. So he’ll have no problems buying the high end brewing equipment that those of us with kids can never afford. Bastard… .popup { COLOR: #9F141A; CURSOR: help; TEXT-DECORATION: none }
posted by by Robb Allen @ 9/19/2005 9:04:00 AM | Feedback (0)
A cooler full of ice cold bottled water, juice boxes, and beer!
posted by by Robb Allen @ 9/12/2005 9:01:00 AM | Feedback (2)
So, with Irelyn around I’ve not had much time to imbibe my home brew. I had practically forgot about my California Common and it sat, untouched for a month in the fridge* out in the garage. When I finally broke down and had a glass….OMG!!! It is maturing into one of the most wonderful concoctions! When I first made it, the hops were simply overpowering. I like a hoppy beer here and there but most other people I know, being weaned on the mass produced swill, don’t. So I...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 8/25/2005 4:07:00 PM | Feedback (4)
What kind of f’in question is that? Of course I’m gonna brew. Tomorrow I plan on reattempting my California Common (also known as Anchor Steam) that so miserably failed two weeks ago. One of the issues I had was a faulty temperature reading as the metal braid on the temperature probe for my digital thermometer gives wacky readings when it gets wet. It was measuring ice water at 91° so I’m sure my 156° mash temperature was also incorrect which might explain why...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 6/3/2005 3:26:00 PM | Feedback (0)
When brewing beer, it is important that yeast have a good supply of oxygen available during their first phase of life. When you boil the wort (unfermented beer), you remove a lot of the oxygen. Homebrewers can add more O2 by vigorously shaking the wort for a few minutes before adding (or ‘pitching’ as it’s called in brew terms) the yeast. While this is usually adequate, it’s quite tiring trying to jiggle 5+ gallons of liquid around. Plus, air mostly nitrogen, so...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 5/25/2005 11:28:00 AM | Feedback (4)
Brewed my first all-grain beer yesterday. Had a fantastic time doing it too, but there seems to have been a big problem. My strike temperature was off a little, and I ended up settling out the mash at 156° instead of 151°. No biggie. I let it sit for 75 minutes, stirring every 20 minutes or so. The thermometer indicated only a 2° drop over the 75 minutes. Afterwards I fly sparged until I had 6 gallons in the brew pot. I realized as soon as I moved the burner into place that...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 5/23/2005 12:17:00 PM | Feedback (4)
After getting a free refrigerator*, the next part to building my kegerator was to procure some kegs, CO2 canister, and the appropriate connectors as cheaply as possible. On eBay, 2 Cornelius kegs w/ CO2 and regulator usually run around $180 + shipping. CO2 bottles are not light, by the way. Needless to say, $180+ didn’t fit in with my ‘the cheaper, the better’ philosophy. Nor was the Mrs. going to go for it. Well, the lady I got the fridge from has a twin sister...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 5/2/2005 12:17:00 PM | Feedback (1)
Yesterday, a fellow homebrewer at work gave me one of his latest creations. I took it home, but my cup holders in my Jeep are metal and the clinking of the bottle was driving me crazy (and that was just getting out of the parking lot). So, I decided to put it in the cup holder on the child seat in the back. I forgot to take it out yesterday. So, in our parking garage there is a car with a 16 oz bottle of beer sitting in a child’s cup holder. If anyone peers in, I’m betting HRS is...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 4/12/2005 9:01:00 AM | Feedback (1)
A few weeks ago I beer blogged my brewing session of my Strawberry Nights Wheat. I figured an update is in order. (you can click on all images for a bigger picture) First, here are the ingredients I made a yeast starter so that I could get a better yield. Here’s my mad-scientist stove hard at work Yes, that really is an Erlenmeyer flask. I like it because it can go from the stove right into an ice bath without worrying about the glass breaking. Of course, then I had to boil...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 4/11/2005 1:54:00 PM | Feedback (6)
I am proud to admit that I am a cheap bastard. When you're married with 2 kids and the only beer drinker in the house, the cheaper the equipment the better as justification for new equipment is hard to come by. Since I've only one fridge, lagering has been out of the question, especially since I live in Florida and room temperature can be in the mid 70's. Well, I whined enough at work that some lady just gave me a fridge. Now all I need are some kegs, a CO2 bottle, taps, hoses, and...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 4/6/2005 12:11:00 PM | Feedback (3)
