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I Brew, Therefore I Am: Brew Beer, Wine, and Meade

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Fermenting the weird [Nov. 8th, 2006|02:32 am]
I Brew, Therefore I Am: Brew Beer, Wine, and Meade

[mood |curiouscurious]

The Mongols were a wild and wooly bunch who made due with what they had. In their hunt for that available buzz, they created Kumiss...fermented mare's milk. Some medieval re-enactors ferment store bought milk to make something similar. Would you try it?
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Fastest Yeast in the East! [Nov. 2nd, 2006|10:40 am]
I Brew, Therefore I Am: Brew Beer, Wine, and Meade
On Sunday I used my 'extra' hour to boil a wort for a steam style ale (nevermind that I needed more like 3 extra hours for prep and clean-up, but that's beside the point). I found a great way of aerating the wort. Just prior to boiling I filter tap water into three sanitized plastic jugs that are set aside in the fridge to chill. After adding the wort to the primary I mix ½ of the contents of the first water jug into it and shake the remaining water in the jug vigorously. The addition of chilled water brought the temp down quickly and at 70ºF I pitched the yeast and continued to add water from the other jugs in the manner I just described. After sealing the carboy the airlock started bubbling immediately. COol beans!

Well now it's a mere three days later and the bubbling in the airlock had almost completely stopped. Since I secondary everything I decided to rack early (is three days early?) I was suprised to find very little yeast sediment and, indeed, fermentation was complete (OG - 1.064, FG - 1.016, that's what, 6.5% ABV? Hell yeah!)

Not that I think this is a problem but almost every source I read about primary fermentation gives a different duration (instructions for this kit specified 7 - 10 days, but may also assume that I'm bottling rather than 2 staging.) But this is only my 4th batch and I'm throwing this story out there for the more experienced and beginner homebrewer, alike. I used this very same yeast in my 1st batch (Nottingham dry brewers yeast) and the T-stat is kept a little on the warm side (a balmy 68ºF.) My question (because I'm full of 'em) is was the quick fermentation a result of :
∙ the way I aerated the wort?
∙ the abient room temp?
∙ a combination of the two, or?
∙ overly eager aliens, faeries, and hobgoblins?
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Confession time. . . [Oct. 30th, 2006|01:50 pm]
I Brew, Therefore I Am: Brew Beer, Wine, and Meade
[mood |curiouscurious]

What is the weirdest thing you've ever tried to ferment?

(. . . and, didja have any luck?)
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Beer Ninjas? [Oct. 27th, 2006|12:48 pm]
I Brew, Therefore I Am: Brew Beer, Wine, and Meade

The latest Northern Brewer catalog arrived in the mail today. On the cover is artwork depicting an impending ninja attack. In the corner is a yellow rectangle bearing the words, "CAUTION - Successful homebrewing may attract beer ninjas."

I ought to turn it into a LiveJournal icon. But in the meantime, a message to all you beer ninjas: I'm on to you.

(posted also to homebrewing)
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Ren Fairre Aspirations [Sep. 25th, 2006|09:02 pm]
I Brew, Therefore I Am: Brew Beer, Wine, and Meade

Does anyone here know anything about transporting alcohol for sale across state lines?  In the idea of traveling around the ren fair circuit selling mead.  My fiance and I were considering doing it for a couple of years of fun bumming around america.  Is anyone familiar with mead at ren fairs and how much it goes for, and what permits are required?  It seems doable, and even profitable, but the logistics will need a lot of research, including brewing the mead a year ahead of time.
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My Next Project [Sep. 25th, 2006|01:13 am]
I Brew, Therefore I Am: Brew Beer, Wine, and Meade

[mood |curiouscurious]

So, in response to my finacee's pumpkin ale, I feel inspired to make a sort of Fall/Holiday meade to be a companion to his because I really like the idea of giving one of his beers and one of my meades to friends as gifts.

I'm toying with the idea of a spiced vanilla meade. I really like strong flavors, so I'm thinking about:

- 3 lbs clover honey
- 3 whole vanilla beans
- 1 whole cinnamon stick
- 1 whole nutmeg
- 1 tbsp whole cloves
- 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 pkg Montrachet yeast
- necessary campden tables, yeast nutrient, gypsum, ect...

How does this sound to everyone? A little too much, or do you think it will mellow a little the older it gets? I also add oak chips to the meade after it's second racking which mellows the flavoer A LOT and is a great thing to do to give it that "oak barrel aging" taste.

X-posted to homebrewing, wine_making, and a few other places
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Brewed Last Night [Sep. 17th, 2006|10:47 am]
I Brew, Therefore I Am: Brew Beer, Wine, and Meade
[mood |tiredtired]

Last night, I brewed a pumpkin ale of my own design.  In fact, this is the first beer I've done entirely of my own work.  When we started a year and a half ago, we were using kits.  Then, recently, I moved into other recipes from books.  But now, finally, I took the leap on my own.  

In any case, it's a pumpkin ale.  I was going to make an Scottish or Irish Style Ale, but SelenaSaberwind was insistent that I make pumpkin.  If it comes out I'm going to indulge my overdelevoped sense of literary reference and call it "Brom Bones' Haunted Pumpkin Ale," or maybe just "Brom Bones' Pumpkin Ale."  I rejected "Van Tassel's" because I like the double entendre in "Bones."  In any case, I'm going to go ahead and post the recipe.  If it comes out well - feel free to use it.  I do ask for a little credit, though - I worked hard on this one.


