Homebrew Update

I’ve finally gotten into the homebrew groove, it seems. The motivation, though, was a potential catastrophe. Namely, my kegerator can’t hold 2 typical commercial 5 gallon kegs. It seems that the dimensions of kegs vary and most are just slightly shorter and fatter than the “standard”. It won’t fit by about 1/16″!

I briefly toyed with either moving the kegerator to the big chest freezer and using the small for food. But then I had a better idea.

Since the kegerator can easily fit a commercial with a corny keg (or 2 corny kegs) then I should actually, like, BREW BEER!

And, thus, that is what I’m doing. Got a butch of heavily coffeed American Nut Brown Ale finishing in a cornelius keg while a batch of traditional English Special Bitters is in primary.

The Nut Brown Ale came out with about a ~4.7% ABV, exactly as the recipe said it should. After a week of sitting in the corny keg, the Nut Brown Ale is now on tap in the kegerator. The first few pours were a bit bitter and cloudy, but now it is pouring much cleaner and is absolutely delicious. Notable bitter coffee flavor on top of a chocolaty brown ale beer.

The English Special Bitters went in with an SG of 1.040, about 0.007 less than the recipe called for, but I’m not worried about it. Update: Came out at about 1.012 SG; or, about, ~3.7% ABV. It’ll go into the secondary now to settle and then into a corny keg in a few days to a week. I don’t expect much further fermentation, but it’ll likely end up right at 4% ABV.

A friend turned me on to Northern Brewer Homebrew Supply. Their kits are fantastic, the prices are reasonable, and they have $8 shipping on all orders.

Thus, I picked up 3 kits (and already had a kit from Fermentation Solutions, whom I’ll definitely go to when I’m ready to start doing custom recipes & for the occasional kits because theirs are quite good, too); two malt extract (ESB & Traditional English Pub Ale) and one partial extract (Oatmeal Stout).

With the gas stove, I can get through a recipe in 3 to 3.5 hours with a partial boil recipe. It is a nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Better yet, when my sinuses are clogged, as they often are in the winter, all that steam does wonders!

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3 Responses to “Homebrew Update”

  1. Jonathan says:

    > then I should actually, like, BREW BEER!

    duh 🙂

  2. David Keith says:

    While Northern Brewer is an outstanding company Midwest Homebrew Supply often has cheaper prices, and a much better selection.

    One of the many benefits of living in the Twin Cities is the plethora of home brew stores. Her in Silicone Valley, not so much. Though the premiere organic homebrew store is just a hop, skip, and a jump from here Santa Cruz: Seven Bridges Coop

  3. grady says:

    I have soo much respect for you as a programmer, I read your posts on stackoverflow all the time… having said that are you talking about extract kits?
    It is time to go whole grain… I have been brewing for 10 years, and maybe in the interim extract kits have gotten better (I know un-hopped extract + frozen hops are more common now), but whole grain gives so much better results and seems to have a great deal more latitude. Oh yeah and it is super cheap, 13 dollars for 5 gallons of beer (if you are spending the 5 bucks a pop on white labs liquid yeast)…

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