Normally closed on Mondays, May 23, my favored restaurant in Roswell has a Pub evening with beer on tap (not usually happen). A special menu features pub style food and on tap is Terrapin Hopsecutioner and local Sweetwater beer. Join Jo and Kim for some fun time and good food. Beer is flowing from 6pm to 9pm.
A couple of weeks ago my wife and I went to St.Louis for the FIRST Robotics Championship where I doing judging on robots. This was our first visit to St.Louis, and we had some time on our first day, we decided to visit the Amheuser-Busch brewery and take a brewery tour (more info about the tours go to: Amheuser-Busch Brewery Tours).
The really good thing is the tour is free! And you can drink some free beer at the end of the tour. The tour goes through some interesting parts of the brewery, you see first the Clydesdale horses and the barns they stay in when at the brewery. The they showed us the fermentation tanks, a little bit bigger then what we using. What I thought was very nice, is the brewing house, the structure is from the early industrial century and kept as such, so it looks very nice.
The last stop is the filling and packing building, is looks like nobody is working here, you do not see workers ion the floor. Amazing. On the end of the tour, they let you taste some beer, lucky it is not Bud Light! It is some of their less known beers. Some are not so bad after all, but nothing as well then craft beer!!!
You have everything in our life? An open spot in your house that need to be filled, why not using this amazing contraption? A whole brewery in a size of a wash machine, how cool is that? Well, if you want to spend $6000, plus shipping from New Zealand.
It looks pretty cool, but I do not know if this is really what a passionate home brewer is looking for. It looks that you can only do kit brewing and that you have to drink all of the beer before you can start a new one. Or you do bottling. But it is slick and cool. Look for yourself.
So, we are getting ready to bottle our Maibock batch. I work from home, so I took on to sanitize the bottles. One of the best ways is to place the bottles into an oven and ‘bake’ them for an hour and cool them down slowly.
A picture of disaster!
I placed 20 bottles into the oven and turned the temperature to 350F, once it reached the temperature I set the timer to 60 minutes, turned it off once the time elapsed and waited another 2 hrs before I open the oven.
And what a surprise, seven of my bottles with flip top, the stopper melted off and now hanging of the other bottles and large plastic puddles on the oven bottom. Ahhhhhhhh……………….. I did not realized that some of the white stoppers are not made of porcelain, they are made of plastic. I know that the black ones are made of plastic and took them off already. But… the white ones?
So, lesson learned? TAKE OFF ALL OF THE STOPPERS, REGARDLESS OF THE COLOR!
Just finished cleaning 46 of our most dirty bottles. We need to have around 95 bottles in the next 2 weeks. Approx. 45 for the Maibock and 45 for the English (British) Bitter.
We went out this weekend and got an additional brew bucket and some smaller parts we need. And a bottle tree for drying bottle.
The new 'Ferrari' bottle drying tree.
A Ferrari that it is! Only the best, and we can use as a Christmas tree, to hang 45 Christmas ornaments. The bottle tree is conveniently green and red, I think the Italian designed it that way.
Bottle cleaning is really the dark side of brewing, just a monotone and boring task. But, last time we had a couple bottles that were not 100% clean and we spoiled that beer.
But I am considering to let the bottle cleaning to the friends and family, that what some beer from us. Still cheaper then buying it!
Last Sunday we brewed the English Bitter, that was one of the easiest one we did up to this point. For serveral reasons, first the recipe is simple, short cook time. Then we did some prep-work. I cooked 5 gallons of water on Saturday, and started the yeast as well.
And, we used our new immersion chiller! Wow, before it took us almost an 1 hour to cool the wort down, now it took 12 minutes. My recommendation to any newbies, get one. It is a investment, but it saves so much time.
This weekend we have to bottle the Maibock we brewed in December for an another month of bottle fermentation. And then next weekend we already have to bottle the English Bitter, for another 2 weeks of bottle fermentation. A lot of bottle cleaning in our near future.
The only thing is, we have a slide logistic hick-up, we used both buckets for the fermentation and now we have no bottling bucket. So, Tom and I have to make a trip to the supply store and get a additional bucket with valve, never a bad thing to see the brew supply store.
Just to honor my German roots, I am adding the german purity law to the website. You need to have rules to live by.
The blog is a bit dormant lately, but we are a bit busy. It may get better in 1 – 2 weeks. But, anyhow we do make some time this weekend to brew a new batch. This time, it is an English bitter. Good drinking beer and fast to make ( takes only 4 weeks), and this is good, because we are completely out of our Belgian Duvel. It was to good to keep it around. Our other beer, the Maibock, is happy fermenting and available for tasting on May 1st. The way it should be!
So, Sunday we making the next batch. This time we try some time saving, I will boil the water on Saturday and have it cooled down by Sunday, and start the yeast on Saturday. And, drum roll, we will use for the first time our brand new immerse chiller! Yes, not more snow cooling (Ah, that is very good, we are just fresh out of snow!). So, with yeast starter, cooled water, immerse chiller, and airrator we getting to a professional stage of our brewing.
Our plans for this year are, that we select a type of beer we like and then brew some batches of it, to get into consistent brewing, and some modification to adapt a “base” beer to our liking. So called our “Standard beer”. We also working on, doing full mash brewing, we currently working on the financial aspect of it, to purchase the additional equipment. If or better once we making the move, we also moving from 5 gallons to 10 gallons. This make sense, since we need to purchase new kettles anyhow.
And, that is really far out, we working on a power monster brew station! Stay tuned for more information.