Enjoying my first bottle from my batch #2, a medium porter made from a mix of extract and grains. So much for low expectations, that’s a pretty damn good beer. The gravity only dropped from .05 to .02, but the extra sugar and the grain residue makes a respectably rich beer with a fine head. A few of those will feel just right watching the Steelers game.
Next up: a scottish ale with some bonus amber dry malt and an extra half-plug of cascade hops is about done in the secondary fermenter. The wort seemed a touch bitter. More than a touch, but I like hops. As soon as that goes into bottles, and assuming that my wife doesn’t stage some sort of intervention to get the spare apartment space back, I’m practically drooling over a wee heavy kit from South Hills Brewing supply. Then it’s time to start trying my own recipes.
News about brewing with genetics research yeast: a friend of a friend tells me that he didn’t notice any terrible flavors or deaths when he tried it. Look for updates some time early in the new year. As for the name, CDC Watch List Ale is growing on me. Kudos to everyone who participated.
Wait, you’re doing this in an apartment? I figured garage or basement space would be essential to avoid complete insanity (assuming you have avoided it). Maybe I should look into this.
Call it E86.00 – Diagnosis code for alcohol poisoning from a beverage. [/ubergeek]
OK, Tim, but do me a favor. Stick to Saccharomyces — no messing with Brettanomyces or any of the other cool species.
Why, I wouldn’t think of using anything other than Reinheitsgebot-approved S. cerevisiae. Adventurous but not crazy.
Not big on lambics, eh? (not to mention Brett requires an agar slant to keep the culture, as it’s self limiting due to pH.)
So there is such a thing as a beer nerd.
I guess when you mix beer and nerds, at least you still get beer.
German purity laws are not always a bad thing.
This question is somewhat off this topic, but I trust you and your commenters on beer, so I thought I’d ask:
My father is a long-time beer drinker who recently developed an allergy to alcohol (some kind of metabolic change associated with getting old–man I hope it’s not genetic!). Does anyone know of any commercial non-alcoholic beer that actually tastes good?
He likes lots of different kinds of beers with assertive flavors–things like Dogfish Head, Weyerbacher “Heresy,” Troegs (a local PA micro-brew), etc.–but I think he might be grateful for any palatable N/A beer he could drink that wouldn’t make him sick. Any suggestions?
Dyon — one word answer: Pepsi.
Like your old man, I can no longer drink any alcoholic beverage. I think I’ve tried all of the available alcohol-free beer substitutes. None of them is worth drinking.
If you don’t mind, I may put that quote on my next batch of labels.
In many ways I am a purely social drinker because I have never yet found a drink that tastes good. There are some that taste alcoholic in that you can feel ’em going down, but I don’t enjoy the taste of beer in general.
The only drink I’ve ever liked the TASTE of was some homebrewed mead that was served at a wedding I went to (they are into Renaissance stuff).
All you need now is a brewing rig that fits in a trailer, and you’d have one of them mobile dealies Colin Powell told us all about.
Spare Bathtub works well to keep the equipment out of sight (and help cleanup in case of a mistake.)
Or, check out this sweet little set up, from this month’s Beer Advocate.
You either have a very large apartment or an abnormally patient wife. We’re so cramped for space that it totally fucks up my system if Himself buys toilet paper in bulk instead of an 8-roll-pack.
Here is a nice website that I use to formulate my recipes.
Also you can browse other people’s recipes for ideas, and make a nice print out for your notebook. I strongly suggest that all brewers keep a decent notebook. It will become an irreplaceable resource in time.
Tim — is Triangle Brewing still open down in the Strip on Smallman as the last time I drove by, I could not find them. So how good is South Hills Brewing for supplies and recipes as I need to get my rig back out and brewing again.
CDC Watch List Ale? Really?
Toxic Adventure just seems so much more… adventurous.
Ah, the dreaded stuck fermentation. If you finished at 1.020, you didn’t ferment out all the sugars. And in bottles, that will mean you have foamers in a couple of weeks. Given enough time, and temperature increase, you might even get the thrill of exploding bottles (trust me on this, you don’t need that thrill).
So drink up this batch and work on steadier fermentations. Go with good, fresh yeast and if you get a chance go all-grain. It can be done (relatively) cheap and the flavor and fermentation are both much better than liquid malt. Oh, and never, ever use bleach to sanitize with. Use iodophor or star-san; neither seems to hinder fermentations the way residual bleach does.
I’ve had good luck with the folks at Beer, Beer, and More Beer (www.morebeer.com), based in California.
Residual bleach is a common catch all which verges on cargo cult status. Yes, it is possible to leave residual bleach around. The key thing when using bleach as a sterilizer is to remember that 1/4c is more than enough to sterilize your entire brewing kit, from mash tun to carboy, and everything in between.
The key, I’ve found, is to use as little chemical sterilizer as possible, and depend on boiling and elbow grease to make things clean before you try to make them sterile. Avoiding stuck fermentation is then a far more straightforward matter of pitching heavily enough.