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Posts Tagged ‘Geekery’

At my wife’s request, I’m going to try and recreate my Belgian Blonde ale. The last time we made it, she couldn’t drink it due to the imminent arrival of the beer’s namesake baby. Now that Daniel is here, its only fair that she get to try some of the tasty brew he inspired. (more…)

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Sham-ROCKED!

I am very excited to report that I brought home two first-place rankings in the 2012 CARBOY (Cary and Raleigh Brewers of Yore) Shamrock Open Homebrewing Competition!

My water, temperatures, and technique must be good for Belgians and Wheat Beers- I won 1st for my Baby Bailey Belgian Blonde (B^4) ale, and another 1st for my Thanking The Babysitter Dunkelweizen. None of the other 3 beers I submitted placed, but that’s ok with me. I can’t believe that two of them not only placed, but won! Hopefully I will get some notes from the judges that I can use to improve all of my beer.

What a great experience!

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New Hot Water Tank!

One of my favorite things about homebrewing is tinkering around on the myriad projects that the hobby affords. While getting a hot water/liquor tank sized for 10-gallon batches had been on my to-do list ever since my wifey got me a 20-gallon kettle, this latest project didn’t get kicked off until I saw this NC Home Brewing post. I was motivated- the price was right (cheap) and it had enough DIY to make it fun. (more…)

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Contest Time!

I’m entering my first homebrewing competition! I had never really considered competing with my beer, but decided to do so after some encouragement from the local homebrew shop following a sample of one of my beers. What was going to be a single entry has turned into five, due to the amount of brewing done in the last two months.  I’ve adopted a “whatever happens, happens” approach, and I’m eager to see what judges think of my beer. Hopefully this will make me a better brewer and help me look at my own beer a little more objectively.

Here are my entries (now with names!) and categories:
1. Baby Bailey Belgian Blonde (B^4): Belgian Strong Ale – Belgian Blond Ale(18-A)
2. Dos Corazones Amarillo: India Pale Ale- American IPA (14-B)
3. This Is Only Tipperary: Stout – Oatmeal Stout (13-C)
4. Megahorse: Stout – American Stout (13-E)
5. Thanking the Babysitter Dunkelweizen: German Wheat and Rye Beer – Dunkelweizen (15-B)

 

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Isn’t it grand to be able to barter beer for childcare! I just knocked out a half-batch batch of dunkelweizen to thank a friend for babysitting.  Although she has had to wait a few weeks to get her thanks, I think the wait will be worth it.  I just bottled the dunkel tonight, and it already tastes fantastic.  I used a water bath to keep the beer around 65 degrees, rather than the 70 degrees that is typical of my downstairs.  The difference is huge! My last dunkelweizen was heavy on the banana flavors- like a brown-colored hefeweizen.  This one is slanted more towards the spicy clove side of things, and tastes just right.

I just regret not brewing a full batch.

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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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