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Tuesday, July 13, 2010


So here you can see the hop bag, peppers, juniper berries, and the dark wort. A quick taste tells lengths will be unique, and friggin good! Three peppers was the perfect amount, I can't wait until its done to see what other flavors come through.

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You're making what?!?

With the McRiley Luau just a month away, I realized I need to make my brew. The thought crossed my mind to go for something special, different, and fun: Goat Scrotum Porter.

When I first saw this recipe in the Papazian book 'The Complete Joy of Homebrewing (3rd edition)' I knew I had to try it some day. It's a basic porter recipe with a list of additional ingredients and the note to use "one, some, or all" of them, including cinnamon, fresh Ginger, chili peppers, chocolate, juniper berries, spruce extract or tips, and brewers licorice. I upped the malts to make sure thulis goat scrotum has "balls" and am using the following:

1 lb Crystal 60'
0.5 lb dark patent
0.5 lb roasted barley

Extract / sugars
6 lb dark liquid
2 lb amber liquid
2 cups light dry malt
1 lb brown sugar
4 oz molasses

WhiteLabs WLP002 English Ale Yeast

Fresh grated Ginger (1/2 oz)
3 red chili peppers
2 inches brewers licorice
7 oz bakers chocolate
1 oz crushed juniper berries
1 oz gypsum (water hardness)

1 oz Chinook alpha 12.7 for boil
5/8 oz unknown homegrowns

I'm nearing the end of the mash and getting ready to add in all the other stuff. This aught to be good.

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Monday, April 5, 2010

Carb Check, Take 2&

I decided to check my beer again since it had been a couple more days, and also wanted to see if my lack of carbonation was due to the rubber seal on the previous bottle's fliptop cap. So I placed a 12'er in the fridge to chill. That was a couple hours ago. Now it's time to open 'er up and check my results...again.

And as you can see, there is a little bit of lacing (bubbles), but not a lot. I decided to then try another glass, one with laser etching on the bottom to help cavitate more bubbles.

In case you couldn't tell that is a Harp pint glass. It didn't help much however. As for the taste, it is wonderful aside from needing a little more carbonation. I truely feel that one more week in the bottle will finish this brew off nicely, and so I shall push the release date to April 12th. Cheers!!!

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Friday, April 2, 2010

Low Carb Beer

I decided to crack open my 11 oz flip-top tester bottle to check on the progress of this latest batch which I have scheduled for an April 6th release.

The pour shows great color, but look at the head...nearly no carbonation at all.

I honestly am pleased as punch about the beautiful color for my first red ale. It really is red.

But the lack of carbonation is a bit disconcerning. I didn't do anything different from what I normally do and have not had this problem before. Upon drinking, there is a little carb on the tongue, but not enough to work. It looks like I will have to postpone the release date by a week or so the carbonation has a chance to build properly. I will take it to Portland with me and hold it for another week, and hope to release after the guard drill. Until then, happy drinking!

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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Now pitching...

Ninkasi Brewing yeast being pitched into 'The Ginger'

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Friday, March 12, 2010

New Beer!

I'm 50 min into the hour long boil of my newest batch, a red ale called 'The Ginger', in honor of all the red-heads that have no souls. It's early indicators give it 7-7.9% abv and it already has a lovely auburn color to it. I was graced with some yeast from Ninkasi Brewing thanks to my former coworker Steve who is a salesman for them. He's also promised to "make sure we're taken care of" when I bring Kender over for a tour and some beers, especially if their expansion is complete by then. HUZZAH!!! Back to the boil!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Finished product!

So here it is, the finished product with label.

To all that get to try it, enjoy! Next up, you ask? We will see...

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Friday, February 5, 2010

Time to test!

It's been just shy of 2 weeks since I bottled, and I filled a smaller bottle to be my tester, allowing me to check the carbonation level and how the beer is developing.

Carbonation is developing nicely. It is definately interesting. Complex, yet smooth. The vanilla is very subtle but that's the way it should be. There is a hint of coffee-like roasted flavor present, and a little more bitterness than I like, but it's not overpowering. Now to try it as a beer float!

