Sunday, April 27, 2008

2 Brewing Firsts in One Day

Today was a good day. I had two brewing firsts today. First I followed my friend Mark's advice and used CO2 to "push" my beer from the carboy into the keg. Second I actually have two beers done and on the CO2 at one time! The second beer (English Bitter) isn't ready to drink for two more weeks and the Pale Ale is almost gone. I think it's about 1-2 glasses away from going ppffffttt!

Here are the pics from the day:

A stainless steel T splits the gas line in two.

Two beers in the fridge! They barely fit!

The CO2 Push Setup

The beer flowing from carboy to keg.

Almost done!

A full keg is a happy keg! The foam on top is from Star San - a no-rinse sanitizer.

The transfer only took about a minute with 1 lb of pressure from the CO2 canister. I'm going to invest in a quick disconnect for the CO2 so I can move the caniser around and not have to cut the cut the hose each time.

Up next: Two brews in one month, another first! A Nut Brown Ale for flavor and a Light Ale for those long summer days by the pool!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Mi-Wuk Pale Face Tasting Notes

This beer took a turn for the better tonight. It lost it's edge and the bitterness mellowed quite a bit. Like it all the sudden just decided to pull together. Here are the final tasting notes.

Thursday, April 10th @ 8 PM - Watching American Idol with my son.

This beer is now pouring an amber color with 2 fingers of head which quickly reduced down to about 1 finger. The aroma is lightly hoppy with the faint smell of fresh cut grass. Mouth feel is medium with slight bitterness and good hop character and a backdrop of light malt. It finishes nicely with a little bitterness on the back of the tongue. The lacing barely clings down the sides of the glass, not sticky, just a little foamy. I'm sure this beer will get even better with a few more weeks in the keg - if it lasts that long!

Monday, April 7, 2008

General Brew Related

OK, so I brewed again. This time it was an English Bitter that tasted so good before I put it in the fermenter that I almost didn't wait for the yeast to do it's job before I had a pint!

In other news, I've got a new brew spot! It was REALLY windy this weekend so I decided to brew in the garage. I think I've found the perfect spot. Very little wind, nice ventilation, and the TV is mounted up in the corner. Just works out great!

The English Bitter Recipe. Yum!

(EDIT) - Whirfloc should not be added to the mash, but rather to the boil with 15 minutes left. This helps the hotbreak clump up and settle to the bottom so you don't get so much in your carboy. Thanks Mark for pointing out this error on the recipe sheet!

Lots o' room for the brew gear box

The mashtun on top of the dog crate. BTW, I think I can get one more good brew session out of this cooler. It's starting to buckle on the inside and I've got a few cracks developing along the top walls of the cooler. Not bad for a 19 year old cooler we got as a wedding present! Here is what will replace it.

Got the laptop setup on the quad to keep track of recipes, run the Brewday Timer, and hit up the forums whilst I brew!

Oh, yeah, the Pale Ale is doing fine. I had a friend over this Saturday after our son's baseball games and we had a few pints. I think it needs a couple of weeks to blend/mellow before I'll pass any more out or bottle any for the homebrew club and friends. I've still yet to get a couple of beers to Mr. Kirby and the Burdicks and I'm starting to feel bad about that since they helped me out by giving me some of my original equipment. Don't want to give them beer with that sharp flavor though! Honestly guys, it's coming soon!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Mi-Wuk Pale Face

It's official, this has got to be the best pale ale I've ever tasted! Lighter than SNPA with more of a hop presence. The Magnum and Glacier hops shine through without being over powering. It pours a golden/copper color and smells slightly of fresh cut grass. It still has a slight yeast taste that will become less pronounced as the keg clears. It has head medium retention and a nice lacing down the side of the glass as you drink it.

I'm naming this beer Mi-Wuk Pale Face. A play on words for our favorite place - our cabin in Mi-Wuk, and the fact that two pale faces (my son and I) brewed it. It's also the first he's tasted when we were checking the OG before it went in the carboy to ferment. He looked at me and said "Not too bad."

I'll enjoy this beer as I brew an English Bitter this weekend.

Two good beers in a row, I am stoked!