Sunday, January 20, 2013

Frank's FTS Velvet Stout

The grain bill was built around the several partial bags of specialty malt that really needed to be used, with the exception of the 3lbs freshly oven toasted Oatmeal. The idea was to get the velvety mouthfeel of Elysian's Dragonstooth Oatmeal Stout.  I think Frank's FTS turned out pretty good, only probably a little too much roast for my taste.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Santa's Little Helper - Spiced Eis'd (iced) Lager

Santa's Little Helper, my first attempt at an Ice Distillation technique, took a third place at Racine Wisconsin's Belle City Winter Warmer competition, and 2nd runner up at the Good Libations first annual Wee Three Beers homebrew competition in Baker City Oregon.

I don't drink the style and know virtually nothing about Christmas/Spiced beers, so I am really counting on getting some insightful information from the judging sheets. Next year perhaps I can win the 5lbs of hops at the 2nd annual Wee Three Beers competition.

No matter how hard I try, the brew day always ends with wet feet:

Friday, January 11, 2013

Going Electric

bubbles and heat waves coming off the element
The casual fans did not like it when Dylan went electric. They preferred him more one dimensional and without expressing himself through experimentation in sound. I am a casual fan of Dylan, but really love what he was doing during the electric years. The album Infidels (only $5.00 on Amazon) is amazing to me.

I am always trying to find a way to make the brew day easier, quicker, and less importantly cheaper.  I'm also a techie nerd with a desire to experiment.  Electricity is cheaper than propane and in a lot of ways safer; however, probably not in my case. The idea here is to electrify my hot liquor tank. Basically, taking my keggle, punching a 1" hole in the side wall, and mounting a water heater element inside of it. After discussing the idea of an electric hot liquor tank with my good friend and excellent brewer, James, I had a vision. A timer on the wall that would power on the Johnson Temperature Controller around 3:00am and heat the tank full of water to 170 degrees by the beginning of my typical brew day, 5:00 or 6:00am. I get out of bed and start the without waiting and without blowing $5.00 of propane. I am still doing my boil on propane, but this is a pretty good start.

It sounds simple enough, and there is a lot of information about going electric. People focus on how much time it takes and how many amps, watts, and volts to the point that a person really need to have an electrical background. I came to the realization that time was not going to be a factor for me, since the ultimate goal is to put the whole thing on a timer and start heating the water while I was sleeping. I can still put my keggle on a burner if I need speed, and now, using both heat sources, propane burner and an electric element , I would imagine I can heat a lot of water really quickly; win win...