A Beer and a Dog

"Why should I blog about brewing?", I asked. "Nothing like a beer and a dog...", So Sayeth Virtual Wayne.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Another batch in the Primary Fermenter

Started brewing another batch of American Amber Ale (10B v3.0)at 9:00 AM. All went well, no boil-overs, I didn't put the wrong hops in this time, and after the wort cooled in the fermenter for a couple hours (just to be on the safe side) I pitched the yeast that I got from the primary of the last batch, and attached a blow-off tube in case it starts to ferment voraciously.

My home boy, The Homes, stopped by and shot the shite with me for a few hours and left a little while before I was ready to transfer the wort into a bucket for transport down to the basement. He and I work together and we both had the day off today. Homes hooked up with a couple of his pals to drink and carry on up into the night. I can't do that anymore... now that I am a Young Geezer. D'wanna, anyhow. I learned my lesson back in the mysterious times now referred to only as 'The Day'.

This batch of AAA should be within style guidelines, and I have the procedure documented well enough by now to be able to replicate it at some point in future.

Next time, another style. But that will be a story for another day.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Day off tomorrow. Brewing another batch of AAA

...unless The High Command has other ideas for my time.

I have reduced the weight of grain in the grain bill, shooting for an in-tolerance example of AAA rather than the higher gravity examples that the last two have been, my goal being to get the recipe nailed down so that at points in future I can reproduce the same results without playing a guessing game. Then... on to the next style.

I was trying to do that with the Cream Ale recipe but came up with such a wide range of results that I gave up on that one for the time being, and will address it at another point in historie.

Still, while the AAA that I've made in these last few trials have suited my palate, I want to be able to replicate those brews as well. May not win any competitions but they are pleasant to me and to the people with whom I've shared them.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Sipping on a beer after work...

AAA... Mmmm.... I opened a bomber when I got home from work and sat on the deck smoking me a good cigarette and enjoying the day, and the beer.

Ahhhh.. a nice end to the day so far. Trish just got home. Discovered that Dog Crimes have been committed in the kitchen (Dog Angel splashed out the water dish, her way of saying, "I'm pissed,. Humaan Dave!", as I took Dog Zeppo out to hand-empty him before I took Angel, the Alpha Wonderdog) O-ell.

Racked the second batch of AAA to the secondary yesterday... did I post that already? When I looked at it this AM, I found that the stopper had been blown out, and it was laying on the floor. Hopefully, no nasties got into the carboy while it was open to the atmosphere. I dry-hopped it with an ounce of pellet Cluster hops, so if any nasties got in maybe that killed them. I'll not know for a month or so, when I can sample it.

I saved the yeast bed from the primary to use in the next batch. I was hoping to brew tomorrow, my day off this week, but the dryer died on us and i have to get another one, a loaner from Bard & John. Maybe I can anyway, a late brewing session. We will see what is happening, tomorrow...

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Racking AAA2.1 to Secondary

As it turned out, the OG on this batch was almost identical to the previous one. I suppose that I should reduce the weight of grain in the grain bill to bring the ABV to a level within style guidelines, altho' I DO like being able to get a nice buzz on one bottle of beer. Very efficient.

Racking AAA2.1 to Secondary today. I was given a flask by a fellow brewer into which I will pour the goop in the bottom of the Primary, and an open-celled foam stopper to plug it with. I'll place it in the Fridge and next time I brew a beer using WLP-001 I will use this yeast. That should save a few bucks in this hand-to-mouth society that we have come to be living in. My homeboy said that I can take three cultures without problems of mutant yeast. (Wonder what it would produce, this Mutant Yeast? Coca-Cola? Scotch? Might be worth trying....)

Also was given a Crown Royal bag to put the flask into, to keep light out. Say, I believe that I have a 1.7 liter sized bag around here somewhere that I can use on my starter likker bottle... a 1.7L Old Forester bottle. I've been putting it in the closet to make the starters to keep it away from light sources, hoping that Trish doesn't knock it off when she is getting something off of the shelf. Mental note: find it.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Nothing like getting back from your beer club meeting...

...and having a dog piss-soaked dogbed thrust beneath your nose,,,

We just got in from my beer club meeting and I am feeling fine, and not only that but I am drinking another beer as well... I had retreated to The Man Cave to avoid an uprising over... anything.... and Trish came downstairs with a piss soaked dog bed which she thrust beneath my nose and accusingly said, "Dog Zeppo pissed his bed.. and it had enough time to soak through the cover and the foam padding....!" Translation: I stayed too long and it was all my fault. "Why don't you put oh the rubber gloves and clean it up???" Under my breath: "Because I am shite faced"

Ah, life is a cabaret, ole chum....

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Grocery List...

