Thursday, February 9, 2012

New Brewery Library and Market research

Okay, so my brewery is really the garage most of the time.  But I did manage to get a shelf up in the BCB board room to hold my volumes of literature associated with the craft.

It's not much by carpentry standards but it'll do the job.

Tonight I took a few beers to the St. Henry Men's Club meeting and received accolades for my efforts.  Most of the men who tried them enjoyed the experience.  It's good to hear comments about my beer from men who really enjoy beer.  Most of the feedback was positive.  But it's the polite, standoff-ish reviews I'm most interested in.  The "I don't really like dark beer" people are important and I want to make a beer that wins them over too.  A Light Lager or Blonde recipe might bring them into the tent.  Also, I want to be knowledgeable but I don't want to come off like a beer snob.  If we're going to preach the gospel of full flavored, hand made beer, we need to make it a religion that can include everyone who drinks beer.
It looks like a low malt, low alcohol brew is on the horizon.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Session Pale

I've been making lots of beer lately.  The IPA I made last week will be ready to be packaged in a few days.
The bottom of the fermenter looks like that about every time.  I think most of what you see there is suspended yeast but there is usually lots of break material that gets through the screen and settles on the bottom.  The the fermentation process generally cuts the thickness of the bottom layer in half and I finish with about 5.5 of the 6 gallon volume you see there.
Today I made a light Pale Ale.
It's basically a scaled down version of "208," my best and most frequent brew.
Big brother's gravity is about 1.059 to 1.061.  The light version is designed to be a 1.039 beer, or about 3.7 percent by volume.
This beer came in at 1.040 or maybe 1.041.  It's hard to tell the level.  I'll err on the conservative side and call it 1.040.
There were a couple of recipe changes as well.  Biscuit malt was replaced by some Victory malt I had to get rid of.  And Munich Dark was put in place of Munich Light for the same reason.  I also added a half pound of C60 to bolster the flavor for such a low gravity beer.
The idea is to make the same great Pale Ale with 33% less alcohol.
This beer, I hope, will come close.  I have made it three times before with moderate success.
It'll never be the same as American Pale 208.   But I'll be able to drink more in the late evening without having an unpleasant morning.
Good Beer To You.