A Beer and a Dog

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

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

ESB Recipe

Saturday I’ll brew my ESB.  Here are the grain & Hop Bills:


Grain Schedule


Hops Schedule


Pale Ale Malt : 

9.5 Lbs.

Perle Hops : 

.50 oz.

Wheat Malt : 

1.25 Lbs.

Goldings Hops : 

1.00 oz.

Crystal (80L) Malt :

.75 Lbs.

Cascade Hops : 

.50 oz.

Special B Malt : 

.50 Lbs.



Usual Suspects



10 gallons

Irish Moss

1 tsp.

A lot of water for a five gallon batch, you say?  I will probably wind up with 5.5 gallons of beer, 1 gallon will boil away, there will probably be 2 gallons absorbed into the grain after mashing, and there will be a gallon or so left in the hot liqueur tank after mashing.  Better more than you need.  I put 6 gallons into the HLT at about 200°F to mash, heating it when I heat the water for the mash.  15 quarts at 161°F will go into the mash to mash at 150°F, and 9 quarts will go in at about 200°F to mash out at about 170°. About 4.5 gallons are usedat vortlauft to lauter after mashing is completed.  I’ll have a gallon or so left over in the HLT when I’m through.  Blah. blah, blah….

Now, it is time to transfer my Standard Bitters to the Secondary fermenter. More as it happens!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Planning to brew an ESB on Friday, or Saturday…

I’ll use basically the same recipe for the ESB as I did for the Standard Bitters that I brewed on Christmas except I’ll use around 11.5 lbs of grain instead of 7.25.  The ABV should be almost twice that of the last one, and I’ll use more hops to balance it out.  Shooting for around 6.5% ABV.  I purchased enough specialty grains to make this batch too. (Special B, 80L Crystal, and wheat malt to go with the Pale Ale malt.  That should about do in the last of the Pale Ale malt;  have to go see a guy that knows a guy.\

I’ll spread the Brown Ale around amongst my co-workers and friends including El Jefe and the gang at the ‘C on Willie-D.  They probably suspect that I’ll forget about them once I have worked as an Engineer again, for a while. Not a chance.  They are still my peeps too.

  Grain Bill for the Standard Bitters:


Hops & etc.

  6 lbs Pale Ale malt;

.5 oz. Perle, 60 min.

.5 lbs Crystal, 80L;

1.0 oz. Goldings, 60 Min.

.5 lbs Wheat Malt;

Safale English Ale – 2nd Generation.

.25 lbs Special B malt;

usual suspects: water, Irish Moss…

The mash was a 75 min. mash.  The total grains for the ESB will be 11.5 and the hops will be adjusted as needed to fit style.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Tasted another beer this AM

…and it is pretty good!  Brown Ale.  First one I’ve made (11.B English Northern Brown Ale) and I think that Trish may like it.  We’ll see.  A little more carbonation than the one from the other day, and I drank it at cellar temperatures, as it is traditionally consumed at.

The batch that is fermenting now is a standard bitters, also a low alcohol content beer and also taken at cellar temperature.  I think that the next batch will be an Extra Special Bitters, 08.C in the Styles Guidelines.  That style has about a 6% + ABV content, I’ll take both to the mtg. and say, “Here are two from extreme ends of the spectrum of the style…  tell me what your palate tells you?”  Might brew that one on Friday since the plant will be closed then as well as today. 

After the next batch I shouldn’t have long until I am able to get my freezer out of hock and will be able to make Lagers once again.  The first one will be an Oktöberfest.  I really like the style.  And besides, about the only grain I have enough of to make additional batched is Münich, so I’m limited as to styles unless I go off on a tangent… which I plan to soon… Bwa-hahaha….

You’ll see….

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Brewing today.

Woke up at 4:30 and thought about getting started on my brewing but was afraid that I would fall asleep during something critical.  I went upstairs and napped til later.  Started around the usual time.  Flame on at 9:10 AM.

Once I got things going well, Trish came down and made an exclamation that I shan’t repeat.   She left and returned in about 5 minutes to tell me that she was up til 3:30 last night mopping the basement floor.  Why did I not tell her that I was going to brew in the basement?  (I told her that I was going to do it yesterday but was tasked with other things… and decided to do it today.  No, she wasn’t amused…)

I set up the WaynarWare ‘Fizz!’ to alarm when critical moments in brewing are approaching.  Click the fashionable WaynarWare link and you can get a copy yourself!  Its running as I key this blog to remind me that it is time to heat water for Mash Out.  Another file will be armed when boil begins and altho’ the beer that I’m making has all hop additions at the beginning of the boil, I’ll still need a heads up when it is time to add the Irish Moss and one to cut the heat off & start the chiller.  More later….

Yep, she wasn’t amused.  Made a special trip down to point that out.

About ready to put into the primary and pitch the yeast. Looks like I’ll have about 5.5 gallons when it is ready to bottle.  This one is a Standard Bitters.  We’ll see…

Friday, December 24, 2010

Brewing this weekend…

I stopped by BRH&HBS yesterday and picked up some hops and specialty grains for brewing a Standard Bitters (08.A in the BJCP styles guidelines).  I’ve not tried a Standard Bitters before, although I did do a Extra Special Bitters (08.C) once upon a time, and something got into it making it foul tasting.  I was embarrassed and eschewed the style for several years til now.  The nastiness was probably from a contaminated piece of equipment, maybe a hose or a bucked with nasties hiding within a scratch or a crack.  One thing I also bought was a new section of hose for racking and transferring from bottling bucket to bottles.  Mental note, disinfect it well.  I’ll pull & crack my grain today/nite some time so I’ll not awaken My Best Beloved in the early hours tomorrow with the drill attached to the grain mill.  We’ll see how that goes….

