Monthly Archives: January 2012

Brew pause.

Oh, the horror!

I’m off to Winnipeg for ten days to play with the Winnipeg Symphony. That’s the good news. The bad news is that I haven’t brewed since last week and won’t get to brewing either at home or at the brewery until the first or second week of February. Luckily the two batches that I brewed just after New Year’s are ready to go. One is being tapped this evening and the other will cold crash for the entire ten days I’m away. Should be nice and clear upon my return.

No brewing but I’m hoping to try some different beers while I’m in Winnipeg. I was there last spring and tried some nice IPA from Half Pints Brewing. I’m hoping this time to maybe get out to the brewery for a tour just to see what is going on. Seeing other breweries and brewers in action always sparks new ideas for my own process and it’s great to meet the brewers of the beer you like.

I’ll try some beer and maybe write a bit about it while I’m there but I don’t do formal reviews of beer. There are other people who do a much better job at that and I’m happy to leave it to them.

Next post will be from the ‘Peg!

So much cleaning.

I’m so behind in my brewery maintenance/cleaning. I’ve had several transfers over the last month or so and I have not yet caught up.

My current (and increasingly urgent) to-clean list includes two kegs, three carboys and a myriad of bottles and growlers in various states of label removal and soaking. It seems that my other life of playing bass trombone for a living has affected my brewing life. So be it.

On the other hand, I am entering into a very nice beerspace in the near future. The pale ale brewed over the holidays with my friend Matt has fermented out. It’s been dry hopped and is currently sitting in secondary with gelatin and cold crashing. Could be kegged as early as this evening or I could let it go for a bit more for clarifying.That will be grain to glass in under three weeks. It’s no record but it’s quite reasonable for that beer.

The best bitter that was also brewed over the holidays has fermented out as well. I took a sample the other day to check final gravity and the sample was already very clear and tasted quite good. It’s the first recipe I’ve made for a best bitter and I think it turned out quite well. I don’t usually fret over these things but in this case the recipe was for a 10 gallon batch to be split with my friend. If the recipe had not turned out so well I would have felt a bit guilty having created less-than-stellar beer.

As far as what’s on tap… The Fin de la Saison is finally ready. My brew partner on that batch, Scott, has handed most of the 5 gallon keg over to me! While the beer is well made and to style it was not quite to his taste. He got a volume out of it that he wanted and brought the rest to me. It’s a perfect second tap beer in my set up as it’s not something I’ll drink every day but it’s nice to have around. It’s certainly a different taste than what I would normally make on my own but that’s one of the great things about brewing with somebody. Every once in a while we go in a direction that one of us may not want to go but it’s good to explore.

Brewing this week will put me back at GRB for a couple of batches and at home with a 5 gallon batch of Imperial doppeleisbock strong ale… Or something like that. I have to look at the recipe. 😉

Back in the brew house.

(Tried to post this one last week but it failed somehow.)

Got a surprise call last week from Grand River Brewing to come in and brew for them a couple of times. A surprise because I brewed for them last at the end of November and I honestly thought that was going to be my last time for a couple of reasons:

1. The assistant is doing more of the brewing than before leading me to believe that I would be involved less.

2. The last brew that I did was so smooth and “text book” that I figured that HAD to be my last time in the brew house.It was too good to be true.

So last week went fine and and I got called in again for this week so it’s all a bonus! This week I did two big brews with their Russian Gun Imperial Stout and Curmudgeon IPA. Bigger brews behave slightly different so it can sometimes be interesting. No problems this week so that is always a bonus.

I was also back in my own home brew house, as it were. I brewed with a couple of friends in the week following New Year’s. Made up an APA using half Pilsner malt and half Munich. I’ve used that combo before and it works quite well. Various additions of American hops and in a couple of weeks I have something very drinkable.

The other batch that I brewed was a pretty straight-up best bitter. Some 2-row, Munich and Pilsner with the addition of some Crystal 110. A bit of a mish-mash of grains but I didn’t have quite enough 2-row and made it up with Pilsner. Hopped with East Kent Goldings and Willamette and it should provide a very balanced and decent beer. An authentic “Best Bitter” in the truest sense of the term? Maybe not but it’ll still get the job done.

In keeping with the name of the blog I currently have my pumpkin ale on second tap and on first tap is the stout that was made with the second runnings of the LISP. I’m enjoying both.