The first time I tried this was at Boulder City Brewing in Nevada after a tour of the Hoover Dam during our Red Flag in 2007. A stout with ice cream, also known as a beer float. The vanilla icecream compliments the stout quite nicely, and this version is no exception.

Overall I give his beer a B so far, I'm sure it will grow on me however. I think that it will be ready for it's february 16th release at work.
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Saturday, January 23, 2010

First bottle capped

Boiling the caps for five minutes sanitizes them and will help keep the beer fresh.

And as the next picture shows, things don't always go smooth. While typing the last entry, the valve on my bottle filler stuck part way open and the bottle overflowed, creating a big mess. I lost about 16 oz :( of precious beer. Stupid me!

Anyway, back to filling using gravitational technology and a spring loaded push valve. Push the filler on the bottom of the bottle until full, then remove.

Place a sanitized cap on top of the bottle and then clamp the capper on top, pulling on the cantilever arms.

And viola! A sealed bottle of brew. Now comes the hard part...

...waiting for the carbonation to build. It will probably be about 3 weeks before it is finished, but I have a small bottle to test in 2 weeks.

Thanks for following along overthe last month, it has been a joy for me to do.

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For Reals!

Yay! I have bottle caps and can finally bottle my beer!

To start, I am using light dry malt extract (1 1/4 cup) instead of 3/4 cup dextrose sugar as my priming sugar. Using the dme will add body and head retention to the finished beer. I am transferring the wort from the carboy to a sanitized bucket to filter out the solid protiens left behind during fermentation.

The dme water mix was poured into the bucket prior to siphoning. I am also using the time to begin the boring task of cleaning bottles, most of which are mostly clean already. The earlier you can do this, the better.

Here is the sediment that was removed by the first transfer. Now I'll clean it out and transfer it back to get the rest.

Transfer number 2 is going smoothly. When the bucket is empty of beer, it will be time to bottle. Until then I need to finish cleaning bottles!

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Monday, January 18, 2010

Oops: A lesson in planning

So I started to prep for bottling this evening and decided to count bottle caps, since those are somewhat important in the bottling process. After some calculations of bottle sizes and quantities, I determined I would need 35 caps in order to bottle (you really need to do all your bottling at one time for sanitary reasons) and found I only have 18, and the homebrew store is closed and I go back up to Portland in the morning. Bottling will have to wait until next weekend :(. However this will not stop me from taking my measurements with the hydrometer.

First reading, balling, is about 7%

Second reading, potential alcohol, comes in at 3.5%

And the specific gravity, or in this case, 'final gravity' is 1.027 or so at 60' F.

Plugging these numbers into my handy dandy beer calculator, I am given an alcohol content of 4.8% by volume with just over half of the sugars fermented. Upon tasting my test tube sample, I must say that I like it! It's thick, definate stout characteristics.

Dark and a little sweet as well. This will only get better with carbonation. So this week's quest is for bottle caps!

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Monday, January 11, 2010

One more week

As expected, when I got home Sunday I checked the beer's progress and there was still a little action in the airlock, so I will let it go for the week and check it again Friday night. So until then, happy drinking!

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Sunday, January 3, 2010

Hello, My Name is Beer

For those of you that missed it, or miss it from your bottle being empty, here are a couple pics of my last brew. I decided to open my other swingtop pint bottle to mark the end of vacation *sniff*.

my awesome creative/lazy label!

Backlit globe glass...

Hot drinking action!

And so to you, Beer, I raise a toast. May you always be cold, may you always be yummy, may you always end up down in my tummy. May your hops stay bitter, may your malts be sweet, may your alcohol be high and knock me off my feet!

Hooray Beer!

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Saturday, January 2, 2010

All's quiet on the yeastern front

Happy New Year, blog followers!
So I stole that from the brewers bible, "The Complete Joy of Homebrewing". However it is very fitting for the process going on right now to my trans-decade beer. Since I am headed back to work on Monday after a much needed vacation (11 days), the fermenting wort will continue on it's way to becoming beer by itself. As luck would have it I get to stay in Portland through next weekend for the January drill and so when I check on it next, the wort will have had 2 weeks to ferment, and hopefully it will be ready to bottle...but we will cross that bridge when we come to it. I have no problem letting it sit longer if need be, don't want to pull it before it's time.

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