Saturday, February 25, 2012

Bottling Day

Many homebrewers tend to complain when bottling day rolls around. Personally, I love it. Of course, having a utility sink that I can fill with five gallons of Star San helps a ton.

I must say, I'm pretty pleased with the results of this brew. Original gravity was 1.045 and final gravity came in at 1.014, giving us an ABV of just over 4%. The color is a little lighter than I expected, but still has a nice red tint to it. With three weeks until St. Patrick's Day, this beer should be hitting its prime just in time.

My next brew will be a Newcastle Brown Ale clone. I've never used brown sugar in a homebrew before, so I'm eager to see how it turns out. This recipe is entirely DME and specialty grains, which I've also never done before. Hopefully I'll be able to brew this one within the next couple of weeks. But for now...

...54 bottles of Irish Red

Monday, February 20, 2012

Happy Fridge!

If my fridge were capable of emotion, it would be crying tears of joy...


Sunday, February 19, 2012

More pictures from brew day

As I said yesterday, my wife took a ton of pictures during the brew process. She posted some on her blog, but I've decided to include a few more here.


Action Shot!

Worty Goodness!


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Brewing an Irish Red Ale

I recently ordered a couple of Recipe of the Month kits from Beer & Wine Hobby, and today I brewed my first one. It's a pretty standard recipe for an Irish Red Ale, using roasted barley to achieve a deep red color. Minimal amounts of hops are used.

Since I have this blog now, my wife-to-be graciously volunteered to document the entire brew process in photographs. During the "boring parts," she got a little artsy, hence the great pics like the one above. Start to finish, the process took about two hours, and at the end she handed me a flash drive with 512 pictures on it. She's nuts and I love her.

Q: How do you keep a three year old out of the kitchen on brew day?
A: Put him in a dark room and give him your wife's iPad.

With the kid out of the way, I started brewing and my wife started taking pictures and asking questions. She had never been around for the whole process before, and I think she kind of enjoyed it (other than the fact that she doesn't really like beer). The best moment of the entire day was when she looked at me and asked:

"So, when it looks like the Bog of Eternal Stench, that means you're doing it right?"


I'm pretty pleased with the results of this brew so far. I hit the specific gravity I was shooting for, and I'm liking the color. I'll let you know in a week or so how it looks at bottling time, after it's had time to clear a little.


Friday, February 17, 2012

A little about myself...

Since this is my first post, I figured I'd take this opportunity to tell you a little about myself.

I am a dad. I have a three year old son that is simultaneously the light of my life and a pain in my ass. Almost everything I do in my life is for him.

I am a soon-to-be husband. We've been together for over five years, and we have a child together. We're practically married, but we're going to go make in official in June. In Vegas. That's right. I get to marry the coolest girl ever. She's my best friend, and I couldn't have asked for a better mother for my child.

I am a college student. I'm currently in my last semester at the University of Montana, and I have absolutely no idea what I'm going to do next. It seems like I've been a student for so long, and I really don't know if I'm ready to join the "real world."

I am a nerd. I play Dungeons and Dragons, I collect comic books, and I love Star Wars. I've actually started including my nerdiness on my resume, because nothing says 'organized and detail oriented' like "I collect comic books."

I am a homebrewer. I love making beer. There is really no feeling more satisfying than consuming a wonderful beverage that you created yourself. I'm brewing an Irish Red tomorrow; it should be ready just in time for St. Patty's Day.

Lastly, I am a lover of great beer. I have the privilege of living in a most wonderful place for beer. Montana (Missoula especially) has so many great breweries, it's hard to pick a favorite. I've included links to some of my favorites on the right.

There's really nothing more I can say about myself. I hope you continue to check for updates. I'm aiming for at least two posts a week, but life has a habit of getting away from me. Thanks for stopping by!