Archive for the ‘Home Brewing’ Category

Brewed: Rabbit NEIPA

Sunday, September 30th, 2018

wyeast 3118

Home brewing isn’t a necessity but it is therapeutic. I haven’t had the chance to put my skills on display in quite some time. No better way to get back on the band wagon than to brew up a batch of Northeast India Pale Ale (NEIPA).

Rabbit NEIPA gets it name from the most recent Avengers movie: Infinity War. In it, Thor, refers to Rocket as Rabbit. I immediately found that funny. It is funny since Rocket is a raccoon and, in multiple movies, they make fun of the type of animal is might be. I find this funny and knew I had to name a beer after the banter.

The itch to brew was upon me a couple of weeks prior to actual brew day. I made a trip to the local home brew store and I had one major goal: get some liquid yeast. Specifically I was looking for Wyeast 1318 – London Ale III. I have seen many recipes that use this yeast in NEIPAs but I always seem to be crunched for time with brew days being more of a spontaneous event rather than planned.

Formulating the recipe for Rabbit

Home brewing a NEIPA has certain prerequisites for me: oats/wheat (or both) and hops that will give a solid tropical aroma and flavor. The oats and wheat are always the easy part. I keep playing with the hops, leaving out Citra many times, to see if there are other variations that yield said tropical profile. I have been about 50/50 so far. I decided to go for a typical style profile using Citra. Simcoe was laying around; easy decision. Throw in a dash of Azacca and it sounds like a winner.

The kegging of this beer let the aromas free, creating anticipation for the first real taste. Enjoy!

Recipe for Rabbit NEIPA

General Information:
Brew Date: Sunday, September 30, 2018
Day: low humidity, high sky, started @60*F
Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: Wyeast 1318
Yeast Starter: 2L
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.5
Original Gravity: 1.047
Finishing Gravity: N/A
IBU: 63.1
Color: 3.9 SRM
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Conversion Efficiency: 67.75%
Alcohol by Volume: N/A
Apparent Attenuation: N/A
Calories per ounce: N/A
Primary Fermentation: 7 days @68*F

Grain Bill:
4.00 pound(s) 2-row
4.00 pound(s) Red Wheat
1.00 pound(s) Flaked Barley
1.00 pound(s) Oats
4.00 ounce(s) Caramel 20L

Mash:
Saccharification @150.5*F

Hop Bill:
1.00 ounce(s) 2016 Simcoe @first wort
1.00 ounce(s) 2016 Azacca @10 minutes
2.00 ounce(s) 2016 Citra @5 minutes
2.00 ounce(s) 2016 Azacca whirlpool, 20 minutes
2.00 ounce(s) 2016 Simcoe whirlpool, 20 minutes
1.00 ounce(s) 2016 Citra whirlpool, 20 minutes
3.00 ounce(s) 2016 Citra dry hop, high fermentation
2.00 ounce(s) 2016 Simcoe dry hop, high fermentation
2.00 ounce(s) 2016 Simcoe dry hop, slowing fermentation
1.00 ounce(s) 2016 Citra dry hop, slowing fermentation

Extras:
1.0 tsp Irish Moss @15 minutes
1.0 tsp Yeast Nutrient @15 minutes
4.0 quarts of rice hulls

Updates:

  • 2018-10-01 evening: @67.1*F, added first round of dry hops.
  • 2018-10-02 evening: @67.3*F, added second round of dry hops.
  • 2018-10-06: cold crash.
  • 2018-10-07: kegged.

Useless Fact: Statistically, you are more likely to die on the way to buy a lottery ticket than you are to win the lottery itself.

Brewed: Leaner Saison (E)

Saturday, July 7th, 2018

beautiful day to home brew leaner saison

This is the fifth recipe version that I home brewed of Leaner Saison. It is the second time I have brewed Leaner Saison this year and the second recipe version. Not much difference but I keep tweaking.

There is only a few unbelievable days each summer in Chicagoland. Today was going to be the second in a row: 75*F – 80*F with <40% humidity. Starting the home brewing process at 0600 with high skies is the perfect scenario for me. The sun hits the yard with those long angles, similar to the evening but riding on the hope of the days beginning rather then the solemn end.

