Saturday, May 23, 2009

There's more in there than beer

I start today's posting with 57 minutes of a 75 minute boil to go. I feel like I've been in the kitchen all day. This morning, the kids and I made 4 gallons of root beer using an extract. We heated a gallon of water, dissolved the 8 cups of sugar and mixed in the extract. This went into the bottling bucket I use for beer and the kids added 3 gallons of water. We put the mixture in regular beer bottles and boiled the caps. The kids had fun, but it took over 3 hours to get finished. Then it was lunch and a few errands.

The next endeavor for the day was bottling the second version of my oatmeal stout (see Crystal My Oats). Racking off the oak chips and yeast was pretty easy, but the kids decided they didn't want to help dad anymore. I had all the bottle wash and filling all to myself. Since I am low on bottles, I had to break into my last box of bottles from 10 years ago. They did bring back some memories as there are bottles from Oldenberg, New Knoxville Brewing Company and Volunteer Beer. I do remember the Swanky ale having an odd taste in it, but not much of the others. A few readers will remember Oldenberg. They were a bit ahead of the curve of craft brewing here in Cincinnati. They were off Buttermill Pike in Kentucky, held tours and once a year conducted Beer Camp. I always meant to attend, but never did. I did go on the tour of the brewery though. As you can imagine, there wasn't much to see. I need to see if there is a wiki page on them and link. They closed a few years ago.

Seven minutes to next ounce of Cluster goes in.

This ale is supposed to be in the American Brown section of style. The half pound of chocolate malt will make it quite dark, but not stouty. This is the first time I've used Munich malt, so I am anxious to see how it adds to the body and feel.

When I picked the supplies up this past week and Listermann's, I also asked about the equipment I need for full mash brewing. It will take some time and money, but that is where I am headed. I will no doubt need to clean out the garage very well as this style of brewing will force me to graduate from the kitchen to there. I already have a stand and gas burner for deep frying the turkey, so at least I have a start. Next on the list is a ten gallon water cooler and false bottom.

Three minutes to hop add.

I have picked up several followers on Twitter of late for brewing. I'd like to welcome them to odyssey it is following my adventures. Just ask those with whom I have worked what manner of fun it is.

Pause for hop add. A bit early, but I have to fetch them. First ounce of Fuggles goes in twenty minutes. It might be an interesting idea to do this ale with the hops reversed, I'll think about it.

The stout yield was just over 5 gallons. I guess I added a touch too much water for the priming sugar. No worries. The bottling bucket also still smelled like root beer, so who knows how this will all turn out. I'll try one of these in a week and see. I'm also eager to see how the bourbon soaked oak chips affected the batch.

I picked up some Avery labels at Wal-Mart today. The idea being to label the beer batches as just using different bottle caps is too confusing. Holy cow though, when did these things get so expensive? The first labels will be pretty simple, my name, beer name and date of bottling. I'm also not sure what they will do when the bottles get used again.

I'm stopping here for now. Once I have the OG from this batch, I'll update the post.


The OG for the ale is 1.052. Right were BeerSmith predicted. 'Night all.

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