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Archive for January, 2012

New Brew Supplies

My new Crankandstein 2D malt mill came by FedEx today, and I got the lumber for my brewing stand over the weekend. I also made a yeast starter this evening. It will be a race against the clock now to be ready to brew this weekend. Nothing like a little “fun pressure”!

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H/T to BrewDudes, from whom I stole the idea to publish my homebrewing ambitions for 2012.

This year will be my my third full year of homebrewing. I have come a long way pretty quickly.  In 2010, I was brewing extract batches and learning about bottling, sanitation, and fermentation.  In 2011, I began all-grain brewing and really started to get a handle on the process.  I also picked up quite a bit of equipment: a 20 gallon megapot, a rectangular cooler mash-tun, and a Johnson Controls digital thermostat.  As I sat down to think through my goals for the upcoming year, it looks like I won’t be slowing down!

My goals for 2012:

1. I’ve got a newborn son at home, and a wife who needs my help to run the household. Goal number one is to not let them become a brewing orphan and brewing widow! Goal 1b would be to make time to brew- that means scheduling time ahead of time.

2. Decrease my total start-up to clean-up time to 6 hours or less.  Whatever that takes: Using a pump, a brewing sculpture, and some careful pre-planning, I should be able to decrease my brewing time.

3. Build a “hop spider” to assist in keeping hop trub out of my primary fermenter.

4. Build a mobile brewing sculpture that can be kept in the shed, but rolled to the porch for nice outdoor brew days. I am thinking about a two-tier setup with one March pump, built with wood, that will accommodate my Bayou Classic burners and batch sparge cooler.

5. Move up to 10-gallon batches. My wife was awesome, and got me the 20-gallon pot. Its on me to move to that next level. This will probably involve purchasing some kegging equipment and a larger mash tun… but we’ll see.

6. Don’t  let the new brewing equipment take a toll on my beer quality. I am really happy with the beers I’ve been making- if getting bigger means getting worse, then I will have failed.

7. Brew a Hefeweizen in time for the warm, summer months. It should be as good as my first Hefe, which my German friend Hans said was “as good as anything he had ever had back home”. Talk about making a fellow feel good about himself!

8. My stretch goal will be to achieve some sort of fermentation temperature control, either through something like the “son of fermentation chiller“, or a converted freezer/keezer/kegerator.

So there ya go. I had no map for 2011, but I ended up in a good place.  Lets see what 2012 has in store for the best (and to my knowledge, only) home brewery on my street!

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