Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Recipe Designs

I have recently found myself branching out beyond the usual ales & lagers I typically brew. This has lead to an increased interest in brewing more German style beers that may include one or more decoctions. As a result I have found myself researching and reading up on brewing styles that I haven't tinkered with. It seems I can never get my hands on enough brewing literature.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Grace hit four years today. Wow, hard to imagine how quickly they grow.
Happy Birthday Gracie!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Trub Tripel Going Ape

So anytime I ever use a five gallon glass carboy for a primary fermenter, I always stick a blow off tube on the cap. In the end I'm always pleased with the results. The fermentation of these beers seem to always go crazy. I went down to the basement for some airlock sniffing this morning and found the catch basin for my blow-off tubes overflowing. This is a really good sign of some healthy fermentation going on. It looks like the yeast are really enjoying the trub. Go yeast go!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Trub Tripel

I went ahead and brewed up a Tripel on Sunday. It seems as if I have been working on this recipe for a very long time. Well it all came to fruition today. Iz got called to work at the coop, and I had some free time to kick around in the basement since I wasn't going to be riding my snowboard today. I ended up dumping the wort on the cake from the Belgian Strong Golden Ale that I recently brewed with the WLP 550. I also added a tube of WLP 500 to one of the five gallon carboys just to see what would happen with addition of another yeast.
The brew session didn't come off hitch free. As it turns out there were several small children playing in the basement. As a result my attention was turned periodically to them. While transferring the chilled wort to the carboys I ended up with a little more trub then I wanted. So much so, that i became gravely concerned with the possible outcome of having to much trub in the fermenter. I did a little research on this, and discovered that trub is good. Yeast like it, and apparently people like the end result as well.
So there you have it my Trub Tripel. This sucker might be ready to drink by the new year. See link for recipe.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Butterfly Conservatory

Winty, Grace and I made a trip down to Deerfield today to visit the Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory. We saw very many different butterflies, ans well as some poisonous frogs and a bearded dragon. If you have an opportunity to visit this place, I would highly recommend it.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Sushi experiment

Grace and I made sushi last night. It turned out quite good, and oddly enough it was painfully simple to make. Grant it I didn't use any of that fancy fish. I'll need to quiz up the fish monger for the right tuna to use.

Monday, April 21, 2008

First Rate Week

This past week gets my overall vote for the number one rated week of the year for me. I got to go on a date with my wife, ride my bike, make beer, get to Fenway, play with the kids, and ride my snowboard. More brewing on the docket this week.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Laps on Ripcord

I did laps on ripcord and jaws this afternoon. The riding is still stellar! Hopefully Tuckermans next Sunday.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Fenway Fun

Saturday evening I headed down to Fenway with my friend Todd and his neighbors Clover and Scott for some baseball action. Todd scored some standing room only seats which translated into a nice view from some seats in section nineteen. Manny cracked a two run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning tonight which turned the tide helped give the Sox a win over Texas. This was his 496 career home run.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Riding Pips Wheel

I ran into Pip on the way home Thursday. He let me ride his wheel for a few miles before dropping me like a sack of potatoes on the climb to the Putney town line. Now if I could only figure out a way to brew more beer, get some skiing in, and fit one more ride in during the week.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Strong Golden Ale

I brewed up ten gallons of a Belgian Strong Golden Ale yesterday. On Wednesday's I pick up Winty from school. Today I decided to try and fit in a late afternoon brew session. It turned into a success, and now I have a total of forty gallons in the fermenters. This is great news since my kegerator has been dry for over a week now. Winty helped with the mash in today, and Gracie helped me pitch the wort.

Ah beer glorious beer!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The return of the Belgian Golden Ale

I made a yeast starter on Sunday with plans to ultimately brew a Tripel. Instead of ramping up the yeast from the get-go I'm planning on getting a few lower gravity beers out of this batch of 1st generation WLP-550. So with that said I'm going to revisit a brew session the Belgian Golden Ale this today, perhaps a Dubbel to follow shortly after, and then the Tripel. With that said at the end of the summer I should have a massive stockpile of Belgian Beers for consumption. Now if I could only find a corker!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Commuting home

I certainly do enjoy the commute home on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It's early season, so I usually run into Pip heading North while I'm on my way South.
Only two near death experiences today due to clueless douche pilots.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Souther Tier Beer Dinner at the Sierra Grille

Iz and I attended the Southern Tier beer dinner tonight at the Sierra Grille. This ended up being a rather spontaneous event for us. I happened to be perusing the Beer Advocate forum last week and noticed that the Sierra Grille was hosting one of their quasi-monthly beer dinners. This month the Souther Tier brewery was being represented.

