Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Late To The Party

No.  I'm not talking about lagging behind on a busy social calendar.
I'm promoting my wife's blog.
If you're a runner, or you like Disney, or both, you might tune in to Late To The Party.
It's a regular discussion of tips, tricks and happenings at the intersection of the two most passionate interests of the love of my life.
On to beer.
I'm planning an Amber for this weekend.  Jenny loves it more than I do so I need to keep plenty of it around.
I checked my log and was surprised to find that I just made it on June 1st.
I only have four bottles left.
That probably says something bad about my level of consumption.
Good Beer To You.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Getting Re-Supplied

I'm planning several beers for the remainder of the Summer and on through the holiday season so this weekend I stocked up on raw materials. 
I want to make a Bock, an Octoberfest, an Altbier, English Pales and, of course my whole line of American Ales.  Blonde, Pale, Amber, Brown, Stout and Steam Beer.  An English IPA and a Porter will likely make an appearance as well.
I've got 21 grains and 5 yeasts.  I will need a couple of ounces of hops here and there but that will be a minimal expense.  I already have a couple of pounds of my core hops.  Cascade, Centennial, Columbus, Citra, Northern Brewer, Magnum, Glacier, Amarillo and Hallertauer.  A half pound of Kent Goldings and Saaz will round me out for the cool brewing season. 
I should be able to make a dozen batches with what I've got here and that will take nearly 6 months.  The savings will be felt in the price per pound of grain.
I'm excited.
The IPA is almost finished and ready to be packaged.  I think I'll keg it up later this week.
The other batch is in bottles on the right in this photo.
Good Beer To You.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

What Happened To All My Beer?

I drank a good deal of it, of course.
But I gave a substantial amount away too.
It's OK, I'm glad to do it.  Particularly so if it leads me to a like minded soul who also can't stop thinking about doing this professionally.
Craft is still on the rise.  The market is still there and going strong.
Still, it's not a big deal.
I have a good job.
I'm not unhappy. Etc, etc.
Anyway I decided to make another IPA today, even though I just made one two weeks ago.
 I have been working on this recipe for a few months now.  I mean my IPA was technically correct, I guess.
I won a couple of medals with it.  But it wasn't really very good.
I want an IPA that people gush over.  My old one wasn't it.
So I re-thought the recipe and came up with this.
It's better.  But it still needs work.
One thing I found was that using London ESB yeast improved it a bit.  I tried the same grist with 1056 and it wasn't as good so I went back to 1098.  Now I want to mess with the hops to arrive at a new, more appealing flavor..
Don't pay attention to the Cascade at the start.  I needed some hop oils to keep the foam down for a few minutes before the main bittering addition.  But I did want to account for the effect on the finished beer.
I had all the other hops and decided to give this blend a try.
We'll see, in a few2 weeks, how the two batches compare.
In case you're wondering, the Bohemian Pilsener was a success.
 The beer is delicious and I'll make it again.  But not for a while.  There are several others I want to make before Winter.
I still want to make a Bock, a Belgian Blonde and an Altbier.
Unfortunately, I have a few household objectives to achieve while I try to get these beers made.
I got the lower deck painted before we went on vacation but another deck awaits and the job is mine to do.
And that deck now has hop bines wrapped around it.

My hops are a disappointment.

No cones this year.
Second year in a row.
I guess I need more study on this too.
Good Beer To You.