Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Home from Hawaii

Wow. What an amazingly awesome adventure! To keep this mainly a beer blog I only have two must share moments. Firstly, we went to the Kalalau Beach on Kauai by toughing through the 11 mile hike along the Na Poli coast. I can't even to begin to describe the absolute utter beauty. Here's a few photos but honestly there's no words to describe it and pictures don't begin to do it justice.

So with the exception of realizing how outrageously white I am and some cuts bruises and soreness this may have been one of the best and most beautiful experiences in my life.

oh, and here's what the 11 mile hike (that took 8 hours! It was treacherous) was all towards. Sleeping on the this beach was 110% worth it. There was only 6 other people there too.

Ok. So having a hard time moving past the hike, we went to the Kona pub on O'ahu!

It wasn't actually a brew pub. I guess they only do brewing on the big island. But they had 12 beers on tap and they were all pretty good! Of course their Pipeline Porter was great (we had it with breakfast 3 days on the trip) and they also had a really great stout that was aged in barrels, and since their delicious looking american wheat with mango or something like that had run dry the bartender, who was really great, made us up a mixture of their red and IPA called an IRA. hahaha. The bartender also, when I asked about the hops in the IPA, brought me the "beer bible" which had a run down of most all of their beers (Northern Brewer, Centenial and Cascade by the way) The pub was right on the water as well so we sat on the deck with a giant pizza and some poke (delicious). It was awesome!

So, it was a fantastic trip and everything went swimmingly.

As for my beer, a window was left open while we were gone so the beers in the secondary were sitting quite cold. I had planned on bottling them both today, but when I went to check on how many empty bottles I had laying around I was kinda sad to see 17. Ooops. So I guess I've been mailing off too many homebrews and not buying enough craft brews. Looks like I need to go down to Bob's and get some.

Until next time!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Well, I got the two racked over to the secondary today. The timing actually worked out perfectly because I'm leaving tomorrow for my Hawaiian vacation (YES!) so the IPA stayed in the primary for 8 days and the stout for 9 and since I'm going to be gone for seven days they'll be right and ready to be bottled! The Stout tasted great! It seemed to be pretty chocolaty but it had that somewhat roastiness I was hoping for with it as well. The IPA on the other hand was outrageously good! It's got a decent bitterness but not too forward or cloying like I hoped the Northern Brewer would do, and the simco and centennial really shined through on the nose and flavor! It's going to be a damn fine beer :) Here they are now, where they will be waiting for me to return and give them yet another new home: My stomach.

Can't wait for Hawaii! Even though I'm pretty sure most of the time I'm just going to be thinking about what I'm going to brew next...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Here's the new wort chiller in action! I finally found a plumbing store that could connect it to my stupid faucet. 220F to 65F in forty minutes, a giant leap from the lifetime it took in a stupid ice bath.

Ahhhh now the waiting game . . . (aren't they beautiful!)

Double Brews!

Yesterday, I got to try out the new system and all went pretty well! I brewed up an IPA which is going to end up as an interesting beer.. My efficiency was around 60% again which sucks, and I also didn't use enough sparge water and ended the brew day with only 4.75 gallons instead of the 5.5 I was kinda banking on. I guess I'm not really sure what the consequences would have been using cold water to sparge, if there are any, but I decided I'd be fine with the 6 gallons pre-boil I had. I need to look into the differences between fly and batch sparging too because low efficiencies piss me off. So essentially with a higher concentrated boil and low efficiency my planned 60 something IBUs is now near 100... hahaha true northwest style :) Everything else was good though! I had some pictures I wanted to put up, but I guess SWMBO (she who must be obeyed, a brewboard term hahaa) took the camera and dumped all the pictures into some folder at her school. So next brewday I'll do some documentation on the system. I really enjoy it. With the IPA too, I'm using Pacman yeast for the first time which is also awesome.
Today then I got the St. Patty's Day Stout brewed up! I'm really really very excited for this one. I took the Black Hole Stout upped the flaked barley and added a pound of dark munich and half pound of crystal 120. I cut back on the base malt though, so hopefully (the bad boy's boiling right now) I'll hit the OG right around 1.048. I also today, it's been a good couple days :), kegged the Murder City Stout for the dudes that are coming out for the show tomorrow. It's . . . Interesting. I definitely like it! But I learned my lesson about molasses. It has an almost smoked flavor to it from the molasses. I'd have to pull out my notes to see what kind of molasses it was, but I didn't expect the smokiness. It landed at exactly 10% alcohol though, so that was a goal achieved. hahaha

I also cracked open an Abbot. It's not carbed but things are already changing for the better. It doesn't seem as watered down, the color was PERFECT, and the aroma is still great. So that's exciting. And Liberation is still quite a delight :D that ones not going to be around for long (YUM!)

Man, this stout smells so damn good! So I'm back to the boil pot . . .

Brew On!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Got old Abbot bottled today and wasn't really pleased with what came out. It's obviously really watered down and possibly even oxidized? It still smells great though! hahaha. I'm excited to see how the final project is. I'm sure it'll still be a damn drinkable homebrew. I cracked open a pale ale yesterday though to see how it was going to fair at the homebrew meeting tonight and it came out pretty good! My efficiency on the mash was terrible, and I went a little heavy on the aroma and flavor hops, so I ended up with a pretty serious cascade (the only flavor and aroma hop I used) pale ale! It's very flowery...almost a sweet flowery.

But alas, I'm going to be late if I don't get going! I love these meetings because the guys and gals that come out never disappoint :)