Friday, March 21, 2008

My First Competition

My friends like my brew. I like my brew. But is it prize worthy? I will find out soon because I'm entering The World Expo of Beer's Homebrewing competition. I've been to this festival in Frankenmuth a couple of times with my brother and his friends. Its a good time with lots of beer and entertainment, and besides Frankenmuth is a fun/wacky place to visit. The homebrew competition is a new event this year. I'm entering my Pine Tar Porter and maybe my Dunkel or the IPA that I'm currently finishing up. The deadline is April 11th so if you don't have a brew ready to go, its probably too late for this one.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Holly Michigan: Home of the Carry Nation Festival

Remember prohibition? No? Well anyway, you can celebrate the life of one its most infamous advocates in Holly Michigan this summer if you like. I came across the Carry Nation Festival when researching prohibition the other day and you know, it looks... strange. Why Holly? She went there once. Ok. But, really, I do love festivals so this might be one to check out. The website has not been updated so hopefully it's happening again. The most important question: will there be a beer tent?

Thursday, March 6, 2008

2008 Batch #4 Recipe: Diversified Pale Ale

As home brewers these days we have to diversify when it comes to the hops we use in our brews. Thats where the name for this batch comes from, I'm using two hops that are new to me: Perle and Cluster (because they were the highest alpha hops the store had!).

I made a yeast starter from the White Labs Cal V I had saved ( 3 vials left) two days prior to brewing using wort I saved from two privious batches in the freezer. The dark color come from the pine tar porter wort.

I also tried the super easy techinique of whilpooling the cooled wort before transfering to the pimary. I had a problem with sediment and hops plugging my valve last time I brewed. It worked great. Now, on with the recipe!

  • 8lbs 2-row US pale malt
  • 1/2lbs toasted 2-row US pale malt
  • 1/2lbs 20 lvb crystal malt
  • 1 oz cluster hops
  • 1 oz perle hops
  • 1/2 oz northern brewer
  • ale yeast (I'm using a re-cultured White Labs Cal V)

Heat 9 quarts of H2O to 170ºF, add crushed grain. Stabilize at 155ºF. My mash was on the low side of 150º for 30 minutes then I heated it up to 158º for the second 30 minutes. 1 hour mash total, then mash out at 168ºF. Sparge with 4.5 gallons H2O at 170ºF.


Add the 1/z oz Northern Brewer hops when the wort is boiling. at 15mins add 1/2 oz of the Cluster. At 30 minutes add the other 1/2 oz of cluster. At 45 at 1/4 oz of the Perle. At 60 minutes turn off heat and add 1/4 oz of Perle. Chill, transfer to primary, pitch and seal up! I added about a 1/2 gallon of H2O to bring the volume up a bit. Next time I'll boil let vigorously to decrease the water loss. The Brix before pitching was 11.6 (SG ~ 1.046) After the fermentation begins to settle down, transfer to a secondary and add dry hop with the remaining 1/2 oz Perle.