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. 

Perry

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: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a8/Krausen.jpg).

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

What I learned today

In no certain order:

Winter's Honey Pale Ale

In a perfect world, I would have brewed this two days ago on the Winter Solistice.

That said, man does it feel good to be back to doing all grain brewing, even if I am taxing the hell out of my stove and doing the boil inside.  Got about 20 minutes left on the boil right now, there's going to be a big ol update tonight on the toys that I've made over the past few days and where I am going from here.

Good brews to ya!

Yeast Starters

A while back, I got called out for not making a yeast starter on one of my previous batches of beer that went south in a hurry. At the time, my rebuttal was this:

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