Thursday, February 24, 2011

Progress thus far...

I am on my third brew. I started the batch of cloned Fat Tire Pale Ale on 2/10. My OG was right on target, 1.050

I put it to the hydrometer test yesterday, 2/23 and the spec gravity is down to 1.020, ABV is 2.8 %

My target is supposed to be 4.8%

This leads me to wonder, will it ever reach that 4.8%? Has it gone to far?

I am opting to leave it alone for another week and then test again.

I am NOT a patient man.

(update... couple hours later)

I are a dummy.. I was sitting here for a moment and I glanced at the insert that came with my hydrometer.. I forgot.. you don't take the literal reading and call it good.. you subtract the current ABV from the original ABV and that is your actual alcohol content.. so I am actually closer to the goal than I thought (another week in the carboy will do 'er just fine)..

The initial reading of 1.050 for the spec gravity points to an initial ABV of 6.5%. The current ABV reading is 2.8% so... 6.5-2.8= 3.7% and that means there are still some sugars for the little yeastie beasties to munch on.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Some Cycling Comedy...

The fellows at work turned me on to this french gent. I must have been living under a rock.

Fellow cyclists, I'm sure you'll appreciate this:

Friday, February 18, 2011

Snail Beer!


Who'd of thunk? I read that a nifty and inexpensive way to get rid of snails is via beer. I filled up a couple of old jelly jars with beer and I buried them in my target locations.

The rim of the jars was set right at ground level. The snails were attracted to the beer and they dived right in! .. No more snail issue.

So... anyone want a jar full of slugs and snails?

(image source)

I solved my bottle storage problem

This is a MAN's kitchen! heh

Thursday, February 17, 2011

This looks like my best bet for mashing on the cheap

Test post

Test post from my android

Funny video..

While looking up mashing processes, I came across this funny advertisement of yore:

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

On the subject of Diversions...

I ran across my old youtube channel. I lost the original for this and a lot of my other things when my computer was stolen, so this survives there.

...a reminder that just a few short years ago, I cruised along at 20mpg on the bike and I had a crappy camera that was not fit for the application.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Why hello there...

Rather than juggle between twitter, Facebook and ElJay, I thought I would consolidate my ramblings about my various hobbies here on Blogger. I might as well make use of the account, It came free with the email address. ;-)

I am recovering from a long hiatus off of the bike, I spent quite a long time in my 30's in the saddle and plotting revenge. I have a new job that is not conducive for saddle time so I have been making do with my bike trainer and the occasional trek around town.. not to mention hitting the ETBT yearly.

I recently took up home brewing as a hobby and that is my main inspiration for this blog.

My first batch was a clone brew of a wheat bear from North Coast brewery.. a not-quite Blue moon. I picked up some supplies from Tim over at Brew Ferment Distill and a 35 quart turkey fryer from the local big box hardware store. Here's some pictures:

My 35 quart pot... there is a handy spigot in the bottom, so I don't have to lift and pour 5+ gallons of wort into my fermenter.

This is a pic of my first batch in the fermenting bucket chillin':

By all accounts.. it came out really good (which is great, since this was my first time). My second batch, a clone of Fat Tire Pale Ale did not come out so well. I bought a hydrometer but I forgot to get the dry malt extract. I had to substitute sugar for it. The alcohol by volume came out low.

After about a week in the bottle, it actually tastes pretty good but the alcohol level was very low (only about 2%, target volume was 4%)

I decided to try again with all the correct ingredients and the spec. gravity going into the fermenter was on target and it is chugging away happily:
It took a long time last week to cool the wort down enough to pitch the yeast into I decided to procure an immersion chiller. Since immersion chillers retail for $75-$150, I decided to make my own.

I went over to the home despot and picked up a 20' coil of copper tubing, some vinyl tubing, clamps, a barbed hose end and an attachment for my faucet. Total cost for this was about $35. The result is as follows.. though I need to do a little soldering to solidify the structure. I am looking forward to using it to chill the next batch of wort:
The next batch will be a full grain one.. eschewing the dry malt and liquid malt extracts. I've been looking at the idea of making a mashing tun but it seems to be more trouble than it is worth since I found some instructions from an late 70's brewing book about mashing without the tun.