Monday, February 28, 2011

Churning and Bubbling

So an update on the brews, The Wit is chugging along nicely and the IPA is just in the beginning stages of fermentation. I'm off work tomorrow and planing to keg "Deez Nutz" Brown ale. It should be ready to drink by the weekend. Here are some pics of the beers in action...
Left to right (Citra IPA, Deez Nutz, Feelin Witty)

Citra IPA

Feelin Witty Belgian White

Till next time...

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Great Day for an IPA

Took the day off from work today and Brewed again! The weather here in NJ was so nice, almost spring like. In honor of that I brew a Citra Ipa. It went nice and smooth. Hit my mash temp spot on and the gravity was also spot on. The Wit took off and is at high krausen. I'll take some pictures this week of both the IPA and Wit fermenting. Now to figure out what to brew next? Any suggestions?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Renew and Brew

First thing this morning I headed to the DMV to get my license renewed before the end of the month rush. I was figuring that there would be a ton of people there, but the place was empty. It was the perfect start to my day. After leaving the DMV I headed to the store to pick up the Grapefruit for my brew. Started brewing the "Feelin' Witty" Belgian White Ale around noon.
The Grist(Pale, Wheat, Flaked Wheat, Rice Hulls)

Hop additions, spices, fruit to be zested(grapefruit & clementine)

First Runnings

Gotta have a brew while Brewing!

Nice color & cold break

Gravity was 1.040 which was supposed to be 1.045, so not too shabby. I'm very excited about this batch, I have a good feeling about it. I can't wait till its ready to drink!

I managed to get this Sunday off of work so I think I'm going to brew again. This time I will brew the Citra Ipa, except I'm going to dry hop with 2oz of whole leaf Simcoe hops that I received from a fellow home brew club member! I also took some video of today's brew, I'll post that when I have a chance to edit it and such.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A "Witty" Start

Made a starter today for the Belgian Wit I'm brewing on Friday. It's called Feelin' Witty! 

The recipe is as follows:
German Pale Ale 5#
German Wheat 2#
Flaked Wheat 2#
.5oz Hallertauer @ 60
.5oz Hallertauer @ 15
.75oz Coriander @ 5
.75oz Bitter Orange Peel @ 5
Zest of 1 Grapefruit @ Flameout

I'm excited about this! I'm going to use my GF's Flip Camera to make a movie like the one above for Brew Day.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

How to taste a beer...

I'm actually not going to explain how you are supposed to taste a beer, but at the Beer Fest on Saturday there was a large poster which did explain it in great detail. I'm sure almost 95% of the attendees did not notice it because they were too busy open their throats and pouring beer down it. Thats the problem with a lot of these beer tastings, they try to make it appeal to the beer lover and most of the people just want to get drunk of strong belgians and barleywines. Now I'm not saying that everyone who goes to theses events is like that, but a large majority is. If you are a beer snob like myself, you have seen it! Also I have no problem with sales reps or brewery employees pouring the beer at these events, at least know a little about the beer you are pouring. I asked a rep at the event about the beer he poured me and his response was "I don't know I just sell the beer". Man if the brew master of that brewery could have heard him! Now you are probably saying damn, this post is very harsh and negative. I would just love to attend one beer tasting where everyone there had the same respect for the brews and knew what effort went into making them. It also wouldn't hurt to have a brewer or two there to talk about the beers, they are the ones who made it, so their opinions and thoughts are totally different that those of a sales rep.

Ok, enough of me complaining about stuff. I'm still on for brewing that Citra IPA this friday. I'm actually very excited about it. I've changed the grain bill a bit to more suit the hops better. It'll be as follows:
11.00 lb Pale Ale Malt
1.50 lb Munich Malt
0.75 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 20L
0.50 lb Honey Malt
It should be like a light copper color which I like. BeerSmith doesn't have Citra listed in the hops, so I'll have to get the specs at work tomorrow and enter them myself. I am now rethinking brewing the Wit next, and might go with the Irish Red I do every year for St. Patrick's Day. Its a nice Nutty, toasty, slightly hoppy red ale.

I racked my Ciders that I made back in November today into a tertiary, until I figure out when I'll be able to bottle it. Taste good though! Here are some pictures of when I originally made them.

Three plain ciders with different yeast(English ale, Abby ale, and Belgian ale)

Two gallons cider, one gallon Organic Blueberry Juice and a bottle of Maple flavored Agave nectar.
This one smells and tastes the best!

Next post will probably be my brew session on Friday, unless I can think of something else to blog about till then.      Prost!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Feeling Witty

While watch TV tonight, the show Drinking Made Easy in particular, I saw a segment where the host was at Philadelphia Brewing Co. The first beer they tried happened to be their Walt Wit(an unfiltered Belgian white ale brewed with grapefruit peel and chamomile). So I was inspired and decided to get into my car and drive to my favorite beer store and get myself a six pack. What a great choice that was! I haven't had this beer in about a year or so, and man did I forget how great of a Wit bier it is. It is not super citrusy like most Wits(ie: hoegarden, and that other one brewed by Coors) Now I'm thinking after the Citra Ipa I will brew a Wit. I might take a note off of Walt Wit and brew it with some other type of citrus peel besides orange. Recipe to follow after some serious brainstorming.

Tomorrow is the Beer Fest at the Meadowlands, maybe there will be some Wits there that will also inspire me to write a great recipe. I'm also curious to see what North Coast Brewing will offer. Hopefully something besides Old Rasputin. Don't get me wrong I love that beer, but I can get it anytime. I want to dabble in their other brews.

If I happen to brew next Friday, it will be my second time using my new brewery item. My sweet Barley Crusher!
Here is a picture of it in action:

Great crush with the factory setting too!

Till next Post!     Prost!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Blogging and Brewing

So for starters, I'm a 26 year old aspiring brewer. I currently work at The Brewer's Apprentice in Freehold, NJ. I've been home brewing for about 4 years now. I brew All-Grain 5 to 10 gallon batches. I'm not really good at this whole blog thing, but I figured what the hell, I'll give it a try!

Right now I have a 3.5% Brown Ale fermenting and a Mild/Bitter on tap. I recently had a couple of Citra IPAs so I think that will be my next brew, I really love the aroma of the hop.
For the recipe I was thinking:
 9.50 lb Pale Ale Malt
1.75 lb Munich Malt
1.00 lb Caramunich Malt
1.00 lb Honey Malt
.75oz Citra (60)
1.0oz Citra (20)
1.0oz Citra (10)
1.0oz Citra (5)
2.0oz Citra (Dry Hop 7days)
US-05 for the yeast
Should hopefully brew this next Tuesday or Friday.

This Saturday evening I'm attending the 1st annual International Great Beer Fest @ the Meadowlands Expo center, Thanks to my Friend Mike from New Jersey Craft Should be fun, North Coast Brewing will be there so I'm pumped for that, along with many other great breweries. I'll bring my camera and take some pics to post. Also pumped about this years AC Beer Fest, I'll be attending the Friday session in hopes that it isn't super packed full of drunkin college kids that don't care about craft beer.

Not bad for my 1st blog post, I went into this thinking that I wouldn't have much to say, man was I wrong! Look out for my next post about the Int. Great Beer Fest.       Prost!