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Monthly Archives: May 2011

We received the pictured certificates today from the AHA.
Bohemian Pilsner: 26 – Bronze
Dunkelweizen 33 – Silver
Fruit Beer 24 – no prize
German Pils 30.5 – Silver
American Brown 30 -Silver

Unfortunately, no score sheets enclosed. Perhaps they are coming under separate cover.


We racked the IPA into a secondary fermenter.

Unfortunately, our 5th and 6th carboys are only 5 gallons. The primaries are 6 gallons. We were forced to dump a good amount of beer in the transfer.

We added our dry hop (Amarillo) to the secondary and racked on top of it.

Our Saison was not fermenting as fast as we would like so we moved it to the fermenting chamber (freezer) and turned it up to 23C (75F) which should be more friendly to the specific yeast we are using.

The little snake tank heater should get a workout.

We bought a stir plate on eBay. It was a bit corroded, so we sanded some of the old paint off and hit it with our signature orange.

The next yeast starter will be stirred on this new gadget. The hope is for faster starters and better yeast performance.

Our Special Saison follows our Citra IPA by only a couple of hours. It is “Special” not because it rides the short bus to school, but because it has a little more alcohol than your pedestrian Saison.

The Saison is a Belgian/French ale that was, by law, an entitlement for farm workers in the region. It was safer to drink than local water and was allotted at 4 liters per worker.

We are adding some brewers sugar and some Belgian clear candi sugar (a pound each) to the beer near the end of the boil to raise the alcohol level and let it ferment into a drier flavor profile.

We also bid adeu to our hot liquor tank, as it gets replaced with one of our recently acquired pretty kegs. It will be nice to have a HLT that does not wobble on the burner.

We are in the middle of our IPA brew now. Weather is perfect.

We have the filter in action (also added a campden tablet). Using the p

We overshot our mash temp by 8 degrees, so we cycled the water to cool it before we mashed in. Managed to hit our temp perfectly when we finally mashed. We accidentally pumped a bit of mash water back into the HLT. Caught it right away, cleaned it up, no harm.

90 minutes later we began a 20 minute recirculation (Vorlof) then sparged into a 90 minute boil. Lots of hops in this one, including 3.5oz of the namesake Citra.

While we wait for the boil, we preheat water for our next beer, the Saison.

In a coincidence, we are planning on brewing tomorrow, which happens to be National Homebrew Day

We plan on making two beers:  An IPA with Citra Hops: 05.07.2011 J and L Citra IPA and a Belgian Special Saison  05.07.2011 Belgian Special Saison

We have a camera at the ready and will try to put together a good post.

On April 10th we brewed a robust porter. It was started by one of us while the other had to work until the mash was almost done. That is why we have no photos. 😦

Mash strike temp was hit perfectly. The whole process was pretty smooth.

The next week we racked one half of the batch onto a half pound of cocoa nibs and kegged the other half.

The week after we kegged the cocoa porter and added a half a pint of strong cold press coffee and quarter pound of lactose dissolved in a quarter pint of water. These proportions were gauged by tasting a sample as we slowly added tiny amounts of the adjuncts. These quantities were then scaled up to 4.5 gallon size. This was then gassed.

We plan on another brew day this weekend. We will taste the gassed beers then. One will be sent to the Longshot brewing contest at Boston Brewing.

Recipes:  04.10.2011 Robust Porter    04.10.2011 Mocha Porter

We finally got adding a water filter to our brewery. After a couple of classes at Eagle Rock Brewery hearing about removing chlorine and chloramines from our brewing water we made the move.

Total order was $90 for a good 10 inch canister with brass hose fittings and two CFBC-10 filters. We also bought a wrench and a mounting bracket.

We are hoping this will clear the water of added chlorine compounds that can lead to the medicinal “chlornophenolic” taste you sometimes get from straight tap water.

Probably overkill, but so much of what we have been doing is overkill. Overkill is good.