Until last Wednesday I had never heard of this brewery. Initially my enthusiasm to attend was lukewarm. Then I remembered O'Brian's impeccable tasted for fine food and fabulous beer. This became a no-brainer beer adventure into the unknown. A beer dinner with a host of beers made by a brewery I knew virtually nothing about.
Well the dinner was great. The food was great, and the service extraordinary as usual.
One of the courses included a deviled egg with cheese, and pepperoni. Since I abstain from red meat we decide to have fun with the pepperoni. I present you with shiny happy meat.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Amarillo Pale Ale V2.0

I brewed up my Amarillo Pale Ale this morning. After making the best of Friday evening's unfortunate circumstances I mashed in bright and early this morning. I did overshoot my gravity a mile, but eventually attributed this to coming up short in my final volume. I came up a gallon short today. I'll be able to backfill this batch with some Pale Ale that has been cold conditioning in the basement for several months. Next up on the schedule will be a Belgian Pale. Here is the Grist composition from this mornings brew This grist has pretty much become the base for my standard Pale Ale recipe. It makes a fine beer.

Malted Wheat 8.333%

Crystal malt 8.333%

Munich malt 8.333%
Pale Malt

Along with the Hop Schedule:
Hop, addition and the IBU's
Amarillo- Middle

Amarillo- Late


Amarillo- Dry Hop


Friday, April 11, 2008

Passive roller failure in the brewery

It rained most of the day today, and Thomas and Co. were bailing out of VT end retreating back to New York. This meant dinner plans would be canceled. This also meant Iz was going to be headed to Chemslford for the night with the girls. I took advantage of this gift from Iz, and seized the opportunity to get brewing in the basement.
It all went according to plan until the passive roller on my mill stopped spinning. I was dead in the water Friday evening with 20 pounds of malt left to run through the mill. Bollocks! I had to remove all the un-milled grain from the hopper, and disassemble the friggin roller assembly. Talk about a major PITA. I broke the roller assembly down, cleaned it, gave it a little lube love, re-assembled it, and it still wouldn't turn.
I ended up backing the rollers out as far as they would go, and tossed a handful of grain into the rollers. It worked! I slowly dialed the spacing between the rollers to .038 and hooked up the power drill. The rollers were now spinning with the drill attachment on the mill. I then put the hopper back on the mill, and finished milling the grist for the next brew. This unforeseen project almost two hours to complete. With this time lost, there was no way I was going to be up until 1:00 AM making beer on a Friday night. Instead I decided that mashing in at 7:00 on Satuday would be a better idea.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Belgian & American Pale Ale

It surely looks like rain on Friday and Saturday. With that said, I'm going to pull out all the stops and shoot for making some pale ale. Recipes to be loaded soon.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Commuting success

I enjoyed the first bike ride of the year yesterday. It's so nice to just get out on the bike and pedal circles. I guess I'm almost ready to let go of Winter. My brother is supposed to visit this week for some spring skiing fun. If we get washed out this weekend, I'm planning on squeezing in two brew sessions. A Belgian Pale ale and perhaps an American Pale Ale. Gotta get them fermenters filled!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Back on the bike.

I'm please to announce I'm getting back into my routine of riding home twice a week on my bike. Oh, what joy and delight this brings me. I'm very excited that Spring has finally arrived in Vermont. We'll enjoy some fabulous Spring like conditions for the next few days. I'm going to take advantage of this. Here's to reducing my carbon footprint.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Winter's first backyard goal

Astrid was over for a play date this afternoon. The girls were kicking the soccer ball around, and Winter managed to score her backyard goal today.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Chocolate Stout Redux

I brewed up the Chocolate Stout clone again this weekend. I aimed a little higher on the gravity. My target was 1.062 and I ended up somewhere around 1.068. The wort hadn't completely cooled to pitching temps when I checked the gravity it came in at 1.066 at ~78f. In order to compensate for the hydrometer's calibration set at 68f, I would need to add at least .002 points for accuracy. I'll have to dig up my calibration guide and double check this for accuracy.

This brew session went okay. While everything worked out fine today, I felt somewhat disorganized. I think I need to sit down and rethink the brew sculpture setup. I need to figure out a method that requires less lifting. Perhaps one of them fancy pumps should be added to my wish list.
I also picked up some Centennial hop Rhizomes today. This will be most excellent as I am looking forward to having my own hop flowers on hand.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Friday Snow event

It's snowing again today. Gotta love it. Unfortunately it will turn over two mixed precipitation before going to an all rain event later today. It's Gallery walk tonight and both of the girls are having their artwork showcased at different exhibits. They having already been begging for naps today so that that may go the distance tonight. Astrid and Suzanne are also going to join us tonight.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Burnsie Sighting

Burnsie was in town for his class on Tuesday night. We enjoyed a few pints over at Ray's place. We managed to throw some darts and engage in deep conversation with some interesting characters.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Sidd Finch

The story of Sidd Finch is probably the best April Fool's hoax I have ever had the opportunity to get sucked into. I remember reading the article in Sports Illustrated while sitting in Don Midway's Sociology class in high school. It is a classic, and I highly recommend checking it out.