Monthly Archives: December 2012

2012 in review

Sure, why not? WordPress generates these stats for me and I figured I’d share them this year. Nothing earth shattering, just fun to look at.

I’ll do a real post in the next day or so. Hang in there. 😉

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 5,800 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 10 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

The Beer Store

Caution: Soapbox

First off, I don’t support it. I can’t stand the place except as the building where I return my empties that I bought at the LCBO. They have very few brands of beer that I’m looking for and the experience is generally dismal.

I read the following couple of articles in the last little while:–cohn-why-ontarians-can-t-bear-the-beer-store-any-longer–cohn-more-reasons-to-end-the-beer-store-cartel

They sort of got me going again. 😦 And then this letter to the editor in the Cambridge Times added fuel to the fire.–monopolies-like-the-beer-store-poorly-managed-inconvenient

I totally agree with what the individual is saying it’s just that he exhibits the common knowledge that The Beer Store is a GOVERNMENT run business. It’s not! It’s run by the brewers which are ALL foreign-owned.

I’m not pretending that I don’t buy foreign products or even that I don’t buy foreign beer but just go in with your eyes open. If you think that you’re going into The Beer Store as a government run monopoly and supporting Molson as a Canadian-owned brewery. You’re dead wrong. Sorry.

Thank you. I just had to get that off my chest.

People’s Choice

Ok, I can’t decide.

I have a half carboy or so of a strong Imperial Stout. I’ve already taken some of that for a whiskey-soaked, charred cherry wood version of the stout. The other part was going to be for a rum-based something but that experiment failed.

What to do with the remaining beer? I have a few things I can do as follows:

  1. Vanilla Bourbon Imperial Stout
  2. Oaked Bourbon Imperial Stout
  3. Plain (It’s actually a very good stout on its own)
  4. Other

It’s not a huge rush job but it is something I would like to have available over the holidays and would love to have another entry for the OBK competition in January.

I would love to hear your suggestions and votes in the comments. I’ll be making a decision over the weekend and will let you know.




Moving Beer

It was as busy a day as they come in my “brewery”.

I have two competitions coming up in January: Ontario Beer Kegs and a friendly competition between my homebrew group, GRAB (Grand River Area Brewers) and the HOZERS (Hamilton Ontario Zymurgy Enthusiasts Ring). It’s all fun and I’ve been brewing a fair bit over the last month or so so I have a few things to enter.

I spent a fair chunk of time today in my brew space moving beer from carboy to carboy. I acquired my new filtration unit a few weeks ago and one of the bonus features of it is that you can bypass the filter pads/plates and just use it as a small pump. It’s perfect for transfers and I don’t have to worry about siphons, gravity or lifting heavy carboys.

I was able to transfer and dry hop an IPA I did a while ago and move it from the bottom shelf to the top shelf of my fermentation cupboard with the pump. Pretty painless!

moving beer

moving beer

There was a question asked of me about the filtration process and that is whether the pump introduced oxygen/air through cavitation. I’m happy to say that, no, there is no cavitation in this pump since I have used it. There was a bit of air introduced via filtration but it very quickly subsided and the lines were free of any air.

No aeration/cavitation

No aeration/cavitation

It may not be totally clear in the above photo but the lines are free of any air. The little pump was a work horse today. I not only used for the bigger transfers but also for taking out a gallon of a particular beer to add to priming sugar in a gallon jug and the using it for bottling. No siphon needed!

My to-do list for today:

  • transfer/dry hop IPA
  • transfer/dry hop competition APA
  • transfer/gel Christmas Ale
  • bottle RIS for comp
  • bottle LISP for comp

Done and done!

Peter’s Happy Pils and May the Schwarz be with you… It’s what’s on tap.


Filtered Beer

A bit behind the times here but I did want to post a pic of the filtered Pils from my previous post. It still tastes a bit soapy but it has either diminished or I’m getting used to it. LOL

filtered beer (1 of 1)

Peter’s Happy Pils

Photo Contest Entry

I have entered a photo contest for the last few years over at A Good Beer Blog and this year is no different. Here are my entries for this year:

My entries for last year are here.

Long time brewer, first time filterer.

Got some more gear the other day through a friend. In amongst the gear was another Buon Vino Minijet filter unit for wine makers.

I got one a while back in this haul but only ever used it as a small pump for transfers until I broke the inlet barb on the pump itself. 😦 It has since gone to a better place (thank you, Scott).

This most recent acquisition came with some filter pads which was one of the things slowing me down with the last pump: Just getting to somewhere to get the pads. With everything in place for the filter and a beer ready to go with an empty keg ready to fill I went for it!

I was mostly interested in seeing how easy it was to filter and whether it actually made a difference to the end product. It might seem kind of obvious but in my set up if it makes things more complicated and doesn’t make the beer appreciably better then I’m not interested.

Set up was fine. I had all the lines in place and was able to sanitize easily and quickly. I was supposed to soak the filter pads in water as per the instructions but I figured with beer everything needs to be sanitized so I used Star San instead. This may have been a mistake, I don’t know yet. 😉

Once the pump was set up I needed to get various receptacles in place. The carboy of beer needed to be close to the pump, the keg needed to be on the floor and I needed a line to go from the bottom of the filter to a bucket to catch the drips from the filter itself.

Everything in place and away we go. It all seemed to be going fine, I had beer moving from the carboy, through the filter, and out the line to the keg. I let the unit run for a bit into a container to clear any sanitizer from the lines before connecting to the coupling head. Fine. Connect to the coupling head and keep going.

Big problems at that point! Beer was back flowing through the filter pads and just leaking out all over the table top. My first thought was that the filter pads were too fine and were already clogged with yeast and protein from the beer. I shut everything down and tidied up as much as possible before realizing that I hadn’t engaged the coupling head on the keg. D’oh! The beer had nowhere to go but back through the filter.

Take 2.

No problems this time. Generally smooth sailing. I was worried about some foaming issues coming out of the filter but that subsided in fairly short order. Beer was moving in the right direction!

My only two issues with the process were losses of beer during filtration and flavour. The line coming from the bottom of the filter to the bucket was fairly busy. I didn’t measure exactly the amount that was in the bucket at the end of filtration but it was easily a litre or two. Not great if I’m just filtering a rent beer .

The other issue was the flavour of the beer that I had right at the beginning. This is where I’m wondering if the soak in Star San was a mistake. The beer tasted a little bit funny. Now, I was filtering a Pils that I make and I made this last batch with Tettnang hops which I have never used before so there may have been some new flavours there that I’m not used to but this seemed like more than that. This was easily described as “soapy”.

Since then I’ve posted on a couple of forums to see if anyone has experienced the same thing with either Star San or the Tettnang giving a soapy flavour. Response has been mixed with the likely culprit being the hops.

The Verdict:

I’ll do it again. The end result is a beautiful looking beer and the basic process is only a bit more involved than my standard transfer to a keg. I almost need to do it again to refine the process.

A couple of things do make me a bit resistant to doing it again. The first main thing is that one set of pads costs about $3. I can buy a fair bit of gelatin for that price to help clarify many batches of beer. The other thing is the wasted beer. This is definitely something that can be fixed it’s just a matter of figuring that one out.

I’ll post a pic of the finished beer later, right now it’s 10am. 😉