Neglected site is due for a facelift

So it's been over a year since I've posted anything here. Quite a few upgrades to the homebrewery in that time:

  • Grain mill
  • Plate chiller
  • 7 gallon stainless conical
  • Two 6.5 gallon carboys
  • 10 gallon oak barrel

But this post isn't about any of that. This place needs a facelift. Going to fire up my sandbox and play around with a few different design ideas. Also not looking forward to upgrading to Drupal 8, but there's no better time than the present, right?

More to come...


Lessons learned

Two important lessons learned tonight:

  • Don't use questionable fans from old computers
  • Epoxy isn't all it is cracked up to be

Stepping up some Wyeast 1728 to a pitchable rate for ten gallons of beer to be brewed this coming Saturday. Had it on the stirplate for about 2 hours when I noticed that the vortex wasn't as strong as it was when I turned the 'plate on. Then I noticed that there was a definite burnt electric smell coming from the unit. Quickly unplugged it, removed the growler and pulled the top off. 

Building the Brewery: Yeast Stir Plate

Pretty straight forward build. Followed a vid on Youtube and this is where I'm at:

Got a washer to epoxy on the fan next. Then I build the stand for it and it's done.


When current room temperature just won't do...


So a couple months back I came across a dorm room fridge on Craigslist for $30. I've been poking around on the Hombrewing sub-reddit and came across some plans for a fermentation chamber and decided to give it a go.

This is where I currently am with it, and I've got a bit of an issue: it is supposed to be top loading, but I cannot fit a brew bucket (yes, I do my primary fermentation in plastic, deal with it) in. So, back to the drawing board. 

The Dog Days of Summer

So here it is, mid July. 90 degree days. Who dares to brew anything in this weather without some form of temperature control? Personally, I'm currently thankful for AC.

10 or so days ago, I brewed a beer for the Zoo City Zymurgist's Summer Beer Exchange. A Fraoch, or a Heather Ale. Pretty straight forward recipe which I'll get uploaded later this evening. This monster is going to weigh in at a whopping 2.8% ABV. I may brew it again and mess around with different spices, as I'm thinking elderflower would be very interesting in this brew.

Brew day!

In a bit over two hours, I'll be brewing. Partial mash IPA on tap for today, since I couldn't get into the storage shed to get my all grain gear (it's been bitterly cold here in Montana this past week and my padlock is frozen. Dumb luck, I know). So that means that the wife just has to deal with it.

The festivities will start around 1 pm. I'll have the recipe posted afterwards, with full notes this time!

One from the archives

Here's one from the archives. This was one of the first beers that I can truly call my own. Like many homebrewers, I started out with one of those "packaged" kits", you know, where you're given the list of ingredients, said ingredients, and boil/hop addition times. Said beer was an Amber Ale. 

It was quite good. I knew I could do much better devising my own recipes though. 


Labor Day has come and gone again, and that means we made another trip over to Washington State. We took the Dakota this time with the sole purpose of coming back with a load of fresh fruit.

While it wasn't as much of a haul as I had hoped for...we did succeed:

Hot Sauce Adventures

Hot sauces. Something that I've always wanted to take a stab at making. After much deliberation with my oldest nephew over a couple of Missoula MT microbrews, the decision was made to go forward with getting the equipment and trying our luck. I came across Midwest Brewing Supplies listing of a hot sauce kit a few months back and finally placed the order for it last week. 

The kit contains the following:

Winter's Honey Update

Tonight, I gave in to my inquisitiveness and pulled the airlock on the fermenter.

Still showing signs of Krausen. (here's an example for those of you who are scratching your head:

Then I pulled a sample. The honey malt is very assertive. But the hops are balanacing it nicely.