Archive for the ‘General Brew Stuff’ Category

Outstanding Amber

Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

I’m very pleased with how this last round of amber ale turned out. I’ve updated the Faceplant Amber recipe to reflect the new incarnation. I guess were I versioning the beer it’d be Faceplant 2.2 as it was really just a fiddling of grain amounts to increase the malt backing which came through very nicely!

Cold brew day

Tuesday, January 1st, 2008

Happy New Year! Well I finally broke free and got some time to brew this past weekend. I’ve been out of brew since the xmas ale which went over well at the annual fiesta over at our friends place. Always a good time, that one. So I had some free time after all the family commitments and other holiday boo-rah settled down and decided to brew up the Amber recipe I’m continually tinkering with. So on a sunny, but cold day here in HMB, I broke out the gear and got to it! This time out, I upped the 1 pound of Victory malt to 2 pounds and I added 2 lbs of Munich to the regular mix of Rahr 2-row, 40L crystal, special B and flake barley. I kept my usual hop bill of Centennial backed up by Mt. Hood for flavor and aroma. I managed to secure a bunch of now rare hops several months ago when Phil from More Beer gave me the heads-up on the impending shortage. The wort had a decidedly pepper flavor that I hope comes out in the final beer. Good times.

Ok, so I started a new gig and haven’t posted in forever, so here’s a fun one

Wednesday, December 19th, 2007

95%ALCOHOLIC

Pumkin Ale Results and a Holiday Porter

Monday, November 12th, 2007

The Pumpkinfest Ale is half gone now, so I feel I can pass judgment on it. The backing beer was just a bit thin after I removed the crystal 75 from my amber recipe, but the spicing was dead-on and the pumpkin flavor was present but not overwhelming. Next time I’m going to up the crystal 45 by a 1/4 pound and replace a pound of 2-row with another pound of Victory. That should keep the nice orange color while building the malt character. The hops were right where I wanted them to allow some initial bitterness but then faded out and let the spices come through, which believe it or not, was the plan. 🙂

My Holiday Porter is in the fermenter and looking fine. It’ll be a bit before I taste that one. It’s going on tap for my buddy’s Christmas party the middle of next month, so I plan to have it in my kegerator, on CO2 for a week prior to get the carbonation volume correct.

How to Build a Mash Tun for $50

Monday, October 29th, 2007

Ok, I’ve been slacking on the posts lately. I’ve also been slacking on the brewing. There was a risk of burnout there for a bit, brewing every weekend, so I took two weeks off. Back at it now. Gonna fire up a Porter and have another go at my Amber recipe. In the interim, I give you my guide building a mash tun! Today – Parts inventory! YAY!

  • $25………Get a 48qt. Rubbermaid Victory cooler (this one has a drain plug which you’ll pull and add the spigot. You can pick these up at Long’s or Walgreen’s)
  • $8 – $15…Pick up a brass or stainless spigot and either a 1.5″ or 2″ threaded nipple (I think I used a 1.5″ but just unscrew the drain plug and measure).
  • $2………..1/2″ hose barb
  • $2………..High temp O-rings (x2). I like using 3/8″ ID rings for this and then stretching them around the nipple for a tighter fit. (That sounds dirty, but it’s not)
  • $5………..1/2″ ID washers (brass or stainless) Get a bag of 5 or 10. Just to use as shims between the hose barb/O-ring (inside) and spigot/O-ring (outside)
  • $10………1.5′ or 2′, 1/2″ Stainless steel braided hose (you have to hack off the ends, pull the hose out, then crimp and hammer one end down. Stick the other end on the hose barb and fasten with a hose clamp)

There ya go. Around $50 (give or take your mad Home Depot savings skillz) you have the parts for a mash tun that will last for years!

Worts of Wisdom brew club meeting this Tuesday

Sunday, October 7th, 2007

Meeting details:
Tuesday, Oct. 9th
7:00 – 9:30
MoreBeer, Los Altos
Topics may include, but not limited to, NCHF review, Stern Grove Comp plans,
BJCP class feedback, “Teach a Friend to Homebrew” Event?, set future meeting
locations, etc.
Beer of the Month:
10B. American Amber Ale
Check out Jamil’s 3/11/07 podcast on the style for a great discussion.
Bring any commercial or homebrew examples to share.

Pumpkin Fest Ale

Sunday, September 30th, 2007

After doing a bit of research and listening to a “Jamil Show” podcast on spice beer, I formulated this recipe for a Pumpkin Ale. It’s a slightly modified version of Faceplant Amber – really just removing the Crystal 75L malt and switching up the hops a bit as not to fight with the pumpkin pie spice. Adding the pumpkin to the mash was fun, since I’ve never done something like that before. I don’t know why I was surprised, but you could really smell the pumpkin in the mash! I’ll let you know how it turns out! These and other recipes I’ve formulated can all be found in the Beer Recipes section.

Hey, I made the paper!

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

Our local paper, the Half Moon Bay Review, wrote and article on homebrewing in which your’s truly is featured. Big thanks to Lizzy for getting my info over to them. Lou did an excellent job on the article and my wife was thrilled that her hubby made the paper. Not something that ever happened up in San Francisco! 😉 Here is the link to the on-line version of the article. Oh, and anyone who is looking for more info on the brew club, they did get my email slightly wrong, it’s stravis16@yahoo.com a small, but sort of critical error. Feel free to contact me there if you’d like more info on brewing or the club!