Formulating the recipe for Leaner Saison (E)

The reason for brewing this batch of Leaner Saison are quite similar to the earlier brew session this year:

  1. Lallemand Belle Saison yeast had been purchased a couple of weeks prior in anticipation of home brewing a saison.
  2. The taste for rye was in my mouth. I think it may be time for hoppy rye amber as well!
  3. I purchased Azacca purposely for Leaner Saison after the success of the brew day earlier this year.
  4. Simplifying the last recipe version.
  5. It summer and a hoppy saison sounds darn delicious.

Anticipation is high from end for this beer. The upped level of hop usage along with how well it plays with the rye… Enjoy!

Recipe for Leaner Saison (E)

General Information:
Brew Date: Saturday, July 07, 2018
Day: low humidity, high sky, started @65*F, rising to 80*F
Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: Lallemand Belle Saison
Yeast Starter: none
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.5
Original Gravity: 1.061
Finishing Gravity: N/A
IBU: 30.8
Color: 5.0 SRM
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Conversion Efficiency: 67.75%
Alcohol by Volume: N/A
Apparent Attenuation: N/A
Calories per ounce: N/A
Primary Fermentation: 2 days @68*F, rise to 90*F

Grain Bill:
9.00 pounds Pilsner
3.00 pounds Rye
2.00 pounds Red Wheat

Mash:
Saccharification @149.9*F

Hop Bill:
1.00 ounces 2016 Azacca @10 minutes
2.00 ounces 2016 Azacca @5 minutes
2.00 ounces 2016 Azacca whirlpool, 20 minutes

Extras:
1.0 tsp Irish Moss @15 minutes
1.0 tsp Yeast Nutrient @15 minutes
4.0 quarts of rice hulls

Updates:

  • 2018-07-07 evening: @66.7*F, added yeast.
  • 2018-07-08 morning: @66.0*F, no visible fermentation.

Useless Fact: Anatidaephobia is the fear that somewhere, somehow, a duck is watching you.

Brewed: Summer Rental American Pale Ale

Saturday, June 23rd, 2018
american pale ale summer rental home brew

Beautiful day but the humidity is off the charts!

I wanted to home brew last weekend but it just wasn’t in the cards. I was promised (by the wife) that I could home brew this weekend. Time to get an early start as the humidity is off the charts with all the rain we have had over the past week or two. I feel like I am in Florida in July and/or August.

Summer Rental is an American Pale Ale made with a combination of old and new school hops, while using North East India Pale Ale techniques. The grain bill is quite simple and typical of American Pale Ales: base malt, carapils, and a low Lovibond caramel malt. I decided to mash a slight bit high than normal (was shooting for 152.0*F) as I didn’t want this beer to dry out too much with the Safale S-05 yeast, American ale.

The recipe was devised to use up some older hops, making way for the enormous amount of stockpiled hops. That stockpile is only making me imagination get the best of me: what can be done, how juicy can I make, what other combination of hops can turn out fantastic?

Hops centered beers will continue to be the home brewing style of choice until I get tired of them or I cure my hoarder mentality. Enjoy!

Recipe for Summer Rental American Pale Ale

General Information:
Brew Date: Saturday, June 23, 2018
Day: 70*F, partly cloudy, ridiculously humid, rising to 80*F
Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: S-05, not hydrated
Yeast Starter: none
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.5
Original Gravity: 1.046
Finishing Gravity: 1.005
IBU: 30.4
Color: 3.9 SRM
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Conversion Efficiency: 67.75%
Alcohol by Volume: 5.38%
Apparent Attenuation: 89%
Calories per ounce: 12.37
Primary Fermentation: 7 days @68*F

Grain Bill:
8.00 pounds American 2-Row
1.25 pounds Red Wheat
0.50 pounds Cara-Pils
0.25 pounds Caramel 20L

