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.


Weekday #3

– Chris

Can’t wait for later today. Super nice weather and lots of beer to transfer! We kegged five gallons of ESB last night to carbonate before it receives the beer gun treatment, and we’ll be kegging the other five to have on tap this afternoon…we got an FG of 1.012 with an ABV of 4.2% out of this cranked-up recipe, and it tastes great! Very clear, with a definite increase in body over the last run, and a clean finish…and that’s flat and at room temperature! I’m excited to taste it again later today. The ESB is gonna be good and is gonna go fast, so come on over on Sunday and get a taste while you can! Actually, it’s not going to go quite so fast, because:

Eileen leaves us today for three weeks. She’s going to visit her homeland, the UK. She’s promised to be our foreign correspondent whilst abroad, so we’ll see…maybe British computers are hip enough to write stuff for us, because the ones around here aren’t.

Um, otherwise, we’ll also transfer the ten gallons of IPA into secondary and do some cleaning on our kegerator today, and I think we’ll work a little on putting together a refined recipe for our American Pale, which will be brewed this coming Sunday. Until next time…

Turn it…down?

– Chris

We’ve been getting unusually high attenuations lately from our yeast(s). Like, in the 80% range for our last three batches:

  • Oatmeal Stout version 2: OG 1.050, FG 1.010, 79.3% AA, 5.2% ABV
  • Steve Brown Ale: OG 1.048, FG 1.009, 80.6% AA, 5.1% ABV
  • American Pale Ale: OG 1.041, FG 1.007, 82.4% AA, 4.5% ABV

I mean, I’m a big fan of the 80’s, but didn’t really expect to make it that apparent in this part of my life. Our temperatures have stayed fairly consistent, and we’re not getting any real off flavors in the beer that suggests a hot or overly-vigorous fermentation. I guess it is the fact that we’ve switched to using starters for/harvesting our yeast? Is this a good thing or not? I mean, it seems good to me, but it also suggests we’re maybe using too much yeast now…also, I’d maybe like to create a beer that is outside the 4.5-5.5% ABV range; am I not destined for this? I reckon time will tell with the next runs of these beers (yes Steve, we’ll make your brown ale again) if they’re to be consistent. Maybe I should go read now.

Where do they get these wonderful toys

– Chris

Summer’s coming. You wouldn’t believe that, at all, if you’re in Atlanta today, but yeah, seasonal warmth will soon be upon us. In that spirit, combined with our decision to move up to only ten-gallon batches from here on out, we bought our first wort chiller yesterday:


Ain’t she cute? I call her Coillette. But that’s the first time I’ve called her that. Anyway, she works by hooking up a garden hose to both ends and dropping her into the hot (post-boil) wort. Thusly, she’s known as an immersion chiller. The coil acts as a heat exchanger and the cold water from the hose travels through and carries away the heat from the wort. Not quite sure what we’re going to do with the resultant hot water, but I’ve heard some people fill their washing machine with it. We probably won’t do that. Whatever, she ought to be able to take a kettle of boiling wort down to room temperature with the quickness, easily breaking Steve’s record of 16 minutes in an ice bath last week. No, Steve wasn’t in an ice bath for 16 minutes; he’s still so hot right now. Steve. This, then, is how we’ll chill, ten gallons at a time, from ’93 til infinity.

Jamie thought this was really cool and had to buy it (he’s a lot more fun in stores than I am):


The Blichmann Beer Gun!  You hook it up to a CO2 tank, along with a keg of homebrew, and it cleanly fills bottles with carbonated beer.  This is really exciting to me; test results should be available shortly.  What’s next, you ask?  This.

Honey Steve Ale Brown Brew Beer Drink

– Steve

So, I’ve heard the rumors that Chris is calling me out to make a post about brewing last Wednesday! I have something to say to that!…… Chris, you can…. okay, sure I’ll write a little diddy about it. (still folding like a cheap lawn chair).

I have been wanting to brew a batch of a Honey Brown-type for a little while, so i came up with a hybrid recipe of a brown ale fused with some organic honey. I took Newcastle’s recipe and juiced it up a smidge to make it a bit heavier and full-bodied. (I find their ale too weak now. snob…)

I wasn’t sure exactly how much honey I needed for the batch, since I haven’t found a recipe or guideline for using it. But it comes with learning, I guess, and I figured I could err on the side of adding too little honey. At least then we would still have a good brown ale even if the honey was too weak to taste.

I was incredibly pleased with the entire brew. Every step seemed to flow and behave like it was supposed to. I’ll attribute it to less distraction. I can be so ADD when there are other fun things going on.

The mash went perfectly! Hit the temp. and had great gravity going to the boil. The sparge went well except for the tube being clogged from us not cleaning it from the brew before. Whoops! Easy enough to brush it out though. Good, long boil and, unlike Chris, I did remember the gravity reading before racking it! (and yes, he was right about me writing it down on a scrap piece of paper)

I’m gonna rack the brew tonight or tomorrow, give it a test run, and be back to docu-hate it. Also, i would like to harvest the yeast from the ale and begin our own colonies of yeastisis. We will train them slowly to amass and become self-aware!

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