TONIGHT 12/7/12! Come try some of my #Homebrew, for FREE!

December 7, 2012
Chocolate Milk Stout with Spicy peppers

Chocolate Milk Stout with Spicy peppers

Hey y’all just a short update this time. Let me start out by saying that last Sunday was a pretty successful brew day thanks to the Help of Richard Groves and Todd Z-Machine. Followed by an incredibly tasty lunch thanks to Kat. We busted out 10 gallons of all grain Belma Hopped Pale ale that I’m calling KBC 505 in honor of an inside joke with some Knox Beer Crew guys I went to GABF with. (No, I’m not going to explain it, ask Mark Baggett, Big Magic, Animal or Matt Crowell to explain it to you- if they can remember the details.) It’s pretty much done fermenting and I anticipate kegging it next weekend. I also anticipating brewing again next weekend, but at this point I’m not sure what.

Measuring Grains for the KBC 505

Measuring Grains for the KBC 505

Mashing in early morning

Mashing in early morning

Mash temps are VERY important

Mash temps are VERY important

So the KBC 505 begins fermentation

So the KBC 505 begins fermentation

Anyway the main point of this post is to invite everyone out to Jackson Avenue Market in the Old City tonight. I am doing a First Friday event with my good friends the Weidenhamer brothers (Matt and Todd). Starting at 6pm I’ll be pouring samples of my Winter seasonal, “I’m Warming You!” which is a Chocolate Milk Stout brewed with Tennessee Cherry Chilis and Jalapenos. My beer is free. However, I think Jackson Avenue Market wants you to purchase a pint glass to pour the beer in. As far as I’m concerned, you are welcome to use your hands to cup beer in, just as long as you clean up any messes afterwards. There is other tasty beer available to purchase and if enough people show up, I’ll hook up my last keg of Oktoberfest to sample after the Stout is gone. I suggest getting there early for several reasons.

  1. The Christmas parade starts at 7 and goes right past the market.
  2. Parking is going to be a bitch (see reason 1).
  3. There’s an awesome band fronted by my friend Jen Parker that is going to rawk the house.
  4. Space in the market will be limited because of reason 3.
  5. My samples are limited. I’m only bring 10 gallons of beer. We are expecting in excess of 100 people showing up to this event, so even giving out sample size pours (and my close friends drinking much more then that), we will go through these kegs pretty quickly.
  6. The most important reason. We don’t hang out enough. I want to see you, my friends and my friends to be.

So please, come out, drink my beer, tell me if you like it or not (be honest, I HATE people who don’t tell you the truth to spare your feelings). If you don’t like it, tell me why.

If you would like to support my ongoing efforts to raise my brand awareness and get my nano-brewery off the ground, I’ll will have a few t-shirts and bottle cap fridge magnets for sale.

I’ll see you tonight, and don’t forget to tip your bar tender 😉


So much fun! Live blogging of my #homebrew day again today

October 27, 2011

I had such a great response to my live blogging of my last brew day, that I thought I’d do it again. I took the day off work. It’s been a slow work week and I am caught up. Thought I’d brew a batch of American Style Dark India Ale aka Dark IPA aka Cascadian Ale. It’s a style I’ve been wanting to brew for awhile. I’ve had many homebrewer’s interpretations of it recently, along with a few commercial examples. I really like it. I formulated this recipe and ordered my hops last week. Of course, after I weighed out my grains and ground them I revisited my worn copy of Brew Your Own magazine that has an article about this style of beer. It’s seems like my recipe has more chocolate malt then others do. So it might turn out to be a “chocolate IPA”, but pale chocolate malt isn’t as roasty as normal chocolate malt. Either way, I’m sure it will be good. I will let you know when I eventually get to drink it. Here’s my recipe for 10 gallons:

20 lbs Pale Ale Malt
1 lb, 6 ounces of Vienna Malt
2 lbs pale chocolate
1 lb midnight wheat
1 lb dark crystal 80
1 lb flaked oats
2 Whirfloc tablets (last 5 minutes)

4 oz Amarillo Hops (2 oz 60 minutes, 1 oz 30 minutes, 1 oz 5 minutes)
4 oz Centennial hops (2 oz 60 minutes, 1 oz 30 minutes, 1 oz 5 minutes)
2 oz Crystal hops (1 oz 45 minutes, 1 oz 5 minutes)

Safale US-05 American Ale Yeast

Mash w/ 9 gallons of water (hold at 152-154 for 60 minutes)

Sparge with 8 gallons of water at 168 degrees
Boil and follow hop schedule

Yesterday I went and filled my water jugs at Love’s Creek Spring. I also set everything up on my porch so I could get the water going as soon as I woke up. My whole plan is to get done as soon as possible so I can take my son to “Scare in the Square” this evening.

5:40 am: Woke up before my alarm. I should get out of bed & get going.
6:00 am: Started water going, hoping to mash in by 7.
6:10 am: Coffee!
6:54 am: Mashed in. Hit my temperature with no issues.
7:00 am: Started Sparge water going. It’s on low since I have an hour to get it to 168 degrees.
7:08 am: Making breakfast.
7:28 am: Just stirred the mash, 30 minutes left to go until Sparge.
7:34 I’m now measuring my hops. This is my first true all whole hops brew.