Mash:
Saccharification @150.8*F

Hop Bill:
3.00 ounces 2015 Cascade @10 minutes
1.00 ounces 2015 Equinox @5 minutes
3.00 ounces 2015 Cascade whirlpool, 20 minutes
3.00 ounces 2015 Equinox whirlpool, 20 minutes
3.00 ounces 2015 Cascade dry hop, 6 days
2.00 ounces 2015 Equinox dry hop, 6 days
2.00 ounces 2015 Equinox dry hop, 5 days

Extras:
1.0 tsp Irish Moss @15 minutes
1.0 tsp Yeast Nutrient @15 minutes
4.0 quarts of rice hulls

Updates:

  • 2018-06-23 evening: @65.1*F, added yeast.
  • 2018-06-24 morning: @62.0*F, no visible fermentation.
  • 2018-06-24 afternoon: @61.6*F, no visible fermentation, put on heat @68.0*F.
  • 2018-06-24 evening: @64.8*F, light fermentation, took off heat.
  • 2018-06-24 morning: @65.3*F, medium fermentation, put on heat @68.0*F.
  • 2018-06-24 afternoon: @67.6*F, great fermentation, added dry hops.
  • 2018-06-25 afternoon: @68.4*F, slowing fermentation, added second round of dry hops: 2 ounces 2015 Equinox.
  • 2018-06-29 evening: @66.4*F, no visible fermentation. Cold crash @39*F.
  • 2018-07-01: Kegged.

Useless Fact: Squirrels prefer to live in Oak trees but they will live in other trees too.

Tasted: Whammy! NEIPA

Sunday, June 17th, 2018

The wait is over, I can finally taste a home brew: Whammy! NEIPA (Northeast India Pale Ale). Gearing up for the tasting, I couldn’t wait, I had been tasting the beer pre-carbonation to determine the development of the profile.

I had apprehensions of the Hallertau Blanc hops as I wasn’t certain they would nicely with the other two hops; Vic Secret and Mosaic. For those of you that aren’t familiar, Vic Secret is a hop that is a replacement for Galaxy, typically the harder of the two to get. Hallertau Blanc has some wonderful tropical fruits but also can have a green grape side that might not be friendly.

Look: Pours golden yellow. Very hazy, even cloudy.. Nice white foam covers, about an inch thick. Retention is above average. Lacing is nice. Similar to Swim? Swammi? Slippy? Slappy? Swenson? Swanson? NEIPA as the grain bill is exactly the same.

Aroma: Mango, passion fruit, papaya, pineapple, grapefruit and fruity green grape. Slightly floral. Sweet. Solid on the nose, the hops completely compliment each other.

Taste: Sweetness is there but seems to suit the style. The cornucopia of tropical hop flavors want to overwhelm but my nose is up to the task. Hops carry from start to finish but are not bitter, the sweetness makes sure of this point.

Body: Medium body. Medium carbonation. Very Dry.

Overall: This beer is a home run. The malt profile is perfect and the hops lend the perfect balance for the style.

Back in business of home brew. Starting off with an All-Star beer makes this an easy slide back in. My next beer will be on point quite quickly. Of course it will be another NEIPA. Enjoy!

Useless Fact: According to a study, people whom constantly check and use their mobile devices throughout the day are less able to delay gratification.

Brewed: Whammy! NEIPA

Tuesday, June 5th, 2018

I had to take a hiatus from home brewing. I had shoulder surgery. It put my out of commission for two months. If it wasn’t for remembering that I had a carboy handle, the lapse in home brewing would have last much longer. I could carry light objects in left hand, but nothing substantial. I was most worried about moving the full carboy at the end of the brew day. My son helped me carry brewing supplies from storage, weigh out and grind the grains. It actually turned out to be the most help I have had brewing in a very long time.

Whammy! is a North East India Pale Ale (NEIPA). The grain bill for Whammy! is the same as Swim? Swammi? Slippy? Slappy? Swenson? Swanson?. Using the same grain bill made recipe formulation simple, decreasing the time involved. Besides, I really like Swim? Swammi? Slippy? Slappy? Swenson? Swanson?.

