Thursday, November 22, 2007

Bottles away!

Today I bottled the first brew. Everything went as planned and anticipated.
Of course, the real assessment of that will be in a few weeks when I can open a bottle and see how it did.

The beer spent 11 days in the primary, and 22 in the secondary. Technically it should go 33 days in the bottle conditioning process. Even though I can be patient, I doubt I can wait that long.

Just under 5 gallons came out of the secondary.
I snuck a few glasses to drink over the past couple of weeks. The last one was just a couple of days ago. I had the glass sitting on the counter while I tended to a couple of other things, and the wife happened by and thought that it was a commercial ale! WOW!

The time in the secondary really let it clear up. I even put a little bit in the fridge a couple days ago; which is really too cold for an English Bitter, and it only had a little bit of chill haze.

I bottled 27 500ml and 13 12 oz. bottles.

OG was 1.044, TG was 1.011. That should give roughly a 4.3-4.4 ABV.

When I started out on this venture I couldn't imagine how to consume 5 gallons of beer before it went bad. I've even been doing some research this past week on how to brew smaller batches.
Now, today, after putting my creation in it's final march, I can't see how it's going to last long enough for the second batch to be ready! LOL

I still plan to do some smaller batches. I just have to finish solving a couple of issues; mainly how to find an adequate ~2 gallon vessel for the primary.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Yum & CLear

Yesterday was a big day.

Thanks to the wonderful preparation and coaching of my next door neighbor I shot my first deer.
Well, precisely, that would be my first two deer. I got a 6-point buck and a button buck. Not bad for the first time out in about 25 years and my first deer ever!

To celebrate I pulled a small glass of the English Bitter that's in the secondary to have with dinner.
The brew is 3 weeks old, with the last 10 in the secondary. Wow! It's really getting clear!
I had originally, meaning before even brewing, to add gelatin as a fining a few days before bottling. Now I don't think that that will be necessary with almost two more weeks to go in the secondary.
I think it could be bottled now if I wanted. But I'm sticking to the original plan; less the gelatin.

I thought it tasted pretty darn good.

The wife wasn't quite as happy with it. Not sure if her taster was off or if it being flat affected her perception.

It's going to be some good drinking!!

I'm quite pleased.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Interesting Recipe

Recipe for Dogfish Head's Midas Touch high cap beer.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Two meads recipes

Basic/Quick Mead


"Viking" Mead
Here is a recipe I found for Boddingtons Bitter.

It looks real close to what I'm currently making (though I used a kit, some I'm not sure what the malts are).

Worth trying.

This came from site I found with all kinds of recipes, both AG and Extract.
The Cat's Meow

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Vanilla Ale

The wife loves just about anything vanilla.

Last night I found this recipe (and/or kit) for a Vanilla Velvet Amber Cream Ale.

Gonna have to give that a try.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


From primary to secondary...fermenters that is.

After 11 days in the primary, and 2 stable readings of 1.012, I racked the brew off into my brand new Better Bottle this evening.

So, 11 days in Primary, means about 21-22 days in the Secondary.

That should have me bottling on Thanksgiving.

One thing's for sure. It definitely tasted a lot better today. Even the wife thought it tasted like what we'd expect (accounting for the fact it's young and flat).

Now, to just keep the temperature stable for 3 weeks.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


We've had some unseasonably cold weather past few days.

I put a ceramic space heater in the building where the beer is living.
But the liquid temps still got down to 57 last night.
With the room temperature at 65 almost all day, the liquids were still 57.

So, it's now enjoy nice warm (by its standards) bath in the kitchen sink and will most likely spend the night in the house.

Next gravity reading: tomorrow.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

First test

Today, at almost 8 days from pitching, I checked the SG.

1.012 @ 61F

I'll check again in 3 days or so.
Looking for 2 equal readings, then will rack to a secondary.

I thought it tasted OK.
It was great when it first hits your tongue. But as it leeched out it became bitter, and after swallowing and evaporating, it was real bitter.
This, I assume, is the green beer affect.

The wife hated it, but said it was still better than Budweiser!

What a ninny

With all the research I did I knew that patience is the best ingredient in beer making.

But after 24+ hours, the wort wasn't bubbling in the fermenter, and I had held the temp right between 60-65F.
I got on the brewtalk forum and started asking questions. Even wrote to Williams.
But the answer was the one I expected. Give it time! Nothing to even begin worrying about yet.

Finally, about 48 hours after the yeast pitch it start to bubble and it was going good.

After a couple of days of that, the bubbling stopped. But I left it be.

First boil

For a few years I've been interested in making my own beer.

However, about 3-1/2 years ago I came down sick, to the point just doing anything was an issue.
Now I'm doing better. Almost recovered.

Naturally, my interest in brewing rekindled and the wife said "Shut up, and just do it, would you!"
(kinda like sex, but, that's a different blog :))

So, I bought a home brew set from William's Brewing with an English Bitter kit.

Saturday, the 20th, I brewed my first batch; after spending the weekend before "disinfecting" the entire kitchen area.


It took longer to get the initial boil than anticipated.
It took longer to get the return to boil after adding the malt extract.
Be sure next time to get the malt extract out of the refrigerator in plenty of time to come to room temperature before using.
Clean the airlock before using it.
Be sure to really aerate the wort before pitching.

The OG was 1.044