Saturday, April 19, 2014

Full steam ahead

Well, got the bug back, upgraded my equipment to make it easier to brew, reworked all my recipes to handle 5 gallons and take into consideration the remarks in the Southern Nevada Ale Fermenters Union (SNAFU) competition.  I built a yeast stirrer from an old PC and a couple of Radio Shack pots and resistors.  Tore up a cooler..since we had a bunch of them and put in a filter hose and a drain valve.  Found a few other shortcuts using two food buckets.  Got a Victoria mill and ground my grains to a pulp...not the best choice, but it works.  Just have to be real careful that you get enough hulls intact to ensure a non-stuck sparge.  Made a 72 bottle tree out of scrap wood and quarter round plastic molding and about 5 coats of paint to seal it well for disinfecting.



I kicked off this round of brewing with a porter....my son loves BJs Porter, but I decided on a Baltic Porter heavily laced with anice that I happened to have on hand. 



Stupid me..at the last minute during setting up the carbonation, I decided to deviate from my carefully crafted recipe and add more honey.  Totally forgot what it would do to the carbonation...was hoping for more honey flavor...rookie mistake.  Ended up with a bunch of bottle bombs.



But once it was allowed to settle down was pretty awesome porter...if you like anise.






So next was a stout...another of my son's favorites.  Brewed a great stout, and decided to add hickory chips soaked in a bottle of Bourbon to the wort.  Ok for me, but ended up at 12.6% and a kick ass brew.  I liked it, so did  my son. But gave a bunch of it out and most people weren't prepared. That's Bailey on the label in a Tennessee hillbilly's hat.  Had one like that when I was a kid.  My mother called it a pea-picker's hat.








One guy who was a former drunk, really liked it . :-P  Maybe I should be more careful about screening those I give samples to.  Should probably create a questionnaire and see if they are qualified to drink this stuff.  If you don't like Bourbon, coffee, roasted flavors, you won't like it.  But Steve, at Vegas Home Brew thought I was on to something and told me to save some till August to let it mellow a bit.  That's going to take some willpower.  One of my Untappd friends put in a request for a couple bottles.

Just started an Imperial Red Ale today. Calling it ACES Anniversary Ale for a project going live next month at work called ACES.  Everything seemed to go to plan so we will see where we end up next month. But it's off to a good start.

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And now the next day:

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Love that sound!  Seems like a miracle that those tiny yeast cells can do that.