This only left the hop profile. I found Vic Secret and Mosaic in the freezer but I wanted to add a bit of complexity. I decided on Hallertau Blanc. I haven’t heard of it used much in this manner and have only used it once before, when I brewed Schlapp back in 2017. I don’t know if it will work in this beer but it did work well in Schlapp. Enjoy!

Recipe for Whammy! NEIPA

General Information:
Brew Date: Sunday, May 27, 2018
Day: 70*F, sunny, humid, rising to 90*F
Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: S-04, not hydrated
Yeast Starter: none
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.5
Original Gravity: 1.054
Finishing Gravity: 1.010
IBU: 49.4
Color: 3.8 SRM
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Conversion Efficiency: 67.75%
Alcohol by Volume: 5.78%
Calories per ounce: 14.7
Primary Fermentation: 7 days @68*F

Grain Bill:
10.00 pounds American 2-Row
2.00 pounds Oats
1.00 pounds Red Wheat

Mash:
Saccharification @151.7*F

Hop Bill:
2.00 ounces 2015 Vic Secret @10 minutes
2.00 ounces 2016 Mosaic @5 minutes
4.00 ounces 2015 Vic Secret whirlpool, 20 minutes
2.00 ounces 2016 Mosaic whirlpool, 20 minutes
4.00 ounces 2016 Hallertau Blanc dry hop, 3 days
2.00 ounces 2016 Mosaic dry hop, 3 days
2.00 ounces 2015 Vic Secret dry hop, 3 days

Extras:
1.0 tsp Irish Moss @15 minutes
1.0 tsp Yeast Nutrient @15 minutes
4.0 quarts of rice hulls

Updates:

  • 2018-05-28 (morning): @63.4*F, slow/no fermentation.
  • 2018-05-28 (evening): @61.6*F, slow/no fermentation. Put on heat at 68.0*F.
  • 2018-05-29 (morning): @68.0*F, great fermentation.
  • 2018-05-29 (evening): @69.8*F, great fermentation/aroma. Took off heat. Added dry hops.
  • 2018-03-31 (evening): put in freezer at 39*F.
  • 2017-06-02: Kegged.
  • 2017-06-17: Tasted.
  • 2017-06-24: Kicked the keg.

Useless Fact: A pigeon produces about 25 lbs of droppings per year.

Brewed: Swim? Swammi? Slippy? Slappy? Swenson? Swanson? NEIPA

Saturday, March 10th, 2018

Home brewing has the fun of experimentation. Recently I have been using old school hops and force combinations. They have been good but definitely not great, especially when brewing a north east india pale ale (NEIPA).

Citra and Mosaic seem to be in used in many professional versions of NEIPAs, either solo or in conjunction with one another. The hops lend that layer of tropical fruits that make the juicy style juicy. Swim? Swammi? Slippy? Slappy? Swenson? Swanson? started out with Amarillo, Simcoe and Citra. Mainly to get rid of the Amarillo and Simcoe while the Citra was there to add mango, pineapple and papaya. The mosaic was added in after some thought to try and produce a great representation of the NEIPA style.

The malt profile is similar to other NEIPAs that I made: base malt, oats and wheat. Nothing fancy but seems to fit the profile well. It may end being my base profile going forward, allowing me to play with and understand hop profiles better for the style.

As I have been doing, I used 50% reverse osmosis water with no treatment to the other 50% from the tap. Next time I am going to do a 75%/25% split of reverse osmosis to tap to see if this allows the hops to shine even more. Enjoy!

Recipe for Swim? Swammi? Slippy? Slappy? Swenson? Swanson? NEIPA

General Information:
Brew Date: Saturday, March 10, 2018
Day: 35*F, sunny
Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: S-04, not hydrated
Yeast Starter: none
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.5
Original Gravity: 1.059
Finishing Gravity: 1.010
IBU: 44.2
Color: 3.8 SRM
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Brewhouse Efficiency: 71.59%
Alcohol by Volume: 6.43%
Calories per ounce: 16.1
Primary Fermentation: 7 days @68*F