My recipe for the American Amber Ale that I have started drinking:

9 Lb. Pale Malt (2 Row) Bel
2.5 Lb. Munich Malt - 20L
.5 Lb. Caramel/Crystal Malt - 20L
.75 Oz. Warrior Hops (60 min.)
.5 Oz. Warrior Hops (40 min.)
.5 Oz. Cascade Hops (2 min.)
1 Oz. Cascade Hops (Dry Hop, Secondary fermenter)
.25 tsp. Irish Moss, 10 Min.
.5 tsp. Coriander, 10 min.
1 vial of WLP-001 yeast

I have to take stock of the hops that I have on hand and go to Blue Ridge Hydroponics & Home Brew Supply today or tomorrow and get the ones I need, plus a new hydrometer. (I broke the old one, something that happens often, last time I was cleaning up) I have all of the grains on hand and the rest of the stuff. I hope to brew on Sunday, or my next day off. Oh, and the yeast. Must have yeast. I really need to make this style of beer more often; I like it very much.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

AAA on line

My American Amber Ale has been in the fridge almost a week and has cleared up rather well. I like the taste and the guys that we partied with from the brewery down South gave me good comments on it. Hopefully they were being square with me and not trying to avoid insulting their guest. Here is a pic from just moments ago of a glass and the bomber from whence it came, sitting upon my Grandfather's roll top desk:

American Amber Ale on Grandpa's Roll Top Desk.

Cousin Don's Roll Top Desk, I should say as I gave it to him, me feeling that his clan lost out on a lot of the good cargo when The Old Ones crossed the river and rested beneath the trees. Whenever he comes up from Texas for a visit, he or his next of kin if it takes that long, are welcome to haul it back to their territories. Even if I have joined my Fathers.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Floyd Fandango

Doug and I took the parkway to the fest site and checked in as volunteer pourers, he for the 11am-4pm shift, me for the 4-9pm shift. While Doug was pouring, I was sampling the beers. We filled in for Fran & Chris of Blue Ridge Hydroponics & Home Brew Supply when they got weary, as did the other club members that attended.

The food that was available was great. I had some paella,
or whatever you call the stuff for lunch and a measure of grilled chicken thigh with rice & grilled veggies for supper. (You might have noticed that I had snarfed down about half of the stuff before I thought to take a picture) The beer was mostly superb!

I started my shift pouring as the band that I wanted to see, Buckwheat Zydeco, began playing. At least you could hear the music from wherever you were at the place. There was much good music to be heard. The last Band, MoFro, played some blues that was just excellent.

Head Brewer Jamie, and Doug 'splain beers to Madame Butterfly

After the soiree closed down, Doug & I reconnoitered the wooded area below the festival area for a place to set up our tents. The people from one of the breweries that attended invited us to come on down to their campsite to eat and party with them into the night, which we did, and a good time was had by all. Foot Hills Brewery , I believe that it was. Yes: Look at the banner behind them, above.

Doug and I crashed around 1:00 AM and the Pavlovian response that the Wonder Dogs have conditioned into me awoke me aroung 6:30 AM. We broke down the tents and cooked bacon, eggs, and toast for breakfast and hit the long lonesome highway back to Roanoke around 8-8:30.

A great time was had by all. Next adventure: Microbe Festus!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Dog Zeppo has issues

Trish took The Dog Zeppo to see the doc yesterday and found out that he has two fused disks and Arfer-itis. This makes it hard for him to navigate the steps down to the dog yard - so he has to be Hand-Emptied. The disk thing makes it painful for him to squat to take a shite... so he doesn't. Either. The mysterie of the phantom dog-shite-er is solved. The other day after feeding the dogs, someone took a mighty dog-shite in the kitchen. We thought that it was Nixie, since he has a guilty look anyway and was scooting out of the scene, probably so he wouldn't be blamed. Now, it seems that Zeppo just couldn't hold it in after breakfast any longer and just let it fly. The doc said that he is losing weight too, and that we should feed him three times a day instead of two, as we have been doing. Poor Zeppo....

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Ahh.... AAA ready to be drunk upon!

I couldn't wait for tonite: I had to open one of the two bottles that I put into the fridge last nite to see if my American Amber Ale is ready. And so it is. Not a lot of head retention, but it seems to be sufficiently carbonated. Looks like I forgot to add the Irish Moss when I brewed (tho' the Gelatin should have helped the clarity) but the taste is the important thing, not it is? My brewing program's calcs say that the ABV is 8.63%, but having discovered that the scale that I use to weigh my grain seems to be off due to low batteries, I suspect that the grain weight was maybe a pound more than I thought which would make the alcohol level about 6.4% ABV... which is what it tastes more like. (Mental note: go to Radio Shack; Make some standards to weigh against)

Tic Tacs doing their job, tho' each time I pop one, I think about buying some tobacco. Must... be.... strong...! I know that after a few days or a week or so, I'll feel better and be glad that I held out. Maybe I should do what I did one time and put the cost of tobacco into the safe each time that I felt the urge, and when I have enough, buy a toy. A rifle, last time I did that, maybe some brewing equipment this time... as a prize for persevering.

And on another note, this weekend is Floyd Fandango. I am attending, along with some of my hombrew homeboyz and gurls.... we will be, in exchange for a free entrance, pouring beer or wine, and getting free tokens for beer (or whine) for our services. Trish told me that she couldn't attend with me, so I guess I can camp out the nite of the 4th. You see, her idea of 'Roughing it' is a night at Motel 6. Perhaps I'll have lusty tales of adventure when I return...

Not one of these.. these... FAUX CyberDaves... but the TRUE CyberDave!

About CyberDave

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Contract engineering, working in the field in which I truly love: Mechanical Design.


That was it, apparently

"Bonus Nachos!" as we say on my planet. "And CHEERS!"