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– Chris

Yeah, it’s probably a good idea to get a post in before the end of the month, if for nothing else than to prove to you all that I still own a computer.

We’ve been a little light on beer-making lately, and even lighter on time, and I know that many of you are supremely disappointed to hear that (I check them blog stats and it appears that many of you still have held out hope!), but here’s a little re-cap of the last few weeks:

Two point five weeks ago (Mother’s Day weekend): no brewing that Sunday. We got busy with family stuff; hey, who can blame us. We DID however get fired up and decided to brew on Monday. That 5-gallon lot of Poztulator Wit came along quite well and is ready for bottling….now.

One point five weeks ago was brew day for our brand-new, ’08, ten-gallon, pale ale recipe. I personally am excited about its prospects. I think Steve is too. Actually I know he is; it’s his new baby. I was not excited about the prospects of our ten gallons of Mystery Witbier, as it definitely was contaminated with bad yeast devils. Thusly, our first pour-out of TEN GALLONS of beer occurred last week. I wept.

Last weekend was Charleston Wedding Leisure Explosion, so pretty much everybody was out of town, living it up with our newlywed friends Jeremy and Kristin Hall:

Part of that living it up did include a few cases of homebrew! Everyone who tried it (Indie Pale Ale, Cali Lagerithm, Stevie Money Honey) seemed to enjoy what they were trying, and not even just ’cause we’re all friends, which is great news. Only can improve from here!

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We like our moms

– Chris

Mother’s Day happens tomorrow. So does brewing, I think. We were off last week and other than transferring a lot of beer around, waiting for it to force carbonate, and whittling down the major problems in the past few batches to our yeast strains (which have all been thrown out now and will be replaced with “fresh”, read untainted, yeast), there hasn’t honestly been a lot going on that’s very beer-related.  Even our mash-cot is getting a little lazy:

So, I bought enough stuff to do a try-again 5 gallon batch of Poztulator Wit yesterday, “just” 5 gallons to test the waters and make sure there’s nothing else in our brew process that requires immediate attention. Hoping we get to brew it this weekend. Moms come first tomorrow though, so we’ll see if we end up having time. We ought to be back on the wagon next week though, and most likely will be working with a brand-new pale ale recipe. We’ll keep you posted!

A day off

– Chris

This might not be what you were looking forward to reading, but we’ve decided to take tomorrow off from brewing.  Brewing, at least….we’ve got 20 gallons of beer to bottle (10 steve brown ale/10 american pale), 20 to keg (10 Poztulator Wit/10 Peach Wit), and 10 to transfer into secondary (ESB).  So we’ve got our work cut out for us anyway.  Anyway:

Our pale ale is very pale indeed.  I think I mentioned earlier that we were scrapping the recipe, and while this version is definitely drinkable, I must admit it’s a bit boring.  It’s like the closest thing to Bud Light that we’ve made, and that wasn’t exactly intentional.  Steve Brown Ale, on the other hand, is showing signs of progress.  Very smooth, with a nice honey sweetness at the end.  It’s a beer with a pretty heavy mouthfeel, my guess mostly owing to the honey content, and it’s not fully carbonated yet (the corny keg that it’s in is a bit leaky around the rubber seals) but I think once it’s nice and bubbly it’ll have the right balance.

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.