Check out my tool! I got it for X-Mas. I suggest that everyone should get one. A refractometer will allow you to take Brix readings (instead of, or in addition to, gravity readings) at any point in the brewing process. With just a few drops (not several ounces) of wort, partially finished beer or finished beer, you will know the exact sugar content of any liquid. This thing is a must have. They are fairly inexpensive (about $60 or less). Make sure you get one that has ATC (automated temperature compensation). This will be more accurate in a wider temperature range (about 40-80 degrees, or more). Don't buy one that does not have ATC. They are much cheaper but, you will not be happy with it. Go buy one with ATC today. You wont be sorry.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Posted by Keith Gordon at 1:51 AM
You have heard about our attempt to create a Lite American Lager that resembles something that comes out of a can. Well, here is our second attempt. As I have said in the past, it is much harder to make a good light beer than it is to make a good dark beer. There is nothing there to cover up your flaws. I think our second attempt at making Budcoorsmilleroldmillnaturalpabstoldmillbest Lite was successful but, I intend to tweek it a bit more. It is so close, it's not funny. However, it needs a tiny bit of work to make it right. If you judge it on nothing other than the SRM you will see that we got an A+!!!!
Not only does it look like water but it tastes like it too. No, I'm just kidding. It actually tastes pretty good for what it is. I could drink this beer all day long on a hot summer day. It is pictured here next to our latest German Pils to demonstrate just how light it is. The pils (left) is very light. This beer is almost clear. The photo does it no justice.
I wanted to make this beer for 2 reasons. One, because people that know nothing about beer always ask me if I can make Bud Lite and second, because I believe this is the hardest style of beer to make (in a home brewing environment) and make it well. Don't give me shit until you have tried to make it yourself and make it good. That is a tall task. Trust me. Give it a try!!!
P.S. 60% Pils malt, 20% flaked maize, 20% flaked rice and Saaz hops at 60 and 20 mins.
P.S.S. I am thinking about going 65, 15, 20 and adding a tiny bit more flavor hops. I want to get more opinions before I do it.
Posted by Keith Gordon at 1:00 AM
Sunday, January 18, 2009
The other day Freak and I came to the conclusion that we needed to get back to using liquid yeast and repitching for our upcoming batches. (We have been using dry yeast because it is cheaper than using 3 or 4 packs of liquid yeast and we have not taken the time to do starters over the last several months.) We decided that to get the most out of our starters we needed a stir plate. If you've never seen one they are pretty freakin' cool and they are also a good way to greatly increase cell counts for yeast starters. I started looking around online and found lot's of info on building one for around $30.oo. Here are some pics and a quick video clip of what I built. Let me know what you think. "E"
Posted by "E" at 5:36 PM
Friday, January 16, 2009
E and I have been talking about making a big ass grain mill forever. We have looked at electric motors, belts, pulleys and everything else it takes to make a giant grain mill. Then! On Christmas day my mother bought me and my wife a new bed frame. I could give a shit less about what our bed looks like! I just want a place to land when I've had too much homebrew. Sure, I liked the gift! It's a really nice bed and, it looks real nice in our bedroom! But! When I opened the box, what I got really, really excited about was the packing material that it came in! I opened up the box and I found these boards inside. At first I thought they were part of the bed. Then I noticed that there was Styrofoam glued to them. It was at that moment that I realized I had just stumbled across the best packing material discovery of all time! It was the gigantic grain mill hopper that I had always wanted!!!!! Of coarse I pretended to be excited about the bed but, what really got me going was the extra crap they packed in the box. Here are photos of what I did with it.
Posted by Keith Gordon at 2:11 AM
Monday, January 12, 2009
Yesterday E and I made another lager. We have been going lager crazy since we got the lagering chest. This lager rage presented us with a space problem. We are just a bit shy of being able to get six carboys (2 batches of beer) in at one time. We were able to get around this problem by using kegs to secondary. That worked to primary one and secondary another. We still got backed up because, this week, we needed to primary 2 batches at once. The latest issue of B.Y.O. had an article about fermenting in kegs so, E put 4 empty kegs to good use. We just hooked up an out line to each keg, and ran 4 hoses to a jar of water, for the blow offs. E still had to take a carboy home and put it in his fridge. I guess it is about time to get back to making ales for a while. Space is not a problem with ales.
Posted by Keith Gordon at 8:54 PM