Sunday, August 24, 2008

Cascade Hop Harvest

So my cascade hops decided to produce hop leafs. It was very exciting to see them grow. They looked like they couldn't grow any larger and were opening up slightly and were somewhat dry to touch. So Jenny went to town and plucked the first batch.

I just ripped out some windows in the front of the house, so I saved some screens. There is one on top and bottom. The light puts off just enough heat that you can feel a temp difference near the hops and there is about a foot of air below them. This is on my back porch, so it's somewhat of a controlled enfironment. Next year I will be more technical about drying.

Two Hearted River Ale

One ounce of Centennial Leaf hops added to Secondary, 9/1/08.

Homebrew support group.....

First IPA on my homebrew list. New for this batch is the utilization of hop leaves rather than plugs. For equipment I also upgraded the drain valve to suck the last 2 gallons out as well as a hop screen (sink drain screen, stainless and only $5)

I found the recipe on and I was able to follow it closeley except I made a change to the yeast.

1 lb briess caramel 40

3.13 lbs gold malt syrup @ 60 min

6.00 lbs gold malt syrup @ 15 min

1 oz centennial hops @ 60 min

1 oz centennial hops @ 20 min

2 oz centennial hops @ 5 min

1 oz centennial hops @ secondary

us-05 dry yeast

After 18 hours, I've got fermentation, but the temp is up around 75/76 and the krysen is rather minimal, so I put some frozen jugs around it to try to lower the temp. I wish I had a keg tub I could put it in, that would make it easy to lower the temp.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Murphy's Stout

This beer was requested by Jenny many moons ago and I finally got around to brewing it. The recipe was simple that I got out of a Clone Beer book, but I had to make modifications due to availability of hops and my own inventory.

1/2 lb chocolate malt
7 oz roasted barley
4 oz 55L British crystal malt

6 lb British light malt extract
1/2 lb cane sugar
1 oz U.K. challenger

1/4 oz East Kent Goldings
1 tsp Irish moss

Safale S-04 (first time using this)

1-1/4 cup DME

Original gravity measured out at 1.050

Prior to brew day, I took my Sanke keg one step further by adding a weldless valve to the bottom for draining. It took most of the day to install it since I went back and forth to 3 different stores. But when I add the thermometer bulkhead I'll know what to buy right away.

There is a weld seam I had to be above so that I could seal the fittings. After draining the wort on brew day there was about 2 gallons below the fitting. So most of it came out when I tipped the keg, but I ended up siphoning the rest out, not that fun. So I'm looking at adding a bazooka T and a Sanke adapter from Northerbrewer. What do you guys think about this vs a false bottom? With a false bottom, I'm concerned that while still in extract brewing, I'll get malt stuck on the bottom and have some burning issues.

More brew day pix...

Fermentation started the next morning, this picture is about 18 hours later. The temperature is high, 78 deg, so i'm going to throw it in the basement after I'm done with this post. I started with a blow off tube and it looks like I could have gotten by with a regular air lock, The Kraeusen didn't make it to the top during the peak of activity.