Grain Bill:
10.00 pounds American 2-Row
2.00 pounds Oats
1.00 pounds Red Wheat

Mash:
Saccharification @152.2*F

Hop Bill:
2.00 ounces 2015 Amarillo @10 minutes
3.00 ounces 2015 Simcoe @5 minutes
2.00 ounces 2015 Citra whirlpool, 20 minutes
3.00 ounces 2016 Mosaic whirlpool, 20 minutes
2.00 ounces 2015 Citra dry hop, 3 days
2.00 ounces 2015 Simcoe dry hop, 3 days
2.00 ounces 2016 Mosaic dry hop, 3 days
1.00 ounces 2015 Amarillo dry hop, 3 days

Extras:
1.0 tsp Irish Moss @15 minutes
1.0 tsp Yeast Nutrient @15 minutes
4.0 quarts of rice hulls

Updates:

  • 2018-03-10 (morning): @60.2*F, slow fermentation. Put on heat at 68.0*F.
  • 2018-03-10 (evening): @66.3*F, medium/high fermentation. Took off heat.
  • 2018-03-11 (morning): @65.6*F, great fermentation/aroma.
  • 2018-03-11 (evening): @67.3*F, great fermentation/aroma.
  • 2018-03-13: @68.0*F, added dry hops. Put on heat at 70.0*F.
  • 2018-03-15: put in freezer at 39*F.
  • 2017-03-17: Kegged.
  • 2017-03-15: Tasted.

Useless Fact: The famous painter Pablo Picasso burned many of his paintings to stay warm when having financial troubles.

Brewed: Why So Serious?

Friday, February 9th, 2018

Snowy day while brewing why so serious?

Why So Serious? American double India pale ale (DIPA) was brewed the morning that 12 inches of snow was finishing up. It made for a great outdoor photo, similar to the morning that I brewed with the Afro Six-Nine.

The evening of brew day, into the next morning, accounted for another six inches of snow. Nothing makes for a better day of brewing than the stealthy measures the snow uses to fall.

The name of the home brew is actually my feelings about the American craft beer industry; I recently wrote about American craft beer prices. The industry has warped into this ridiculously serious market as the number of breweries increase and competition for shelf space as well as customer dollars has increased pressure for the ever increasing cost of equipment.

I get it, but what ever happened to some of those fun American DIPA beers from the west coast that dominated up until a few years ago. I can’t find them. If I do, they typically aren’t fresh, therefore, if they don’t have date, I don’t touch them. This beer pays homage to those fun days of American craft beer gone forever.

Another movie quote name. Expect to see a few more. This one is from The Dark Knight, one of my favorite movies of all time.

Formulating the recipe for Why So Serious? American double IPA

Making an American DIPA was something that I really enjoyed: bitter, hoppy, and table sugar to dry. Forget about the malts…mostly. The malt was there to provide a malt backbone that was neutral, trying to balance, somewhat, without stepping anywhere near the path of the hops flavor, aroma, and bitterness. Oh, that beer needed some alcohol and needed to be have pristine clarity.

West coast hops: Cascade, Centennial, Chinook and Columbus quickly come to mind. I didn’t have Chinook (really like that pine). I had to do my best with the other 3 Cs.

Vienna malt was added for a touch of malt character and complexity. Sublteness is the intent. It is also a malt I have been waiting/wanting to use from sometime.

The aroma on this beer while fermenting was enormous, it filled up the basement, greeting the senses half-way down the steps. Hopefully all of the goodness didn’t ferment out. Enjoy!

Recipe for Why So Serious? American double IPA

General Information:
Brew Date: Friday, February 09, 2018
Day: 25*F, cloudy, snowing (12″)
Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: S-04 (2), hydrated
Yeast Starter: none
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.5
Original Gravity: 1.081
Finishing Gravity: N/A
IBU: 127.5
Color: 5.0 SRM
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Brewhouse Efficiency: 66.93%
Alcohol by Volume: N/A
Calories per ounce: N/A
Primary Fermentation: 10 days @68*F

Grain Bill:
14.00 pounds American 2-Row
2.00 pounds Vienna
1.00 pound Table Sugar