One thing I am notorious about is not keeping very good notes about anything. In home brewing, this is akin to a crime. If you don't take good notes, you have no idea what to change or to look for if you brew a stinker. Even worse, when you brew something that could win awards and you don't remember what type of yeast you used. (Yeah, I'm talking about me. You got a problem with it?)So,this post is going to serve as my note pad. Right now I'm sitting in front of 4 gallons of boiling...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 3/9/2005 9:15:00 PM | Feedback (1)
Picked up the strawberries for the Strawberry Wheat Beer last night. On my lunch break I'm heading to the Beer & Wine Pantry to get the ingredients for the beer itself. Having a hard time figuring out which yeast to use as I don't want to overpower the hint of strawberry. I was told by some people that a good yeast would be the Wyeast 3068, but others have commented that that particular strain produces a strong yeast flavor.So I'll be at the mercy of the brew supply store's...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 3/7/2005 10:50:00 AM | Feedback (0)
You'd hit my tip jar like crazy until I could afford one of theseAt only $3,395 it's a bargain! So come on people, what's more important? Giving money to charities and orphans, or ensuring I can accurately keep my mashing temperatures perfect so that my beer stays delicious? I think it's a rather easy choice? I've hit the tip jar, why not you? I mean, if Andrew Sullivan can raise $100,000 to pay for $300 worth of bandwidth I figure this has got to be easy!
posted by by Robb Allen @ 3/2/2005 9:25:00 AM | Feedback (3)
And I've got pictures to prove it!That was the first bottle from my second batch of beer, a clone of Buena Noche from the makers of Dos Equis. Being that I've never actually had Buena Noche, I cannot tell you how close it came, but it was a daaaaamn fine beer nonetheless.The massive foaming head is a result of there being a wee bit too much food left over for the yeast when I bottled. I probably should have racked the beer to a secondary fermenter or at least let it sit in the primary for a few...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 2/28/2005 8:56:00 AM | Feedback (4)
Hmm. Something I think I can approve of!
posted by by Robb Allen @ 2/11/2005 8:39:00 AM | Feedback (0)
Click the montage above for some photos from yesterday's brewing session.Photo-collage created using Picasa 2 from Google.
posted by by Robb Allen @ 2/6/2005 10:10:00 PM | Feedback (0)
It is with a sad, heavy heart that I must announce that a dear friend is no longer with us. The last bottle of my first batch of beer was consumed this evening at a friend's Super Bowl party. My India Pale Ale left to accolades and several "I'll have another one, if you don't mind"s.I'm actually quite happy that it was as successful as it was. I have a friend who has brewed 2 batches already, neither very successful.I was a little worried about the brew I did yesterday as this morning there...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 2/6/2005 9:31:00 PM | Feedback (0)
Well, I'm sitting here watching wort boil. Smells very good. No bee swarms this time.It's such a beautiful day to sit out on the porch. There's a cool breeze here and there that wafts the scent of hops and barley across the lanai. I've got a f*&#ing headache which I'm desparately trying to ignore. 2 Excedrin and 2 Tylenol later and it's just as bad as it was this morning, but since I started the yeast on Thursday, I had to use it today and wouldn't have had another chance to brew until next...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 2/5/2005 12:55:00 PM | Feedback (2)
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you my new Wort ChillerJust built her tonight. For those wondering just what the hell this thing is, it's called an immersion chiller and is used for cooling down the boiling liquid called wort (pronounced wert) which is the unfermented beer.Basically, when you brew beer you are making a liquid environment for yeast to grow in. The yeast eat sugars and nutrients in the wort and produce 3 things: alcohol, CO2, and more yeast. The problem is that wort is a perfect...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 2/4/2005 9:40:00 PM | Feedback (1)
SATURDAY!!! SATURDAY!!! SATURDAY!!!Hmm, the whole Superbowl of Motocross voice just doesn't come over well on a blog. Sorry.Just picked up the ingredients for my "Goodnight In Mexico" (Buena Noche clone) recipe. Several varieties of hops weren't available so I substituted Hallertauer pellets which have the same AAU as the ones I was supposed to get (German Spalt).I also bought 6.8 lbs of extract, 1 lb. of rice powder, 1/4 lb of roasted barley, 1 lb. crystal malt, yeast, Dehydrated Malt Extract,...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 2/3/2005 2:03:00 PM | Feedback (0)
Houston, we have beer!Smooth. Full flavored. A little light on the body for an IPA. No after taste whatsoever. Easy drinkability. Low alcohol due to the low original / final gravities. Still, not bad at all for a first try!I'm chalking this one up as a success.
