Thursday, January 29, 2009

New Equipment

Been making some upgrades for the home brewery. First, I moved from a bucket to a glass fermenting tank. I also upgraded the aeration process with a 5 micron stone and aquarium pump for heartier fermentation. Bought a carboy top and stainless racking cane to round out the fermentation upgrade. Nice Kraeusen action a few days into the brew! Don't think I'll need the double air lock next time.

My next step is to go all grain and leave the kits behind. I aquired a 48 qt cooler that used to be my Dad's who worked for Pabst 35 years or so.

I built a manifold for the extracting the malt from the grain.

And there it is, ready for the first ever all grain brew!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Just bottled up the American Pale Ale recipe I brewed a week or so back. I named it Inauguration Ale in celebration of our new president. What a historic day! And a darn fine brew as well!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

2nd Stage for the APA

Siphoned the APA out of primary into 2nd stage Better Bottle on Monday. It is a nice rich brown color, 25 SRM. There was good fermentation after the re-pitch though not nearly as vigorous as I would have preferred with a propagated liquid yeast. The taste is good, though I worry about off dialectal flavors developing later on due to either too soft water or overheating the grains in the steeping stage.
Once the weather warms up a bit I plan on brewing a Porter kit that I got from Northern Brewers.

Friday, January 9, 2009


Water is important! All grain brewers have to "condition" the water but I'm talking about the water us partial mash brewers use. In the past I have bought filtered spring water from Walmart. Not to be confused with reverse osmosis. As a result, I've never been happy with the finished beer. After all what is important here? I simply used tap water for batch of American Ale I brewed last week. Our tap water tasted pretty good so I poured 6 gallons 48 hours before the boil. I am told the chlorine evaporates resulting in usable brewing waters.
I do add a tablespoon of gypsum to harden the water which I'm told is preferred. Any comments are appreciated!

Fermentation Update

Pitched the Wyeast smack-pack into the "American Ale" last Tuesday and now have fermentation action. I replaced the blow off tube with a typical air lock as it seems there just aint gonna be the volumnous spectacle associated with cultured yeast.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Repitched Yeast

Re pitched Wyeast American Ale smack pack and the fermentation has taken off. It is not nearly as active as say pitching a propagated liquid yeast but I'm sure it'll do the job. There is a nice krauesening foam on top and I expect to send it to the 2nd stage in about a week.
Here is home brewed beer!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Stuck Yeast

I brewed a 5 gallon batch of American Ale Friday and used White Labs liquid California Ale yeast which I propagated for 24 hours before pitching. Here you see in the picture nothing is happening 48 hours later! Yikes!!! I popped the top and there is no fermentation activity taking place. So I'll re-pitch tomorrow and use a smack pac.

Friday, January 2, 2009


Today I'll be brewing an "American Ale" partial mash kit from Beer, Beer and More Beer. I'm pitching a propagated California Ale Yeast, WLP001 from White Labs.