Summer 15 updates –

Quite a few brew days have passed since my last update, 10 brew sessions to be precise. I’ve not had a ton of time to blog and brew, I chose brewing. I’ve brewed 4 Berliner weisses and one Gose, 2 IPAs (one smoked english, one hoppy american North east style), 2 milds, and a saison. I’m up to batch 49, and thinking about what should be batch 50. I’ve made good progress on Berliners, with 1/2 of my batch 6 being almost exactly what I have wanted. Batch 7 is effectively a rebrew, if it’s where I want it, I’ll consider that beer conquered. I’m waiting a few more days for to taste the beer, to ensure it’s where it should be sour wise. IMG 4368 f it is, I’ll write it up, and finally include the results of my Berliner survey. My Gose, Down Gose Frazier, is also in a similar situation. It’s waiting on final souring / fruit before I can write that up. They are really that different from each other, I’m hoping the recipe changes are sufficient to distinguish them more than just a salty Berliner. Continue reading

Milling Table build.

IMG 2676

When Mike told me about his mill table, I thought it was neat but I dismissed the idea of making one myself. While visiting another brewer friend I saw his mill, and asked if he would mind sharing some details of the project. As I’ve found with most home brewers he was very willing to share details and helpful links. At both times it didn’t seem necessary at that time. Then I used mike’s mill at the bow bog brewing party and really liked how it worked. It was very nice to be able to just dump in the grain and crank it up. Not that hand cranking is difficult, but it would save me a little time and manual labor.  Once I took inventory of the required parts, I realized that I could build this with minimal investment. I had the mill, a motor and I had a shelving unit I could use as the stand. It appeared all I was going to need to buy would be some sheaves (pulleys), a belt, a shim, and some miscellaneous hardware and lumber.
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2013 hop crop – Working the bugs out.

Last year I put them in the ground in late april. This year by that time, they were starting their way up the climbing lines. Last year they did ok, but my lack of diligence watering them, and fertilizing them hindered their growth significantly. I managed to only get a few cones last year, but nothing note worthy. After last years watering struggles, I decided to get a watering setup so that I ensure they were getting regular amounts of water. It seems to have paid off. Since mid may I’ve watered 2x a day, for about 20 minutes. I made a simple drip irrigation system with a hose we were going to throw away, a hose cap, and $30 programable water timer. If you do any gardening, are forgetful, lazy, or just gone on a regular basis It’s well worth it. Continue reading

final stir plate build

Stirplate Finalle?

You may remember my prior update about the stir plate saga, if not ‘Stir Plate update, or how I let the smoke out of two sets of components’ is where I elaborated on my attempts to create a stir plate. You may want to review that before you read this, so you can understand my state of mind approaching this project. This project has been hanging over my head for nearly a year now when I first received the parts. There is a lot of motivation to get this completed so I can move on to other things. Topping that list, making a heady topper clone, will require a large yeast pitch to fully attenuate. Continue reading

Project update Q1 2013

Balancing brewing time, brewing project time, and life is a fine balance, so you are likely hearing about projects that should have been long since completed, but might be stalled. I’ll try to avoid duplicating updates, if it’s not updated, it means it’s how it was left when I last updated. Continue reading

soldiered board

Stir Plate update, or how I let the smoke out of two sets of components

This is project has been on the drawing board for a _very_ long time. When I spotted a post by a peer from my homebrew club offering a set of components to build one last spring I jumped at the opportunity. The kit was all the required electronics, including circuit board, heat sink, even the thermal compound. I only needed to find a Neodymium magnet, pc fan, power supply, and a project box. The required tools are pretty simple too, just a soldering iron. The only thing I needed to buy was a project box, the rest I was able to scrounge from an old pc, old hard drive, and old cell phone charger. Sounds pretty simple eh? Continue reading

Building an immersion chiller.

Working out the kinks – rebuilding my immersion chiller

One of the first DIY home brewing projects I undertook was building a immersion chiller. This is one of the easiest project you can do. My first attempt was a fairly sloppy mess. Because I wasn’t patient, and I didn’t have a good form to use to keep the coils organized. Also, I was trying to fit the cooler into a much smaller kettle, so I squashed it to fit. This past brew session while cleaning up, I decided to fix it up. Continue reading