7:58 am: Starting my Vorluaf
8:23 am: Sparging
9:03 am: finished Sparging, waiting to achieve boil. Only 20 more degrees to go.
9:10 am: it’s at boil! Adding 1st hop addition
9:25 am: added next hop addition
9:40 am: yet another hop addition. Also working on cleaning out my mash run and sanitizing my carboys & cool down equipment.
10:05 am: last 5 minutes of the boil & last hop addition. Also adding Whirfloc tablets
10:10 am: boil is done. Turned off propane. Took out mesh bags full of hops & let then drain in a strainer. Going to start my whirlpool in a few minutes.
10:20 am: started my whirlpool. Going to do this for 20 minutes so all the trub goes to the center of the brew pot.
10:40 am: on to the cool down. It’s a lot easier to do on a cold rainy day.

11:02 am: cool down done & carboys are full!
11:24 am: starting gravity of the wort is 1.062. Tasty very hoppy, but it balances with maltyness & a hint of chocolate malt. No roast character which is good & within the style for this type of beer. Of course the flavor will change with fermentation. I’ve pitched the yeast & am awaiting the magic of fermentation. It’ll be awhile until I post again, there is a lot of clean up to do.
11:54 am: not even close to being done with brew day clean up, but must take a break. Hard work.
1:00 pm: Guess what? Still not done with clean up. I’m tired.

Experiment: Live blog updating today as I brew

October 16, 2011

Well hey there my 1 or 2 blog readers. I got this nice new iPhone and thought I’d try something. I’m going to live blog while I brew my Hot Chocolate Imperial Stout today. Should be entertaining. Anyway, here is my final recipe after many changes, tweaks and advice from fellow homebrewers and pro-brewers. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Recipe: Ratchet’s Hot Chocolate Imperial Stout

All Grain, 10 gallons.

Dutch process fat free cocoa powder (added to mash tun, last 2 gallons of Sparge)
22 pounds Marris Otter
2 pound pale chocolate malt
1 pound wheat malt
1 ½ pound of lactose (last 15 minutes of boil)
2 pounds of dark crystal malt
2 pounds cara pils
3/4th pound roasted barley
½ pound black patent malt
2 pounds flaked oats (in mesh bag in Mash tun)
3 ounces fresh Williamette hops (60 minutes)
1 ounce goldings hops (last 15 minutes)
1 ounce golding ( last 5 minutes)
3 TN cherry peppers in each carboy (also in last 5 minutes of boil)
1 cinnamon stick in each carboy (also in last 5 minutes of boil)
2 roasted jalapenos in each carboy (Last 5 minutes in boil)
California Ale Yeast from Marble City Brewing Company (thanks Jen!)

9 am: Ok, slept in after a night on the town. Rolled out of bed & got the water going. While this 10 gallons gets to strike temp, I need to make coffee & breakfast.

10 am: Made coffee, ate something. I still haven’t mashed in. I was replacing a hose to my false bottom in my mashtun. Wasn’t paying attention to the water and I went over my temperature range. Now I have to wait for the temperature to go down by 10° before I can mash. Dammit.

11 am: Finally! After many trials and tribulations, a lot of adjustments and some spilled water, I have finally hit my mash temperature. Now I have an hour to get everything else ready while the starches convert to sugars.

12 pm: A a friend of mine stop by to show me his hops. Very nice, smelly sticky & green. So distracted by the smelly goodness I forgot to get my Sparge water going in time. Right now I’m doing my vorlauf while my sparge water gets to 168°. I tasted the wort, definitely has conversion. Very sweet.

12:32 pm I’m sparging my grains. I need a homebrew. What should I drink?

12:59 pm almost up to boil. Then I’ll add first hop addition. Finally able to have a beer.

1:13 pm. I feel like I should be cleaning or prepping something. Got my hops ready, should hit boil soon.
1:26 pm: Ladies & gentlemen, we have boil! Added 3 ounces of locally grown, organic Williamette hops.
1:56 pm: I’m so hungry, but too busy to make lunch. I’ll pay you in beer if you bring me something to eat. 30 minutes left in the boil. I have to get all the cool down stuff rinsed & ready.
2:14 pm: Added another edition of hops. 15 minutes left in the boil.
2:45 pm: I ran out of propane the last 10 minutes of the boil! Luckily I live right next door to the gas station so I went to re-up on the propane, I got some ice for the cool down. Now I’m going to boil the bejesus out this wort for the next 10 minutes.

3:15 pm: My friend (who also happens to be my ex-wife) brought me lunch! Yay for food and friends!
3:45 pm: I haven’t updated for a while because I’ve been too busy. Right now I’m cooling down the wort. It’s coming out the chiller at a perfect 70°. I split it up between 3 six gallon carboys. I’m using the California ale yeast from Marble City Brewery, and I’m using a lot of it.

4:15 pm: I’m done brewing. The wort is awaiting the magic of fermentation… I’m going to take a break before I start my clean up.
5:15 pm: half way through my cleanup. Cleaning is my least favorite part of homebrewing. Almost done though and then I’ll go over to the comic book shop next door for little while for some quality reading. On the plus side though I did hit my gravity target with a OG 1.070. I am excited that the wort taste exactly like I want it to. Big flavorful chocolate smoothness balanced with hop bitterness. Then the spicy pepper taste gives you a hint of heat on the finish. I nailed this one. I can’t wait to try it after its fermented, conditioned and aged!

5:45 pm: I’m done. Well, except for a few more things I need to still clean. The wort is happily fermenting. I’ll put on air locks in a few hours. Thanks for tuning in to my live-blog-while-I-brew experiment. Do me a favor & leave a comment. I see by my site’s stats that a lot people have checked out this blog today. It would be good to hear from y’all even if it’s just to say hi.