Mash:
Saccharification @150.7*F

Hop Bill:
1.00 ounce 2015 Cascade @first wort
1.00 ounce 2015 Centennial @first wort
2.00 ounces 2015 Centennial @10 minutes
2.00 ounces 2015 Columbus @5 minutes
3.00 ounces 2015 Centennial whirlpool, 20 minutes
2.00 ounces 2015 Columbus whirlpool, 20 minutes
4.00 ounces 2015 Cascade whirlpool, 10 minutes
3.00 ounces 2015 Cascade dry hop, 3 days
1.00 ounces 2015 Centennial dry hop, 3 days
1.00 ounces 2015 Columbus dry hop, 3 days

Extras:
1.0 tsp Irish Moss @15 minutes
1.0 tsp Yeast Nutrient @15 minutes
4.0 quarts of rice hulls

Updates:

  • 2018-02-10 (morning): @62.7*F, no/slow fermentation.
  • 2018-02-10 (evening): @61.3*F, slow fermentation. Put on heat at 68.0*F.
  • 2018-02-11 (evening): @66.7*F, great fermentation/aroma.
  • 2018-02-13 (morning): @67.6*F, great fermentation/aroma. Set heat at 70.0*F.
  • 2018-02-13 (evening): @69.4*F, good fermentation. Slowing.
  • 2017-02-16: @68.0*F, no visual fermentation. Took off heat blanket.

Useless Fact: 53% of women in America would dump their boyfriend if they did not get them anything for Valentine’s Day.

Brewed: Loblolly

Saturday, January 27th, 2018

loblolly coffee oatmeal stout boil

Loblolly coffee oatmeal stout came about as I am constantly bombarded by the great aromas of specialty coffees at work. I am not a coffee drinker though, I am an appreciative stalker of the fantastic aromas that I waft each and every day.

It made me think back to my coffee experiment a couple of years ago. I found in that experiment that I appreciated the 1.0 ounce per gallon of coffee version the best. I knew that I had to add approximately this amount of coffee to the beer post fermentation.

Formulating the recipe for with the Loblolly Coffee Oatmeal Stout

I had to figure the best way to get coffee in the beer. Two processes crossed my mind:

  • Rack the beer on top of coffee juice into secondary.
  • Using a funnel, pour the coffee juice directly into primary, post fermentation.

The first option requires an extra step, racking to secondary, that I didn’t want to do. Lazy. I have grown accustom to making NEIPAs, dry hopping directly in primary, therefore secondary is no longer an option I prefer. Still, I know that pouring the coffee juice into primary, post fermentation, could and would introduce oxygen into the beer.

The aforementioned coffee juice was created via a simple process:

  • I had the coffee ground “normal”. Not fine and not coarse.
  • Place a coffee filter (large) into a bowl that was plenty big.
  • Put the coffee inside the filter.
  • Fill the bowl with enough vodka to cover the coffee grounds. Note: take into account that the filter will soak up liquid until is is saturated.
  • Place a plastic bag on top of the cold steeped coffee juice.
  • Steep for a few days.

This is the basic process that I use for most steeping. The vodka doesn’t add flavor or aroma but kills any microbes that may be hiding in the ingredients that are used to make the juice additive.

I hope this beer comes out well. Enjoy!

Recipe for Loblolly Coffee Oatmeal Stout

General Information:
Brew Date: Sunday, December 31, 2017
Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: S-04, not hydrated
Yeast Starter: none
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.5
Original Gravity: 1.061
Finishing Gravity: 1.010
IBU: 59.7
Color: 3.8 SRM
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Brewhouse Efficiency: 61.55%
Alcohol by Volume: 5.12%
Calories per ounce: ~16.5
Primary Fermentation: start @62*F, slow rise for 3 days @70*F

Grain Bill:
8.00 pounds Maris Otter
2.00 pounds Flaked Oats
1.00 pounds Roasted Barley
10.0 ounces Chocolate Malt
0.50 pounds Caramel 80L
0.50 pounds Cara Malt

