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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Oak Aging Beer

I just finished up a new post for all about getting your wort cold and keeping fermenters cool. I thought up this topic while preparing to move my Russian River Consecration clone from primary to secondary. Why did I think this a great topic to write on? Because we hit near record temps, 108F. Man that was a hot day!

Back on the Consecration Clone, the kits come with oak chunks from the actual barrels that Vinny, from Russian River, uses. I've used wood in my beers many times and thought I'd share a little of research, knowledge, and experience I've gained.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Oak, Barrels, and Recipes

I’m just a guy writing about beer. The reason this is important is that whatever is happening in my home brew life is what I blog about here. What’s happening is that I am getting a barrel from HomebrewStuff. 10% off an already low price is pretty darn good. This barrel is going to be the focus of the next few posts here. First I’m going to cover building a recipe from scratch, in my case it is an American Stout to show case the oak. Then we will cover oak and oak aging. Third, we’ll cover Barrels, from how to prepare a new barrel, aging in a barrel, and maintaining it and getting it ready for the next beer. Lastly, we’ll have a follow up on the Oak Stout tasting notes, possible recommendations on changes you can make to make it better.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Getting and Keeping it cool

Getting it cool:
Extract brewers or All Grain brewers, beginning or advanced, everyone has to get their wort cooled after the boil and keep it cool during fermentation.  What are the different methods? Is one way better than another? In this blog post, we’ll cover all this and more.
There are several ways to cool your wort down at the end of the boil. Some ways require almost no extra equipment but take a lot longer to achieve pitching temperature. The most basic of way is the good old Ice Bath.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Summer Time Drinking: Sour Ale part 2

Its summer time in case you hadn’t noticed. I sure have. Hot days and slightly less hot nights, summer brings a time for light, easy, refreshing beers. One of my favorites is an apricot pale ale. 5 or 6 pounds Light malt extract (or 8-ish pounds pale malt), half a pound Crystal 20L. Use low mash temps if you brew all grain for a light dry finish. Hop with Cascade, I prefer about an ounce at 60 min. Ferment with a clean ale yeast like Whitelabs WLP001 or Wyeast 1056. Then secondary with a can of Oregon’s Best Apricot puree for about a week or one bottle of Apricot fruit extract at bottling time. The apricot is slightly tart and blends nicely with the citrus of Cascade hops.

While this apricot beer is great and in my beer fridge every summer, the real summer time treat is Berliner Weisse, a tart, sour German wheat ale.

This post is an introduction to sour beer. "What is it" and “how do I start doing this” will be the topic.
The first thing folks often ask me when I offer them a sour ale is "Why would I want to drink that?" My answer is that sour ale is a truly unique type of beer offering a flavor complexity unlike any other beer out there.

And I'm back! has asked that I start blogging for them as well on their corporate blog. I'll be sending in new posts once a week or so.  I'm super excited to be blogging for them! Owner of HBS is a good friend of mine, Marcus. I highly recommend checking them out. The staff (Marcus) is well educated in home brewing, very knowledgeable and willing to take the time to explain or answer any questions you may have.

My first post for them covers Berliner Weisse. It was one that I had wanted to work on for here so I'll cross post. It won't exactly be Sour Beer part 2, but it will cover where the first part left off.