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Showing posts from March, 2016

Fast Pitch(tm) Canned Wort - Review

Recently, I started inventorying my brewing ingredients.  In the process, I realized that I had ordered everything needed to make a Trappistes Rochefort 10 clone recipe I'd seen a while ago.  I just didn't have the yeast.  Then I remembered that I'd bought a few cans of Fast Pitch a while ago and hadn't used them.  I also had a bottle of Rochefort 10 in the fridge.  Time to grow my own yeast! I sanitized my one-liter flask and magnetic stirring bar.  I sprayed Star San on the bottle of beer, the opener, and the lid of the Fast Pitch can and let them soak a little.  Then I poured Fast Pitch into the flask and enough distilled water to hit the 1L mark.  I opened the bottle of Rochefort 10, poured most of it into a glass for my own enjoyment, and left about a quarter-inch in the bottle.  This leftover part I swirled vigorously until I could see no more yeast sediment in the bottom of the bottle.  I tipped this "slurry" into the flask of Fast Pitch. To allow

One and Done Ale - An Experiment

I had a number of malt extracts taking up space in my brewing ingredient area, and decided to see if I couldn't make an old dream come true... creating an ale with an alcohol content above 16%.  This post is a chronicling of that experiment. My basic goal is a vaguely barleywine-style ale, with a strong fruity element.  I'm thinking something perhaps dessert-like. Ingredients: 6 pounds of Amber LME 6 pounds of Maris Otter LME 3 pounds of Pilsen DME 12 ounces of Special B malt 8 ounces of CaraMunich III malt 4 ounces of Biscuit malt 0.8 ounces of Chocolate malt 2.5 ounces of Smaragd (Emerald) hops pellets @ first wort (before the boil started) 2.5 ounces of Smaragd (Emerald) hops pellets @ 30 minutes 2 ounces of Smaragd (Emerald) hops pellets @ 10 minutes 0.5 tsp yeast nutrient 1 pound Belgian clear candi sugar rocks 1 Whirlfloc tablet Two packs of Wyeast Extreme Fermentation Yeast 4347 0.25 Campden Tablets For later: 1 pound of Corn Sugar, boiled 10 minu

Great Fermentations' Tripppel End Belgian Tripel Kit

I've probably ordered brewing supplies from most of the more well-known shops on the Internet, and I've bought products from all the local homebrew shops as well.  I've gotten kits from several places and ordered individual ingredients to make several more recipes.  Until this week, I hadn't tried any kits from Great Fermentations.  After reading that their Tripppel End kit is "reminiscent of Unibroue's La Fin Du Monde" (one of my favorite Tripel style beers), I ordered it.  I received a discount through a sale they were having at the time, but the kit's normal price is $39.99 in all-grain format. The kit arrives as a plastic bag containing the grains, which are pre-measured and crushed.  With the bag of grains comes a set of instructions and four ounces of hops.  I looked at that and thought, "Either these are weak hops or this is a lot more bitter than La Fin Du Monde..." I plugged the recipe into both BeerSmith 2 and BeerTools Pro

How to Hit Volume and Gravity Targets with iMake's The Grainfather

I had pretty well mastered extract brewing in late 2014.  My recipes typically came out right at the target gravity and volume, with little or no variance.  My beers were good, and I had only ever tossed two batches, which were made without an actual recipe and turned out so sweet as to be undrinkable. I received iMake's The Grainfather RIMS brewing system in August 2015 as part of the Kickstarter.  In September, I started using it. In retrospect, this was a lot to change at once.  I went from extract to all-grain.  I swapped out my kettle, immersion chiller, and other equipment for The Grainfather, all-grain brewing, and all-new recipes.  I did this without any help or guidance from others, apart from my own reading.  It's kind of surprising that I haven't had to toss a single Grainfather-made batch. A recurring problem for me was that my final post-boil volume and gravity were rarely close to my recipes.  If my recipe was supposed to yield 5 gallons at 1.045 gravity,