posted by by Robb Allen @ 1/13/2005 5:40:00 PM | Feedback (5)
Today is the day. The beer is in the fridge just waiting for me to come home.I'm actually a bit nervous. Talking with some of the other beer guys here it's amazing the number of 'bad batches' that pop up from time to time. Makes me worry a little that somewhere in all my beer academia I missed some vital point or didn't sanitize something enough and my beer will end up tasting like some sort of fungal sorbet.We'll see.... We'll see soon enough.
posted by by Robb Allen @ 1/13/2005 8:16:00 AM | Feedback (1)
On Sunday I went to the Tampa Bay Brewing Company with a buddy of mine. I tried their Heffe-Weizen which was yummmmmmmy and also had a glass of their Double Red Ale which was not as yummy. The more I get into this whole beer thing, the more I'm able to discern what it is about certain beers that I do or do not like.I love Heffe-Weizen (wheat beer). Good stuff. Nice and yeasty and I really like a twist of lemon in it. I plan on making my own soon and might even go for a Dunkel-Weizen...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 1/11/2005 1:32:00 PM | Feedback (1)
Just got through bottling 47 beautiful 12 ouncers of India Pale Ale. The house smells like a bar in a bad part of town at about 2 AM, much to my wife's chagrin.Now, the hard part. The 2 week wait......Is it time yet?
posted by by Robb Allen @ 12/30/2004 10:10:00 PM | Feedback (0)
I am a man on a mission. My mission is to build a kegerator system for my home brewing at a price so low I wouldn't be able to advertise it on the radio. Basically a kegerator is a fridge with taps to the keg(s) inside. Now, you can buy these things for $500, but that would not only take all the fun out of it, it would also take a lot of cash that I'm sure the Mrs. wouldn't allow me to use.The main parts are the kegs, the CO2 tank, various hoses, pressure gauge, tap, and fridge. You can get 5...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 12/30/2004 10:58:00 AM | Feedback (2)
The bubbling from the fermenter has subsided quite a bit. It's only been 5 days, but I went ahead and took a hydrometer reading and it was at 1.010 (estimating 1.011 for temp adjustments). I'm already below what an IPA is supposed to be for final gravity (1.012-1.016 SG) but then again it started off a little low at 1.044 (1.050-1.075 SG is the style limits). I think this is because I did not steep the grains long enough so I must have not got enough of the fermentable sugars out of...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 12/29/2004 6:18:00 PM | Feedback (3)
Vast Right Wing BreweryGranted I wouldn't be able to serve it to most of the other brewers at work as I'm waaay outnumbered in the political department, but the title is just so damn catchy!