Mash:
Saccharification @156.9*F

Hop Bill:
1.00 ounces 2015 Magnum @60 minutes

Extras:
1.0 tsp Irish Moss @15 minutes
1.0 tsp Yeast Nutrient @15 minutes
4.0 quarts of rice hulls

loblolly oatmeal stout used big shoulders uganda coffee

Updates:

  • 2018-01-27: @62.4*F, slow fermentation.
  • 2018-01-28 (morning): @60.9*F, faint fermentation.
  • 2018-01-28 (afternoon): @60.6*F, faint fermentation. Put on heat at 68.0*F.
  • 2018-01-29 (morning): @67.9*F, great fermentation.
  • 2018-01-29 (evening): @67.1*F, nary fermentation. Set heat at @70.0*F.
  • 2018-01-30 (evening): @70.1*F, fermentation finished.
  • 2018-02-04: took off heat.
  • 2018-02-07: @58.1*F, added juice from vodka and 4 ounces of coffee.
  • 2018-02-10: kegged.

Useless Fact: Standing anywhere in the state of Michigan a person is within 85 miles of one of the Great Lakes.

Home Brewing Keg Beer Line Cleaner

Monday, January 22nd, 2018

Being new to kegging my home brewing endeavors, each and every process I partake is new. Since I am a logical person, processes are always met with a why and how may I do it easier and cheaper. Sometimes, I even wonder if the step is necessary.

Cleaning the tap lines after use seemed to be one of those perfect processes for questioning:

  • How often does this need to be done?
  • What is the process for cleaning?
  • Is there only one way to clean?
  • Why should it be done?
  • What supplies/equipment is/are needed to clean the lines.

Doing a search for tap lines cleaning quickly brought up the purchase our product and do it this way solution. In fact, the SEO for that process must be awesome as it was listed multiple times in the search engine results. I didn’t like the price tag. There had to be home made examples that would cost half as much or less.

Of course, finding them wasn’t hard. There were videos of the build and cleaning process. I liked the $20 for the solution. I decided to write about it to help get the word out, highlight the videos I used and give an actual part list.

Part list:

  1. Flo Master 56HD (~$6.99) – pick this up at home depot. It is in the lawn and garden section.
  2. 3/8″ brass flare tip connector (~$1.69) – pick this up at home depot as well.
  3. Firestone keg liquid post (~$14.99). There is a link in the first video to buy one on line but bring the brass flare time connector with you to the local home brew shop and you will have it immediately.
  4. Teflon tap. Come on, any DYI will have this laying around.

Three notes about the build:

  1. I had to use a wrench to fully get the flare tip connector into the Flo Master. Be careful as to not over tighten.
  2. The picture is a close up of how the pieces go together on the Flo Master. Somewhat hard to see in the videos.
  3. This should not leak!

Watch the videos on how to put it together: much easier than trying to explain. The two videos, that together combine to give the parts list, as well as how to assemble and use the beer line cleaner, are both included below.

Useless Fact: A giraffe can run faster then a horse, and can live without water longer than a camel.

Tasted: with the Afro Six-Nine

Sunday, January 14th, 2018

It is snowing outside, the temperatures are in the teens, no better time than the present for a home brew. with the Afro Six-Nine seems to be the prefect beer for the present moment. Of course this fits the bill of a North East India Pale Ale (NEIPA).

Look: Pours golden yellow. Somewhat hazy, could possibly call it cloudy. Nice white foam covers, about an inch thick. Retention is above average. Lacing is thick, coating and throughout.

Aroma: The nose is big on the hops. Passion fruit, peach and some berry mingles. Ripe! Gentle sweetness. The aroma is huge!

Taste: Light sweetness balances a huge hop flavor. Ripe passion fruit and peach are prevalent. The hops linger into finish along with a sidecar of sweetness.

Body: Medium body. Medium carbonation. Crisp and dry. Bitterness is minimal.

Overall: There is huge aroma on this beer. Definitely the star. Taste is solid. Overall a good example of the style. The hops work well together.

My first kegged NEIPA. Being able to get a small snort is so much more enjoyable than having to finish a 22 ounce bomber all the time. Enjoy!

Useless Fact: Most lipstick contains fish scales.

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