Thermometers: Friend or Foe?

FOE!!! Well, they are if you’re in my shoes. Right now, I hate everything that has to do with temperature. 

We bought a new thermometer with our supplies the other day. Something new and shiny and could tell us the “correct” temperature. Uhhhh… so what is the correct temperature? Right. So we mash in, and between two thermometers there was 14 degrees difference! 14 degrees. Needless to say, we were astounded, worried, and pissed all at the same time. Which one is right? What have we been basing our brewing on for the past 11 months? Holy crap.

Apparently, thermometers are relative just like everything else in this stupid world. What’s one temp for someone, isn’t for another. Kiss my ass relativity… So we have to calibrate EVERY thermometer we own. Like, 14 of ’em. Let’s get started, I guess.

For any body else out there who hasn’t had the pleasure of this atrocity, be fore-warned by three guys who graduated from college that thermometer manufacturers make products that need to be fixed before you use them!

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Some Boring Scientific Stuff No One Wants to Read but I have to Write it Down so I Don’t Forget

With our beer supply basically diminished for a week or so, we figured we had better brew midweek to have another ten gallons ready to go soon. We are brewing the prototype of the American Pale again. Unfortunately, we can’t seem to get the same freaking ingredients two times in a row (or at all for that matter) to brew consistent batches. There are always different hops that we used before that aren’t available this time. So frustrating…

On another note, and probably more importantly, we want to try to start using these fermenters to our advantage rather than a hindrance. Currently, we are still forced to transfer from one fermenter to a secondary because we cannot harvest the yeast from the wort. This defeats the purpose of us getting the damn things! I will say that the fermenters are awesome other than this, but it definitely makes my blood boil. 

Our plans (thoughts) are this: Ferment wort as usual. We will monitor the FG for say 7 to 10 ten days. Hopefully it’ll reach the number and we can then use our fridge downstairs to house and chill the fermenter and have the yeast flocculate as much as possible (thus solving clarity issues). We can then condition in the new corny kegs that just arrived and then make a slurry from the cooled fermenter. Since we use the same yeast in several brews, it will be ready to pitch within days of harvesting. We are hoping that, in harvesting the yeast, we will maintain millions more yeasties that will be ready for their job that we can simply feed instead of having to create starters that do not seem to yield the numbers of yeast needed to attenuate fully. It appears we are attenuating somewhere around 65% and we HAVE to get it to 70%+. I think we’re onto something good though…

’twas the night before…

‘Twas the night before Thanksgiving and everyone was looking for something to do… So they all came to the brewery at Five Nitnty Two! Tonight we are brewing a batch of our Belgian Wit. We have on tap a limited amount of American Pale and a full keg of Wit.  If you’re in the area drop on by around 8.  Bring your beer tasting faces, beer will go fast so don’t be late.

A Rather “Stout” Success


I don’t know about anyone else, but I am having a blast on our new-found Wednesday brew nights! Many thanks to more and more of our friends who come visit. I guess we asked for it, but because of the droves of people coming out on Wednesdays we are actually starting to run dangerously low on beer for consumption. To remedy this, Jamie and I are ordering a couple more kegs this afternoon. This will give us room to store 20 more gallons of beer.

Casualties of a Busy Night

Casualties of a Busy Night

The stout we brewed should be awesome! Everything went perfectly with brewing, and should yield exactly what we have in mind! It’ll be a great Christmas-warm-yourself-by the-fire beer. Both ciders are coming along. It takes longer than we thought to age them correctly so we’re having to reluctantly wait for them to be ready. 

Thanks again for coming. See you next week!

I’m pretty sure something… yep, something just froze and fell off

I go down to Florida for a couple of days and this is what I get when I come back. Good googalamoogalie it’s cold! Which gives me a great idea for the holiday season…brewing up a lovely, smooth, and subtly warming seasostoutnal oatmeal stout. We have not brewed this particular beer since last year and are looking foward to brewing it tomorrow night and having it ready for any pending Christmas/New Years parties.

We have a couple of goals we would love to accomplish in this beer; Give a heavier and creamy mouthfeel, a rounded roasted barley character, and a very smooth and lingering finish surrounded by sublte coffee aromas. We’ll age 4-5 weeks  and lightly carbonate, keeping close to the British Ale tradition of lower carbonation. This will accentuate the desired flavors in the beer rather than be masked by a spritzy fizz.

Enough of my rambling about a beer that won’t be ready for a month. We have beer to drink now! Beer tastings are every Wednesday as we brew, and I will brag that last Wednesday was incredible thanks to our friends. Come out and join us because a good beer is better with friends and tales never lose in the telling!