Guinness Teaches Us Life Lessons

Fergal Foto at FadoI posted the other day that we had a twice-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet Guinness’ Brewmaster, Mr. Fergal Murray, this past Monday. (twice because we saw him again that night at the Perfect Pour, heh heh…) It was an unforgettable experience and we learned A LOT about Guinness and the man behind the stout! We learned…

1. Fergal is the freakin’ coolest name ever.

2. (Quickly) how to properly enjoy a Guinness. I cannot divulge in writing because it is a rather fun and amusing experience that must be shared while drinking the beer!

3. That Fergal has the most pimp job in the world: It consists of traveling the world talking about Guinness and how and why everyone should love it! He gets to judge beer contests and watch soccer in the middle of the afternoon.

4. That girls don’t have an excuse not to drink Guinness. It’s relatively low in alcohol, lacks in high calories, and has very little carbonation (doesn’t make you gassy/burpy/farty). It tastes like coffee so if a girl enjoys coffee, she can’t say about Guinness, “eewwwwah. it doesn’t taste goodah.” BOOM.

5. And to wrap it up, Jamie and I are going to Ireland later this year, and if any other lads or lassies want to come along, yer mere than welcome te! (that’s right, spelled-out Irish accent)

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Takin it back to the old school, cause I’m an old fool, who’s so cool

And that’s how Jamie and I roll. We took it back to a Sunday brew. Since Wednesday was so cold, we decided to take advantage of the perfect weather yesterday and brew a batch of Wit. We got started a bit early for a Sunday, like 8 o’clock early, but that’s what it takes! Hard work, determination, sacrifice, and not drinking the night before…

Everything went perfectly as we’re starting to dial in every time now on the wit. It’s just like clockwork… I would like to try a little something extra in the wit sometime. A little hint of fruit maybe. Just to zest it up every once in a while.

One thing we want to do (if it works) is oxygenate the wort as we transfer it into the fermenter. Jamie had the idea of building a T into the beer line and hooking the O2 up to it as the wort flows past. Pretty awesome idea. Now we’ll just see if we can make it work without blowing everything up.

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Wednesday Evening

sushi-steve

And, yes, that IS nothing but a ball of wasabi... hey man, I'm kickass

We had great time with everyone who showed up last night for the tasting. The invite was very much last minute and we thought no one would show– so, like any right- minded person (or left-minded in my case) who invited people over would do, we left and went to eat sushi– only to return to the house as people started to arrive. To much supprise we managed to draw an awesome crowd and kill a couple of the Corneys in the process. 

Also, special thanks to a new-found-brewer friend ITP (inside the perimeter) Jamie, who, in spite of an Andrew Bird concert, ventured up to marietta to check out our brews.  Jamie and his brewing counterpart Ben can be found here: Its not about the Beer.  Can’t wait to try the brew from East Atlanta!

If the weather cooperates, we will try our damnedest to have another tasting next week. Updates to follow. Cheers!

Rye Update

OH YEAH! About the Rye brewing last Wednesday. Everything went pretty well. I will say, it is A LOT more work by yourself. And a lot heavier when lifting things… I did hit all my mash temps though, produced a beautiful golden/copper color, and it smelled great the other day when I checked on it fermenting.

The only things that went poorly were 1: getting the wort from the kettle to the carboy. Pellets make it tough, man. I ended up having use the racking cane and consequently sucked up more trub than I wanted. It settled out nicely though. I think I can clear it off the top. And 2: the boil-off was more extreme than I predicted. Almost 2 gallons in an hour. I guess you gotta learn from doing and from your particular equipment what affects what and revise it in the recipe. 

Regardless, I was actually extremely pleased and more confident after the brew. Even the numbers were very close, which has not been a big concern to me until recently. But I found a happy medium between the Art and the Science of brewing and I feel like I opened a new door of experience with this brew!

Our New Sparging Process…?

Last Wednesday was our greatest turnout of visitors yet, we had over sixty show up to taste our beer! Granted, it was the night before Thanksgiving which is a huge party night anyway, but I would like to think folks were coming to see us regardless! Unfortunately, our dwindling supply of beer was shot within an hour so many friends who came brought a craftily- brewed sixer with them to keep the festivities going.

We brewed the Wit again in order to stock up on our supplies for the Christmas Party. We should have at least 5 gallons of each: Pale, IPA, Wit, and Stout to enjoy for the party. The rest, I’m sure, will be consumed at the two tastings on Wednesdays prior.

Oh! I almost forgot about expounding on the title so fashionably displayed at the top…

img_01571BOOM! So, Wednesday night was pretty cold and both Rob and myself wussed out when it came to cleaning the brew kettle. A couple of brews in made it seem like a lovely idea to grace Jamie’s shower with it instead! Now, Jamie, waking up late the next morning, turning the water on without seeing the keg, and then being forced to carry the half-full kettle into the freezing outdoors in just his boxers didn’t make our TomFoolery quite as jovial… Heeheeeheee…