The English Northern Brown Ale (11.B) has been in the bottle for almost a week.  Should I try one tonite?  Oh, it is SO tempting….

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Today: I bottle!

I just finished cleaning 2-1/2 cases of bottles for my 11.B ale.  Trish bought me a new bottle brush which I’m in dire need of – and it won’t fit down the bottle necks.  I had to use the old one which is beginning to look like Lex Luthor; each bottle dislodged another stand of extruded plastic from the little darlin’.   And just the other day when I was buying caps at Chris & Fran’s, I was racking my brain: What is it that I really need to replace?  File that one under: “D’oh!”

Thanks again to Doug for gifting me with a couple cases of bottles – and for de-labeling them as well.  What a pain in the ass that is.  I’ve been sharing my beer with so many people over the years that I was almost out of bottles except for the flip tops, which I really don’t want to give away unless I know that I’ll be getting them back.  (Probably should start using those tho’, specifically for tastings.  They can be resealed straight away with little loss of carbonation throughout the campaign.)

I’ll start racking to the bottling bucket after while; want to chill a bit before I finish the task.  More later….

And here it is, Later:

I wound up with 58 bottles of ale, and had about 4 oz. left over to put into a plastic soda bottle to test pressure once the carbonation is finished.  (Squeeze it right there, maybe it will… what was the line from the Firesign Theatre skit?  Dunno.)  Anyhoo. final gravity was 1.006 and the ABV is 4.68%, just a little high for the upper limit of the style (4.52%).  I swilled the sample that I took for checking the finished gravity and it is a little drier than style, but that might change after it is carbonated.  We will see in a couple weeks.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Was waiting for the beer…

…to finish fermenting, and realized that I don’t have enough beer caps to bottle this batch.  At least I realized it in time.  If only I can remember to stop by the store and get some more before I begin bottling on a Sunday, or night when the store is closed.  If I don’t remember I can use the flip top bottles that I have… have a couple cases of them.  I refrain from using them too often because I usually don’t want to drink a whole liter at a time, and am reluctant to give away the flip tops because I sometimes don’t get the bottles back. 

I was cleaning up bottles the other day and realized that I’m getting low on bottles, just for that reason.  I’ve given beer to people that I rarely see and who rarely return the empties.  (Those who do return them want to make sure that they are on the list to get more.)  Some of the guys in the club have thingys that screw onto 2 liter bottles that allows them to re-pressurize the bottle after pouring a few, keeping the beer fresh.  But then one must have a bottle of CO^2 to do that… which I don’t have.  Was offered one once, a 20 lb. bottle, but not suspecting that I’d ever need it, I turned down the offer.  File that one under “D’oh!”

Friday, December 10, 2010

Beer is in the secondary now...

Wow, that only took about 4 days in the primary. Racked to secondary and wound up with 5.5 gallons. I saved the yeast out of the Primary for the next batch. Wonder what I'll brew next? I'll have to shell out some semolians for hops, and any specialty grains that I might need.

Jeff and I are going to brew a mysterie beer... It isn't a mysterie to us, I'm just keeping a lid on it until after we taste it. Bwa-hahaha! It's probably been done before... Let the chips fall where they may.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

English Brown Ale

Awaiting an appropriate time for milling my grain.  Got it all pulled and ready yesterday AM, but Trish was still asleep – so I let it sit for later… which I didn’t get to.  Here it is, 5:00 AM, and it still isn’t done.  I’ll give her til say, 9:00 to get enough shut eye before I start making noise.  At least I have everything else ready and on hand.  (Hmmm… do I have any Irish Moss left?)

This beer will use the last of the specialty grain that I have on hand and all but two ounces of Cascade Hops.  After this I’ll have to make an investment.  Hate to do it, but I think I’ll order rather than go to Blue Ridge to get more hops and maybe yeast.  I’ve been a proponent of supporting them despite my available fundage sit com, but their prices are just too high on many things.  It’s good that they are around when I need something right now, but sometimes you just have to act like a responsible taxpayer and viya con dinero.  More as things progress.

Finished up except for mopping the deck at 3:45 this afternoon. OG was 1.042 with an estimate of about 4.2% ABV and 5.75 gallons.  No major issues at all, altho’ I did spill some foam onto the floor.. got to go clean that up about now or so.  Using Fermentis English Ale yeast.  I don’t think that I’ve used that one before. We will see…

And now I’m in the mood to make pizza.  Avanti!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A beer bud asked: “When did cast signing begin?”

    I Googled it and didn't find a definable answer. 

    The custom might be as old as Zorak the Mutant, progenitor of all people with blue eyes.  Zorak was the first humanoid with blue eyes, and his genes were much in demand in his day.  He was able to make a nice living traveling from village to village bartering his wares for goods and 3 hots & a cot while he plied his trade in each village.  But, as is often the case with people in powerful positions Zorak got a little too big for his loin cloth; once upon beginning his bi-yearly rounds, he was greeted by a village head man and his wife - and her young blue eyed child.  Afterward he traveled to other villages and was able to prosper even more by having satisfied villagers sign his multiple casts, the first marketing ploy in history, as well.

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!"