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Group Two
My Rants
Monday, 19 May 2008
Olive oil
Topic: Homebrewing
Sorry, I haven't posted anything for awhile. Last weekend I brewed a batch of beer and decided to try something I heard about. Olive oil. That's right, adding olive oil to the 1st fermentation. I've been reading about using olive oil instead of oxygenating the wort. Rather then getting into the chemical and biological whys, I'll just say it works great! I added less than a drop to my 5 gallon batch and it took off like there was no tomorrow. 8 hours after adding it I had reached peak ferment. I thought that it might even blow. This worked better then anytime I have ever used oxygen by a long shot.  I'm sold, from now on olive oil is all I'll use.

Posted by model.rockets at 3:06 PM EDT
Sunday, 17 February 2008
good news bad news
Topic: Homebrewing

Well my Hopslam yeast culture is still feeding on the sugars, so I didn't need to add more. Decided to move on to transfering the smoked porter into a keg. I've got 3 kegs left without beer in them. One with cleaning solution, one with plain water to flush the cleaning solution and one empty.

I started to gather all the parts for the empty keg so I could clean and sterilize them. For some reason the last dip tube that is left, is too long for the keg body. When inserted into the keg it hits the bottom with 1 1/2 inch still sticking out. Appearently the two different styles of kegs I own have more of a difference then the number of handles. Damn, one of the shorter dip tubes must be in a different keg. I have 6 kegs with beer in them. I don't want to start taking them all apart to see which one has the wrong tube.  (I did check the cleaning solution and rinse water kegs)

The only other solution is to bottle the smoked porter or one of the beers from a keg.  I choose to find the keg with the least in it. Here's where the good news starts. In the very back of the, unheated, storage room I found a batch of Golden Draak. I guess my earlier idea worked. Put whats left of this great brew way in back, behind some things so it's out of sight and I might be able to save the last gallon for awhile. I originally brewed it about Nov '06. It did work! I totally forgot about this one.

I decided to tap it and see if it was still good. No infections, but flat as can be. At about 12% ABV, I doubt anything would live in it. Well, lets pressurize the keg and get this brew carbonated and ready to bottle. Looks like I'll be cleaning and sterilizing this keg and some bottles later this week.

I'll take the filled bottles to work, where I have an extra fridge with many different beers I'm trying to save. I stash the last few bottles of each batch I brew in there as long as the batch was unusually good. I also stash rare or hard to find beers like some Lambics, Dark Lord Imperial Stout and many others.

I'll have to write more later. My kids finally woke up and want breakfast.

Posted by model.rockets at 1:45 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 19 February 2008 12:58 PM EST
Saturday, 16 February 2008
Homebrewing activities
Topic: Homebrewing

When I get home from work today, I think I'm going to relax with a homebrew, then work on a couple projects. First I need to keg a smoked porter. I hate having to tear apart a keg and sterilize all the pieces. Especially the long dip tube. Kegging is sure a lot easier then bottling though.

Another project will be to boil a pint of wort with light DME to add to my yeast culture. I'm trying to culture the yeast from a bottle of Bell's Hopslam. I need to figure out the recipe for this great beer since it is only available from mid Jan to the end of Feb. Why Bell's only brews this in the winter, I don't know. Seems like it would be a great summertime BBQ beverage!

I'm still researching the hops bill. So far my best guess from reading forums and searching the net is: Hersbrucker, Centennial, Glacier, Vanguard Crystal and Simcoe. Fortunately I have most of these in my freezer from before the hops shortage. I'm in some disagreement with which is said to be boiled and which is to be dry hopped.

On Sunday, I might brew up a batch of 2 hearted or a close facsimile. I can't remember the grain bill exactly but I think it is 10# pale, 1# 60L. (I'm at work and my recipe book is at home) For the hops I use 1oz at the beginning boil, 1oz at 45min, 1oz at flame out, then dry hop in secondary with 2-3 oz, depending on how hoppy I feel like making it. All Hops are Centennial.

If you haven't guessed yet, I LOVE hoppy beers!

Posted by model.rockets at 1:49 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, 16 February 2008 2:43 PM EST

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