Archive for the beer! Category

Homebrewing DIY: Building a Mash/Lauder Tun out of a water cooler

I have decided to move into All Grain brewing and leave the extract behind for the time being. I have really gotten into brewing and All Grain is more work, but gives you the most control of your beer. Instead of buying a bag of pre-extracted sugars from malted grains, in All Grain brewing you extract all the sugars from the grains yourself.

To aid in this process, you need a container for extracting the sugars from the grain (mashing) , a Mash Tun, and a container for separating (sparging) the sugary water from the grain husks, a Lauder Tun. Orrrr, you can be creative and use the same container for both mashing and sparging, and you can even build it on the cheap with common plumbing equipment and a water cooler. A cooler is ideal, because you need the insulation to help maintain your desired temperatures throughout the mashing and sparging processes. I just built a mash/lauder tun and took some pics of the process.

Continue reading Homebrewing DIY: Building a Mash/Lauder Tun out of a water cooler

Newest Batch: Semi-California Common

The newest batch of homebrew is a steam beer ( aka California Common ). Ok, well its an attempt at a steam beer. Steam beers are malty, full-bodied beers more characteristic of ales ( not lagers ), but use a bottom fermenting ( lager ) yeast. Since lager yeast requires lower temperatures, ~48 degrees F, and I have no way of controlling temperatures in my apartment, I had to go with an Ale Yeast that works in higher temperatures. So really, I just made an Ale, but in the spirit of a steam. I am excited to try it soon!

At first, I overshot my target gravity, meaning I got more fermentable sugars in the wort than I was aiming for. I also ended up with about .5 gallon more wort than I was expecting… I am getting better about not spilling so much in the racking process! This extra sugar and less headroom in my primary fermentor resulted in some heavy blow-off. I emptied my blow-off glass a few times in the first day or two. Here is a shot of my glass:

Continue reading Newest Batch: Semi-California Common

Space Beer

Some of the leftover barley successfully grown at the International Space Station will be used to make beer by Japenses beverage giant Sapparo. Read more about space beer.

flossmoor’s pumpkin 3.14

Last week the miss and I went to the annual Brewmaster’s Dinner at Rock Bottom Brewery here in the city. It was just about the best idea for a dinner party… 6 finely crafted beers, eac paired with a great meal course. The crowd was really cool, all the brewers were there taling about their beers and the chef introduce each course and talked about why she chose the food to pair with the beer.

While all the beer was excellent, the intro beer, Pumpkin 3.14 [3.14 == Pi; get it :) ] by Floosmoor Station blew me away. This by far the best seasonal beer I have ever had, and possibly the best overall beer i have ever had.

The beer was soooo fresh, the pour was perfect, and it had wonderful creamy, yet light pumpkin flavor. This beer is worth tracking down and trying! Check the first link to see pictures of the brew-master in action.