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Posts from the ‘Home Brewing’ Category

  • 27.10.11Adding a False Bottom To the Brew Kettle

    We have brewed our FINAL batch of Wedding Ale! We should end up with about 300 bottles in total. That means enough for all of our out-of-town hotel guests, for our wedding party after the rehearsal dinner, and hopefully enough to have as wedding favors for those who want one when they leave the wedding!

    With that, I thought I would share with you the last upgrade to our system that we made, prior to these last few batches. We’re going to take a look inside the kettle, literally.

  • 16.21.11More Water = More Wedding Ale

    Continuing my series on the upgrades to my all-grain system, I thought I would show you what I decided to do with my hot liquor tank. I have been brewing all-grain wedding ale for a while now, but I am unable to produce a true 10-gallon batch because the turkey fryer pot that I am using to heat the water in will not hold the amount of water needed to sparge/rinse my grain to result in 10-gallons of beer. Thus, I decided I just needed something bigger.

  • 46.16.11Making Beer Cold…Quick!

    The advantage of a counter-flow chiller is that the beer itself flows through the copper coil and cold water is pushed around it in a hose. This means that a LOT more of the beer actually comes into contact with the cold copper, resulting in a much quicker cooling time. I can basically let the wort start flowing from the kettle, through the chiller, and by the time it gets to the fermenting bucket, it will be room temperature – perfect for pitching yeast!

  • 05.26.11Building An In-Line Thermometer

    I am in the process of building a counter-flow chiller to help cool the beer down after boiling. This will reduce the time the beer is at a temperature where bacteria can be introduced. However, I need a way to know the temperature of the beer after it leaves the chiller. I have a thermometer on my kettle, so I know the starting temperature, but I don’t have a way to test it as it leaves the chiller.

  • 15.23.11Sam Adams Longshot Competition

    If you head over to your local grocery store, you’ll see something pretty neat in the bear aisle. Same Adams is selling a 6-pack of beer that they have never sold before. That’s because they didn’t come up with the recipes either. It is a 6-pack containing two bottles from each of the three winners of the Annual Longshot Home Brew Competition.

    A friend of mine brought some over for us to try last week…

  • 04.8.11First Taste of Our Wedding Beer

    Many of you have followed along as I have chronicled the process of creating my first all-grain batch of home brew for our August wedding, from building a wort chiller, mash tun and kettle, to the first brewing day and when we moved it to secondary and then bottled it.  HOWEVER, I have not given […]

  • 53.29.11Hops in a Pot Update

    The first hop vine sprouted last week, and it is already a few inches tall. The second one to sprout broke, and it’s growth was stunted, however, now a third vine has perked it’s head up. All three vines are from a single rhizome (root of a hop plant). I planted two rhizomes, but the other one has not produced any sprouts. I’m not worried quite yet, as it is still early in the season, and since it is in a pot, I can only let a limited number of vines grow anyway.

  • 43.17.11Growing Hops With Limited Space

    A couple of weeks ago Katy mentioned that we were beginning to think about what we were going to plant for our balcony garden. Well, I got a head start and ordered some hop rhizomes (a rhizome is a piece of the root, since brewing hops are all female, they are never fertilized and so there are never any seeds) from Fresh Hops so that I could grow my own hops for my home brew.

  • 63.12.1149 Bottles of Wedding Ale

    Today we took our home brew out of secondary fermentation and put it into bottles where it will carbonate over the next few weeks. Soon it will be ready to taste and put in the fridge.

  • 13.6.11First Look at the Wedding Ale

    We got our first glimpse of the American Wheat beer that will become Wedding Ale (or whatever name we decide) today, one week after we brewed the 5-gallon batch.

    To those that are not used to seeing the brewing process, you may find this first glimpse to be a bit disgusting! However, as soon as I opened up the lid of the bucket, I knew that everything was going exactly to plan.