Hello boys and girls, welcome to another edition of Panhandle Beer Forum. Today we are talking all about Homebrewing and how much fun it is and why you should do it. First, it is fun. Second, you get great beer from it. Third, it is easy.
Everyone starts off doing extract brews and eventually goes all-grain. What ever techniques you use, it doesn't matter because it is going to be great beer that will make you proud. I promise. I remember the first time I opened a bottle of homebrew with my friend Brad, we still think that is the best batch we have ever made. And it could be. The thing I like about brewing is that there is not a limit to what you can make. Like a chef in action, your mind goes into super creativity mode and you can think up some of the strangest things. For instance, I made an IPA recipe once spiced with rosemary and aged on oak chips and lavender leaves. Does that sound normal?
Recently, my friend made a Kolsch to celebrate the birth of his daughter. You can see it here in the picture and I have to say, that is one of the coolest homebrew labels I have ever seen. The other bottle in the picture is a bourbon barrel aged stout that was made by a Beeradvocate over in Mississippi. I was able to hang out with a couple of local beer geeks in Mississippi when I was there a couple of weeks ago.
But homebrewing is a very adventurous hobby and I wish more folks were into it. Now onto the next topic. My brew bud, Tony and I have been planning a Big Barley Wine brew for while and we finally got around to doing it. We actually were planning a Party Gyle, which is making two batches of beer with the same grain. How it works is you make a high gravity beer with your grains and re-mash the grain to make a low gravity beer. Sounds simple, huh? In order to have enough equipment, Tony acquired a new burner that he got for free and I
must say, it does a great job burning! It burnt the sides of the pot, the bottom and could have burnt a bunch more. But what can you say, it was free? We needed to have at least one other burner ready to heat water, but we ended up not using "The Torch from Hell", as we thought it was dangerous.
Our sparge went well. We ended up with about 67% efficiency, which is a little low, but we will end up with a 9% beer when it is all done.
As you can see in the picture, that when we started to mash out, the beer is different colors. This is because the grains in the two cooler are different. The one on the left has mostly base grains and the one on the right has a lot of the specialty grains. They all mix in the end anyway.
This is just a fancy little shot of the spent grain after the mash was over and they make some great cookies. Amy has an awesome recipe, I will post it one day when she makes more and I can be inspired. But all of that was turned into tree food. Yes, returneth to the Earth.
After the sparge, we fired up the Brew Kettle. Nothing pumps you up more than firing up the Brew Kettle.
And Tony was pumped up. We boiled that bad boy for an hour and a half, to ensure a quality fermentation. We were shooting for an American Barley Wine and it should have a big hop character. We hopped the BaJeepers out of it and according to Tony's computer projection, it could have upwards of 160 IBUs. There are those letters again, IBUs. I have been told that the human palate can only recognize up to 90 International Bitterness Units, so this should be a fun beer to taste.
As for the other beer, we were able to get a 5 gallon brew out of it, after adding more grain. But we got our Barley Wine. That's all that matters, right?
By the way, I had to retype most of this because when I went to post the first one, Blogger deleted half of the post. I was as pissed off as a legless Ethiopian watching a doughnut roll down a hill. I was mad.
Oh, and I shaved off my beard. See ya.
A new corporate event space in Atlanta
4 days ago