posted by by Robb Allen @ 12/26/2004 9:45:00 PM | Feedback (0)
Well, I'm outside right boiling my very first batch of beer! It smells so yummy! I have a feeling though the Mrs. isn't going to enjoy it as much as I do, but that's why I'm brewing on the porch. Thankfully, the porch is covered and screened because (a) it's raining and (b) there are some guys who harvest honey right down the road today who moved a lot of their beehives. Apparently, homeless bees are very attracted to the scent of boiling grain & hops. These things are swarming outside the...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 12/23/2004 2:59:00 PM | Feedback (5)
The 30qt Turkey Fryer Brew Kettle was supposed to take 9 business days to get here (what do you expect for free shipping?) It took 3 days. Santa must not have paid close attention to his naughty list.So I went to The Beer and Winemaker's Pantry today during lunch and picked up the rest of the equipment. 2 6.5 Gallon buckets, hydrometer, racking cane, siphon tube, stirring rod, caps, sanitizer, butterfly capper, bottle brush and a bottle cleaner. I also decided to pick up a Brewer's Best...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 12/22/2004 1:23:00 PM | Feedback (0)
I'm really starting to get the feeling I need to boil my wort outside using gas and not on my stove. The brew master at work (this guy has 11 kegs in a deep freezer kept at 30°) says a turkey fryer is the way to go. So I found this one on Amazon. Any brewers out there have an opinion on this selection?I mean at $30 and free shipping, hell if it don't work for beer, it'd at least fry a good turkey!I'm also looking for at least 24 qt. ceramic stock pot / canning kettle if anyone knows a good...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 12/14/2004 10:30:00 AM | Feedback (0)
Well, time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin' into the future and that means the home brewing is coming up fast. I'm about ready to start getting a few items I'm going to need in preparation for this wondrous event, but the hardest thing is going to be determining what my first brew should be. So I need your help.First, my preferences. I like dark beer. The Warsteiner Dunkel I've got in the fridge is fabulous. I also like stouts like Guinness but I want to brew something palatable by most...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 12/9/2004 10:49:00 AM | Feedback (6)
Well, this had to be the worst vacation since my senior year in high school when my parents thought it would be a grand time to get my wisdom teeth pulled during spring break. Hey! No missing school!The Mrs' morning sickness meant I was stuck inside most of the time with only a few brief outings. One of these outings was Friday night with a friend of mine to The Tampa Bay Brewing Company. OMG!!! Thank the Lord that I didn't know about this place until now or I'd have ended up a broke drunk.I...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 11/29/2004 11:07:00 AM | Feedback (2)
Neighbors whose kids come over for beer every day are a perfect source for extra bottles.Upon soaking the bottles in a cooler full of bleach water to remove the labels and any gunk on the inside, it is wise to pay attention to the bottles with cigarette butts inside them.Soaking bottles with cigarette butts inside them leaves your water quite nasty.Although your neighbors appear to be run of the mill Budweiser and Miller Lite drinkers, don't be surprised to find an ocasional bottle of Bootie...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 11/25/2004 11:42:00 AM | Feedback (3)
Part of the exciting prospect of home brewing is cloning some of my favorite beers. From what I hear, it's not that difficult to get close enough to your favorite to satisfy your taste buds. I will be thrilled to brew some Guinness Extra Stout and Harp!What is amazing is that there are people who know beer so good that they can figure out what ingredients were used to make them. With that said, I'd like to give you my recipe for cloning Coors*.While most beers require you to make 5 gallons or...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 11/1/2004 8:02:00 AM | Feedback (3)
From "A Guide For The Un-Initiated To Buying Guinness In An Irish Pub"6 As you near the end of your pint, it is the custom to order another one. It is a well known fact that a bird does not fly on one wing.
posted by by Robb Allen @ 10/27/2004 12:34:00 PM | Feedback (0)
The Mrs. has given me the 'Go' on the home brewing project. She only asks that I wait until after Christmas to get all the equipment to ensure we've got enough dough to buy people some nice things. She didn't think 6 packs were appropriate for the holidays.So, I am all open to tips and tricks from all you experienced alcholicshome-brewers on the best extracts, yeasts, brewing techniques for first timers, how to sneak in the really cool equipment past the warden, etc.
posted by by Robb Allen @ 10/26/2004 3:25:00 PM | Feedback (4)

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