10 oz. Crystal Malt
4 oz Chocolate Malt
2 oz. Black Patent Malt
1 can Munton's Amber Malt Extract Syrup
3 lbs Munton's Amber Dry Malt Extract
2 oz Fuggle Hops
1 oz Kent Golding Hops
2 small cans Libby's Pumpkin Pureé
1 tbsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
8 oz Dark Belgian Candy Sugar
6 whole cloves
3 cinnamon sticks
3 vanilla beans
1 dash nutmeg
1 dash allspice
1 oz Irish Moss

In a large pot (not your brewpot) Heat 1 gallon of water to 150° F
Remove from heat and add Crystal, Chocolate, and Black Patent Malts
Steep at 120° F for 30 minutes
Strain into Brew Pot
Sparge Grains with 1 gallon of 120° F water
Place Brewpot on Heat and bring to a boil
When boiling is reached, remove from heat and add extracts, sugar, pumpkin pureé, and 1 oz Fuggle bittering hop
Return to heat and stir until boiling
Boil for 45 minutes, stirring intermittently
Remove from heat and add 1 oz Fuggle flavoring hop, cinnamon sticks, and vanilla beans
Return to heat and boil for 10 minutes
Remove from heat and add Pumpkin Pie Spice, AllSpice, Nutmeg, Kent Golding Aroma Hop, and Irish Moss
Return to heat and Boil for 5 minutes
Remove From Heat and chill wort for 20 minutes
Add to fermenter
Add 3.5 gallons cool water.

Pitch Yeast (White Labs Edinburgh Ale Yeast) when wort is below 78°)

Wait 2 weeks, rack into secondary fermenter,

Wait 2 weeks, dissolve ¾ cup of Confectioner's Sugar in two cups of boiling water, mix with wort, bottle

Wait 2 weeks - drink

The wort was very tasty.  I'll let everyone know how it turns out.
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Clearing Agent [Sep. 13th, 2006|10:40 am]
I Brew, Therefore I Am: Brew Beer, Wine, and Meade

[mood |chipperchipper]

So, I have brewing a batch of rose meade and it was horribly cloudy, even after sitting for a good while, so my supply shoppe guy gave me this Liquor brand clearing agent and I looked at the meade last night, approx. 24 hours after adding the clearing agent and HOLY COW! It is crystal clear, and beautiful! I'm so excited about how pretty it is! =^_^=
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Bottling Tomorrow [Sep. 9th, 2006|12:05 am]
I Brew, Therefore I Am: Brew Beer, Wine, and Meade
[mood |lethargiclethargic]

I would be remiss, I think, if I didn't try to further this, especially since it's my fiance's community.  Anyway, I'm bottling tomorrow:

Five gallons of
Fat Tire Clone and five of a Hobgoblin clone.  I got both recipes from Beer Captured by Tess and Mark Szamatulski.  I highly recommend the book if you'e going to do either an all grain or extract boil.  The authors have another book that comes highly reccomended as well.

After these two batches, I'm either going to brew a pumpkin ale (at selenasaberwind's request) or brew an Irish style ale that I've been working on.  Whichever it is, I'll certainly post the recipe here and let everyone know how it turns out.

Additionally, here's a
link for all of you who want to get started brewing.

For now though, good night.
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Funny, but horrible joke of the day..... [Sep. 8th, 2006|11:35 pm]
I Brew, Therefore I Am: Brew Beer, Wine, and Meade

[mood |geeky]

An Suicide Prevention hotline for yeast... For those poor confused yeast whose reckless lifestyle of eating will end up killing themselves.

On that note, I'd like to be the first to say hello!

My name is Selena (at least online, it is) and I am the creator/moderator of this community. I created it because I wanted to see an active community for home brewers (and I didn't know about homebrewing because it didn't show up when I searched for one). A place where we all can get together and trade valuable information to help us each improve our craft. And just to have fun talkin' about stuff we made!

I'm fairly new to the craft, but my fiancee mr_hinzelmann has been into brewing beer for quite some time and has gotten me hooked from the first visit to the brew supply shoppe. I am mainly a meade brewer because I'm tired of going to the store and only seeing one or maybe two bottles of meade on the shelf when it's just so damn tasty! It's also a LOT of fun to make.

My current projects include:

1.) A batch of raspberry meade that is now aging in bottles. This is my first batch, and according to Bob the beer supply guy we go to who is also an accredited beer judge, it turned out pretty good and will have an excellent chance of being amazing after it has aged a while.

2.) A batch of rose meade that is in the secondary fermentor and has had oak chips added to it. I need to rack it again and bottle it within the next month or so. I am REALLY hoping that this turns out well.

3.) A very young batch of elderberry sack meade (yes, I know it's not technically a sack meade) that is still going through the primary fermentation and seems to be doing well, but I think I used too many dried elderberries, so it might be a little overpowering, but that's ok because I tend to like strong tastes.

That's the news with me at this point. Please feel free to post your own info and current projects! I look forward to hearing from everyone!
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