What has happened here.

– Chris

In the past week, we’ve managed to do the following:

  • Break TWO hydrometers
  • Find that more than a couple of our ESB bottles are “funky”
  • Decide to totally scrap our American Pale recipe in favor of one that will hopefully taste…more like an American Pale
  • Brew the beer that won’t quit: the lager yeast/California Common version of said American Pale. The yeast refuses to crash out, even down in the thirty-something-temperature range. We have quite the hefe-lager in one of the corny kegs right now, maybe as a special surprise!
  • Brew ten more gallons of ESB last Sunday, with two different yeast strains, as our existing English ale yeast refused to start. We pitched some British ale yeast in a day later and it’s going strong now.  Oh, and it ended up being a rather reluctant two-hour mash as we had some problems heating the sparge water.
  • Decide to rethink our yeast-harvesting technique/pay a little more attention to honing this skill
  • Decide to work more diligently at consistent base recipes

Per the above, we all kind of think that we’ve been slacking a bit. We’re gonna work a bit harder on consistency in the coming weeks, as we really do have some recipes we’re happy with now and want to be able to reproduce them without these pitfalls.

Otherwise, we’ve got the twenty gallons of witbier in secondary fermentation now, and that half of the batch with peach in it tastes really good! Jamie doesn’t think the peachy-ness is pronounced enough but I tend to like how well it blends with the other fruit flavors. Can’t wait to carbonate and chill! Speaking of that, we’ve got ten gallons of Steve Brown Ale under pressure right now and taste results should be available tonight. This weekend was supposed to be a weekend off but we’ve decided to brew anyway; the specific recipe is TBD.

Tonight we dine…in celebration!

– Chris

This post isn’t necessarily beer-related, but it is Jamie’s birthday today, and he does like beer, so, this momentous occasion makes it onto the blog. We’re about to head out to a little birthday dinner to honor our dear friend, but even in this light, I’m thinking about you, reader. I’m thinking about how you haven’t had enough to read lately. Check back tomorrow for more! Happy birthday Jamie!

For the longest time

– Chris

Well, we definitely made it through the brewing of all twenty gallons of Poztulator Wit this past Sunday, and it only took (somehow) about ten hours. Some details:

  • The recipe is close, but not quite the same, as we bought out the total stock of German malted wheat at Beer Necessities and had to substitute some other things for the remainder. Slight hop substitution as well.
  • We decided a bit on-the-fly to throw some peaches into the first ten-gallon batch. Question marks abound.
  • Somehow our hydrometer broke, so we have no OG readings for anything.
  • Extremely slow starts in all four fermenters, despite the use of yeast starters. In fact, nothing doing in two of them, after two whole days.
  • Bought new hydrometer last night along with two new yeast vials, but, two of the same kind of yeast were not available, so there you go.

It effectively looks at this point like we’ve made three different batches of beer, then. One ten-gallon with peaches in it, one five-gallon without, and another five-gallon without (but with different yeast). Dividing that all out yields an average of 3 hours 20 mins per batch, which is incredible, but cheating, and none of the three are the same as our original! Yay. Screw this…next weekend we’re making wine.

Oh good. Now this is happening

– Chris

Tomorrow is going to be our first TWENTY GALLON brew day, ever. Twenty gallons of Blue Star Witbier, aka Poztulator, to be exact. The question is how we’re going to brew 20 gallons at once when we only have 15-gallon vessels, but Steve and I think we’ve got a way around that…numbers, who needs ’em. Actually, I think that this problem directly corresponds to the one from Die Hard With a Vengeance, you know, the one with the water jugs in the park. Except there’s not a bomb to diffuse. And, we turn the water into beer. Simon Says it’s a miracle!

Jamie has a reason for us doing this, but I really couldn’t tell you what it is. Let’s see what happens.

I can remember stuff now

– Chris

Apologies for the lack of posting lately. It took a bit longer than expected to recover from my bachelor party weekend in the NYC; my brain is starting to work again just now. How did I get in such a state? This, for starters:

Some of the boys on this man-trip of manliness at McSorley’s, the oldest continuously operating bar in the US. Their legendary “light or dark” ale is brewed by Pabst, and I have to admit, tastes pretty darn good after oh, i dunno, three rounds. It continues to taste good until you get all the way to 13 rounds, which I think is where we stopped. Really though, I’ve been to McSorley’s a few times before and I’ll say that they’ve got a very decent product for offer. From there:

Brooklyn Brewery. There was stuff in between, yes, but it’s more gin-related than beer-related. I think Jamie’s posted about his and Steve’s tour of Brooklyn Brewery before, so I won’t go into terrible detail, but it was pretty great to see it first hand. What was even greater is that you can walk out of the brewery with a freshly-purchased case of their beer! We couldn’t dream of that in Georgia…which reminds me to mention that maybe predictably, the law to end Georgia’s prohibition on Sunday sales has been held up, again, for another year.  Blah, for now.