Wednesday, February 8, 2017

A Fresh Look At Some Old Video

During the day I work with various kinds of video technology.   And today, I found an old video of my beer bottling exploits.
This was just some stuff I shot to familiarize myself with a new GoPro we acquired. 
It's not much, but I cut the shots together to show how I package beer.
I won't be entering this into our local Emmy competition.
But it's about beer so, I guess this is the place for it.
But here's a little bit more.
A couple of things I've done on my day job as a news photographer.


I hope you like them.
Good Beer To You.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2016 is in the Books, Thank Goodness!!

A new year of family, friends and beer awaits.
I'm ready for it.
2016 was a tough year at our house.  We replaced the water heater, the furnaces and A/C units, the dryer, the oven, and had a major repair on one of the cars.
The good news is that we are running out of appliances that might need replacement without warranty.  If the toaster oven and dishwasher go, we're going to have some problems.
However, I'm at once embarrassed and proud to report that I have made beer 35 times.
Unfortunately, I do not have 190 gallons of beer here at the house, which says something sort of dark about my drinking habits.
I made a couple of batches for my neighbor and gave a lot away but, damn, I should still have lots more in my beer room.
I went through a couple of kegs of Ordinary Bitter.
The session IPA is great, and Sam I Am (a Sam Adams clone) turned out well too.
I developed a Rye IPA that is good but still needs work to become one of my go-to recipes.  The newest Bock is good and my Stout keeps my wife smiling.
I made an Oktoberfest this year and Big B's Special Blonde and Pale 208 are good, as expected.
2016 was good, beer-wise.
2017, I hope will be good for everything else.
We need to buy a car.
Jenny's '97 Accord, the one she had when I met her 17 years ago, is about to fail.
Of, course, I'll get the CRV and she'll get the new car.  That's just the way things work around here.
But all I really care about is that everyone is safe and comfortable.
That's part of the deal when you're a husband and father.
Today, though, I'm celebrating the start of a new year with a fresh batch of Brown Ale.  I harvested yeast from a Pale I racked yesterday and happened to have the grain and hops on hand so, of course, I'm making beer.
This is the beer that won me a Best of Show a few years ago.  When it's made well, it's spectacular.
Anyway, I hope everyone at your house is happy, healthy and enjoys a wonderful 2017.
If you stop by my place for a beer, here is what's available right now.
Plus, Jenny has wine on hand too.
Good Beer To You,...and me.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Session IPA on Game Day

The Bitter turned out well, as expected.  It's in the keg and pouring well.
Today's glass features our friends at Bosco's Memphis.
5 years in Nashville and we still miss you guys.
The Octoberfest and RyePA are conditioning in the beer room.
And I'm making Session IPA on a beautiful college game day.
This beer has been a winner for me.  Less alcohol. Great flavor.
The grist seems a little busy.
I think the first version of this beer was limited by the grains I had on hand.
But it turned out well so I'll make it the same way.
Finally, with Thanksgiving still fresh on my mind, Im looking at my beer fridge.
I see a collage of what I'm thankful for.
My wife, my daughter.

And, of course, beer.
Colorado plays at 630 central.
Good Beer To You

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Nice Easy Beer on a Nice Easy Sunday

No, I'm not having one just yet.  It's not even noon.
But I am making one.  A favorite style of mine.  Ordinary Bitter.
I love session beers because I love big taste and small alcohol.
This beer has a few rich grains in it.
But to me the base grain (called Maris Otter) is what gives it the taste I love.
The mash came in a bit hot at 156 but I'm not worried.  I want this to be sort of a dry beer.

English ale is the yeast.  I made this beer a couple of times in the Spring to get me through the Summer.
They went fast.
This one probably will too.

Next I'm thinking about making a Vienna Lager.
Sam Adams or Devil's Backbone style.
Suggestions on a recipe are welcome as I have never made a Vienna Lager before.

Good Beer To You

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Octoberfest!!

This post will look suspiciously like one from a year ago.
I make Maerzen every October.
Yes, I know its normally made in March and consumed during October but as it gets cool around here I can ferment ales in the house and leave the temperature controlled vault for lagers.
This beer looks good so far.
Expected efficiency.
Good color.
I hope the fermentation is healthy.
With ales I get lots of activity within a few hours.
With Bavarian Lager yeast the krausen starts much slower.
It makes me nervous.  I hate to put so much work into a beer and have it go astray.
After hearing other brewers talk about the viability of this yeast I might shorten the fermentation by one week.  It will probably be finished in 21 days.
I'll raise the temp to about 70 for a couple of days near the end just to make sure.

This is an old recipe and a good one too.
But I don't want to ignore the possibility that it could be even better.
Maybe I'll turn the yeast around and re-brew with new grist and hop schedules in November to see if I can improve this beer.
Good Beer To You.

Monday, September 5, 2016

The Session IPA I started drinking last month is almost gone already.
I guess that means I'll make this one again.  This may become my standard IPA recipe.
Make room for a Rye-P-A.
I bought a couple of pounds of Rye and threw this together last weekend.
I have never made one but have enjoyed many.
It tasted pretty good when I racked it to a clean fermenter yesterday.

Also I tried a new style last month.
My next door neighbor has a fond remembrance of an Old Ale called Old Peculiar.
Its something he's looked for off and on for years only to find out recently that the Theakston Brewery (UK) doesn't distribute in the US anymore.
The challenge was, of course, to see if we might be able to make it at my house.
He and I looked up a couple of homebrew recipes for it and I took what I considered to be the best of them and came up with a list of hops and grain I could get here in Nashville.
So we mashed it at a mid range temp of 152, boiled it up, chilled it to 65 and pitched.
I used Wyeast London Ale III to ferment for a little more fruitiness in the finish.  It tasted pretty good when we bottled it last weekend so, I'm hopeful.
 So far Eric thinks it's great.
He's calling it Olde Quixote.

Not much else to report from the brewery.

I've spent some time lately cleaning bottles.
And I have been gathering media and imaging for a short promotional video I'm planning to produce promoting Trace Brewing.

Working on this dream is a slow process.  The more I know about starting a brewery the more there is to know and that's just fine.  It's fun, except for the feeling that I'm really no further in the project than I was a month ago.
It looks hard and I think it's harder than it looks but I'm still here.  Still slugging through a business plan and deciding how big this thing should or can be at the beginning.
I listen to a lot of podcasts of interviews of people who have done it.
I am, at once, daunted and emboldened.
I'm finding that there are a million ways to do this (20bbl, nano, contract brewing, alternating proprietorship).  I just need to find the way that will work for me.
One foot in front of the other, as they say.
Good Beer To You.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Finally, Hop Cones

I have planted these rhizomes for a few years now.  This is the first time they have began to sprout hop cones.  I don't know what I was previously doing wrong or what I might be doing right this time but here they are.
 Without the acid content and cohumulone levels I won't brew with them.
They will most likely become potpourri in the fall.
New Session IPA is in the fermenter.
 I made a few changes to try making this beer better.
Gravity looks good at 1.053.  That's just where I want it.
I think pushing it lower would make it tough to get a good balance.
And balance is needed, even in an IPA.

Good beer to you.