More brewing updates

Discussion in 'Beer & Ale' started by coyote-1, Mar 1, 2010.

  1. coyote-1

    coyote-1 Smoking Fanatic

    First batch (Altbier) has 9 bottles left. I want to keep them around for awhile. Which means I have to buy beer! Not a bad thing [​IMG]

    I've been purchasing (and consuming) minikegs. Most recent is Grolsh. I rigged up a portable CO2 system (as per the instructions on the Northernbrewer forum), and it works well. I also managed to allocate door space in the kitchen fridge so I don't always have to go into the basement for a beer. So on Saturday I racked three minikegs (plus 8 bottles) of the red ale I brewed on President's Day, and yesterday I brewed a Canadian ale. I have one empty minikeg, and the Grolsh mini is almost empty. So I just have to buy and consume one more mini in the next week; somehow I doubt I'll have any trouble managing that [​IMG]

    Yesterday morning, before I brewed, I made a wort chiller. These things are sold for $60 or more. My total parts cost was less than $25. I cleaned the chiller, and then put it in the boiling pot for the last 10 minutes of the boil. I packed the sink with snow, put the brewpot in, hooked up the chiller.... I also had a quart of frozen sauce that needed defrosting, so I sterilized the outside of the container and put it into the brewpot. Between those three things, 2.5 gallons of boiling wort came down to 80 degrees in 20 minutes!

    So the methods are falling into place. Which is good, as I need to be able to supply myself @ two cases of beer per week come summertime. The minikegs will travel well to the beach with the portable CO2. Next task: Paintball-based, regulated CO2 for the fridge door. I'm gonna build a panel that will look like it's part of the fridge, with a good tap.

    Brewing is turning out to be a great co-hobby with smoking [​IMG]
  2. brewing was my first hobby and it is the greatest hobby ever.but i was thinking abought what you were saying abought the paintball-based kegeraitor.i may be wrong but i beleave thay mix a lubricant/oil in with the co2 to keep the O rings from drying out and what you can do is go to a welding supply shop and buy a 5lb tank of co2 which is purer than medical grade co2.
  3. coyote-1

    coyote-1 Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks for the advice! I already was aware of that possibility; the idea is to get 16oz CO2 tanks (empty) from a paintball supplier, and then refill at a local gas supplier. Because the smallest 'standard' CO2 tank will not come close to fitting where it needs to go - which is on the door of my main fridge.
  4. coyote-1

    coyote-1 Smoking Fanatic

    Brewed an Irish stout ale last night. Next week I'm gonna transfer it to a secondary fermenter, and then brew a pale ale.

    After five batches where nothing went as expected yet every batch has been delicious, I've learned to simply trust the hydrometer. So the process has boiled town to this:

    give the beer a week in primary
    measure SG, transfer to secondary
    measure FG in another week
    bottle/minikeg the beer
    age three weeks

    That said, come autumn and winter I'm gonna try to push the aging process. The beers are drinkable and quite good at three weeks, but two months makes them excellent.

    I was in Philly last weekend. A restaurant called FORK is doing a batch for the upcoming BeerWeek. They started just three days ago.... unfortuately, their beer will be nowhere near drinkable for the second week of June.
  5. hookup

    hookup Smoke Blower

    I don't even use a hydrometer anymore.

    For ales, a week in the primary, week in the secondary, then the beer gets kegged w/ 1/2c DME.

    For lagers, two weeks in the primary, three in the secondary, then keg w/ 1/3c DME and lagered for 6-8 weeks.

    You can easily guess the alcohol content by the amount of grain you use in the mash or by the 'grin factor' of the first couple beers.
  6. coyote-1

    coyote-1 Smoking Fanatic

    Minikegged/bottled a batch tyesterday, and will minikeg/bottle another on Wednesday - as I brew yet another batch. Then I'll brew again on Sunday while I move Wednesday's abtch from primary to secondary.

    Production is finally catching up to consumption  :) 
  7. bigmatt

    bigmatt Newbie

    Wait until you get more advanced and start doing all grain batches, you can make smoked beers by smoking your grains before mashing.  I am going to experiment with a few different smoked beers this summer to have a selection of nice smokey beers for fall and winter.

    Coyote-1, I have brewed all grain batches from grain and force carbonated them in kegs and drank the beer within 10 days.  It is true aging will mellow out some beers, and some are better that way, but simple recipes like Hefes, Pale ales, and amber ales are all easily drinkable in 3 weeks.  In fact, hefe is ment to be served fresh.  Give it a try some time and let me know what you think.
  8. coyote-1

    coyote-1 Smoking Fanatic

    Not doing all-grain yet, but I'm now doing my own "grain flavoring" blends. I'm hoping that by this time next year, I'll be doing all-grain.

    But my production is finally where it should be. I've brewed on each of the past three weekends, and I'll brew again the weekend after Thanksgiving... and then again two weeks after that. I have 18 minikegs, and I expect them all to be full by Xmas. From there I'll only have to brew once a month or so in order to maintain full stock into summer.

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