In just a little bit I will brew the Irish Rye again. This will be the third brewing of this beer. I’ll probably be working on it into the wee hours of the night while children run around the neighborhood in an early trick or treat frenzy. I won’t be making any real changes for the recipe of this brewing. Mostly I want to see just how closely repeatable it is on my current system.
I am considering brewing Magic 8 Ball again on my next brew day. I am planning on changing the recipe slightly on this one. I will be adding some oats to give it a bit more creaminess. At the same time I will most likely be lowering a different part of the malt bill so I can keep the gravity down a bit. I still don’t want this one going much over 4% alcohol.
I am also working on how my bottle gun attaches to the CO2 lines. The new set up is about 1/2 the size of what I originally designed. I feel so much like an engineer now (gah, save me). The nice part is I won’t have to remove the gun’s CO2 hookup from the line now. It has its own shut off valve so all I have to deal with on bottling day is the gun itself and then a quick reattachment to the line.
Yesterday I picked up a picnic tap so now I can pour from all three kegs in the kegerator. It doesn’t look as nice as having a third tap on the front of the kegerator would but it is much easier to deal with. This also makes it much easier to check keg carbonation. Instead of dirtying main lines I can pour from the line that is easiest to clean.
Not too long ago I found a chest freezer at the salvation army (and it works) that I am considering picking up to turn into my next kegerator (imagine 5 or 6 taps total in my house … wow I could be a bar in my own right). If I manage to get it, I will be converting it into a fermentation unit first and foremost. It will be a nice expansion that not only lets me control fermentation temps a little better but also I will be able to use it to do lagers. I am a pretty big fan of bocks and dopplebocks. I will also be able to do a nice kolsch (honestly, I could go on about this all day… the possibilities are almost endless).
At this time I should sign off I have beer to drink (I mean work to do)…
The good news… Last years cider is finally ready. The bad news… this years cider won’t be ready till next year.
So I finally got this years cider underway. It only took me about a week from the time I picked up the cider from Gull Meadow Farms. I went a slightly different direction this year in the recipe formulation. Instead of 2 pounds of brown sugar I used 2 pounds of demerrara sugar. Upon opening the bag I noticed that the smells coming from the demerrara were much more pronounced than what you might find in the heavily processed brown sugar. So my thinking is that this cider will end up with a stronger flavor profile. But I noticed a slight loss in apparent extract. When I took my gravity reading my original gravity showed up around 1.071. This is a bit lower than what I have gotten in the past.
It would seem that the less refined sugar isn’t as readily absorbed into the must as refined brown sugar. The gravity reading may be off a bit because of this. But in the end it should still end up with a decent amount of alcohol and bunches of flavor.
Looking into the upcoming brews, I am thinking that Irish Rye will be coming up soon. I made a list of the beers I will be working to refine and make sparkle earlier tonight. Irish Rye made the top of the list, it seems a nice beer to enjoy in the fall. I am not sure if it will have any recipe changes. Right now I am looking more into process changes. I will be more inclined to make recipe decisions as I get closer to actual brew date (probably within the next two weeks).
And now I have been without beer for far too long today… I bid you adieu. Its time for a pint.
I finally got this one done on Sunday. Well, at least my part of the work anyway. The yeast have been happily working away for the past few days. I ended up bumping up the amount of wheat a little bit but taking the maris otter down a little. In the end I used the same amount of total grain. My hope is that the wheatiness will come out a bit more. The oddness for the brew was the pound and a half of agave nectar that was added during the last few minutes of the boil.
The flavor of the wort was not what I expected. It was definately different than what wort alone tastes like. Of course, this is always the hard part, wait and see what nature brings us.
This was the first brew using the newly renovated mash tun. I was quite pleased with how the sparge went. It was probably the best sparge I have ever gotten with this mash tun. I am anxious to see how it goes with what ever the next beer on the docket might be.
As always the brewery is still filled with projects for improvements. I have been looking into what I will need to rebuild my CO2 regulator. I do know it can be done its just a matter of finding the right parts. The one Home brew supply mail order company I found that has the parts I need is way too expensive. I spent some time talking to one of my friends over at Bell’s shop and I should have some info coming from the company they purchase their regulators from. Hopefully if I go through Bell’s to order it I might be able to get at least a little bit of a discount.
And on that note its time to find what ever pint is in store for us…