Archive for Beer Brewing


Posted in Beer and Wine with tags , , , , on April 24, 2010 by Aaron

I was transferring a batch of beer into a carboy last night and when I was finished I found something wrong… I had dropped my Thermohydrometer (basically a glass weirdo buoyancy device) into my wort (unfermented beer) and I heard a crack. I hoped for the best until I siphoned all the beer into a clean carboy for secondary fermentation. Unfortunately it had broken and now I don’t know what to do about it. Here is a picture of my broken device.

I am not too worried about the ball bearing type things… just the red dusty stuff that I have no idea what it is… Most of the yellow stuff is spent yeast and not harmful at all. You can see in the picture that it got inside the big hole (which you can’t see so well) in the bottom.

This must have happened to someone else out there. Is my beer poisoned? Do I have anyone who will volunteer to test it?

UPDATE: I found out that this particular Hydrometer uses only food grade materials inside. Steel shot and food dye (for whatever the red stuff actually is). The only problem might be broken glass …

Mugabe Midnight

Posted in Beer and Wine, Recipes with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 26, 2009 by Aaron

This dry stout is really good. It has a thinner body than most stouts but the flavor is really awesome. Here is how we made it:

Mugabe Midnight

  • ~ 1/3 lb. Belgian Black Malt
  • ~1/3 Lb. US Roasted Non Malted Barley
  • ~1/4 lb. Briess American Wheat Malt
  • 2 Cans 3.31 lbs. Coopers Dark Malt Extract
  • 2 oz. Williamette Leaf Hops 5.4%
  • 1 oz. Yakima Magnum Hop Pellets 12.1%
  • 11 g. Dried Windsor Ale Yeast

Put two gallons of cold water along with all grain in a big pot and bring to a boil. Remove the grain just before it begins to boil. Add the Malt Extract and bring back to a boil. Slow boil it for an hour. For the whole boil add all the hops. Sparge when pouring it into the carboy. Aerate the Carboy for about three minutes once cool before adding the yeast.

Try it. Let me know what you think! We just drank the last bottle recently and it was good. I am almost out of homebrew, that means it is time to make more. Luckily my brand new stock pot is on the way and I have enough ingredients to make 2 more batches.

Upcoming beers: Scotch Ale and an IPA. One for the kegerator and one for the bottles… which one should go where? The question is important. The kegerated beer can only be shared by people at my house. The bottles can be shared elsewhere. This will take some thinking. Or I could call for a vote and do what you say. What do you think?

2 Cool Beer Ideas From Other Blogs

Posted in Beer and Wine with tags , , , , on October 26, 2009 by Aaron

This first link is a really neat article about how you can brew beer in a coffee maker at home! As if it wasn’t easy enough already… I wouldn’t trust it though. There are too many old oils, hard to reach places and who knows what else living inside a used coffee maker. Even with a new one, you can only make one pot of beer at a time. It isn’t like you can drink it right then either. You still have to wait for it to ferment and carbonate. In fact, as I write this I would like to take back that word “neat” that I used in the beginning of this paragraph and exchange it with “waste of time“.

This second link however is very interesting. It lists average beer consumption by country and has lots of pretty color pictures to help illustrate the almost boring graph at the bottom. Some of the comments that people left are pretty interesting too. I like that the blog author is responding to a lot of the posts and answering legitimate questions that people have.

Brewing Competition

Posted in Beer and Wine with tags , , on June 9, 2009 by Aaron

So my brewmate and I entered our very first brewing competition this past weekend. I wasn’t expecting to win but was very disappointed with the whole thing. It was an all you can eat BBQ with all you can drink beer and whisky from lots of smaller breweries and all you had to do was pay the $65 entrance fee and, oh yeah … let’s have a brewing competition as an afterthought. There were three styles of beer that you were allowed to enter. English/American Pale Ale, American/German Pilsner and American/German Weissbier (Wheat beer).

The beer we made was an English Pale Ale and we substituted Maple Sap for the water. That was a lot of fun. I came across the maple sap when I took my nephew to see a maple syrup operation. We went around watching the sap drip out of the trees and they showed us the big condenser that turns the sap into syrup. I asked the guy if they sold the sap since I knew you could make beer out of it and he said no. Then about 5 minutes later he told me that he would just give some to me! I returned a few days later with my big glass jug and found that he had left me 5 gallons of the stuff. Talk about a nice guy.

So we made the beer and it turned out to be good but nothing too special. It is something that I will definitely try again.

They told us we had to be there the whole time to enter the brewing competition, from Noon to 5. I have learned a few things from this experience. Don’t expect them to know what they are doing. We brought two 22s of our “Lizzies Maple Ale” in a bag and when we walked in they told us that the band would let us know when they wanted to take our beer. This means that everyone who brought beer and didn’t bring a cooler for it was left holding it (pretty much just us). We left it in the shade under our table and I am sure that didn’t help us in regards to making it taste its best.

At around 2:30 they came and told everyone that they would take the beer from us now and put it on ice for the judges. Why couldn’t they take it at the beginning? At least they had three¬†notable¬†judges. Finally at about 4:30 they said they were announcing the winners of the competition. Now wait a second, since there were three categories that people could enter into the competition, it would follow that there are probably three awards. So we stood around as they announced the overall winner (not us) … and then they all walked away.

And then we did too.