Beer Quotes & Wisdom

You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline-it

helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear

weapons, but at the very least you need a beer. -- Frank Zappa

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Dec. Club Meeting

The club meeting this month took a road trip and was held in the Barnhart's home.  The focus of the meeting was to sample as many barleywines as could be found availlable in the  area.  Due to the Indiana liquor laws, "purchased" beers can not be taken into a restaurant/brewpub that produces its own beer.
12 of us gathered to partake in the event, including Susie Barnhart, who usually considers this group to be too geeky to spend much time with.  10 barleywines were also in attendance as well as 3 other high gravity brews for us to partake in.
If we add up all the ABVs, it comes out to 144.8%, or an average of 11.1% per beer.  It was a good thing that we had the numbers to tackle this collection.  The actual ABV range was 8.5% at the low end to 18% at the top.
The list of beers went as follows;
Mikkeler Devine Rebel at 12%
Tin Man's Groaning Ale 13.2% (Cary's homebrew "birthing ale")
Thomas Hardy 2008 11.7%
Sierra Nevada Bigfoot 2009 9.1%
John Barleycorn 2009 11.2%
John Barleycorn 2008 9.1%
Brooklyn Monster Ale 10.1%
Avery Hog Heaven 9.2%
Boulder Killer Penguin 2009 10%
Shipyard Pugsley's Signature Series 2008 8.5%
Arcadia Cereal Killer 2008 9%

Stella Artois


Found these two new Stella Artois tv commercials to be particularly funny. Bud Light has always had funny commercials, which I always found a bit ironic since their beer sucks so badly.

Maybe Stella can un-seat Bud Light and be the new king of funny commercials?

Having good beer would certainly help.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Nov '10 Meeting

The monthly meeting brought out a lot of brewers this month, and a lot of beers.  A total of 15 attendees showed up including some faces we haven't seen for a while.
Tom started the evening out by forgetting if the meeting began at 6:00 or 6:30.  Since it was somewhere in between, it was decided to start anyway.
It apparently has been a good brewing season by the number of beers that were brought out.  We saw several IPAs, both black & classic.  We got to sample several beers that used a great deal of chocolate malt by Matt and some very interesting "historic" beers from Cary.  His Ben Franklin's Porter was good and the Groening ale was extremely dangerous as he had to send it around with the warning that it was a 13%er!  Biere de Garde, Kolsch, Oatmeal Stout, Oktoberfest, Raspberry Wheat, Cream ale, there were a lot of beers!
We eventually got around to the holiday beers that was the project for the month, but only had 2 entries from Ron, a spiced porter & Larry, a pumpkin ale.

Monday, November 15, 2010

I am a craft brewer parody

A little something to brighten your day.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Pint Tales

Indy Jabberwocky from Howard County Home Brew Club on Vimeo.

Jabberwocky -- jab·ber·wock·y: A nonsensical poem; a gathering of people to enjoy good storytelling (possibly with a pint... or three.)

I went down to the Indiana Historical Society to enjoy the storytelling type. On November 9 the organization put together the first jabberwocky event combined with a night of great beer. Story tellers included author Douglas Wissing, brewers Ted Miller and Clay Robinson, and people out of the crowd. Along with a musical symphony performed on beer bottles.

With Indiana brewed beer provided by Brewers of Indiana Guild, tongues were loosened and beer afficionados were able to enjoy some tall tales.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Kokofest 2010

The inaugural Kokofest was held on Oct 9th behind the local brewpub the Half Moon Restaurant & Brewery.  There were live bands, a car show, food & vendor tents and most importantly, 2 beer tents.  World Class Beverages had beers from many different craft breweries from around the country.
There were 3 Indiana breweries there as well.  The Half Moon, Lafayette Brewpub and Upland Brewery were all serving draft beers.  The Howard County Homebrew Club was also pouring excellent homebrew from their traveling bar.
We had 5 beers on tap for the night which kept Tom & Larry hopping as there was a non-stop parade of people interested in sampling our creations.  On tap from the unique gas tower tap were Mike & Jason's American Wheat, Tom's double IPA and Tom's version of this year's Big Brew Belgian Blonde.  All 3 getting very good remarks from the crowd.
As the sun began to set, we added the Bourbon Barrel beer that Jeff had somehow been able to save and Larry's award winning Susie's Sweet Stout.  Word had somehow gotten around the grounds as people began to line up asking for the two stouts by name.

By the time the evening came to a close, and the feel of the kegs we probably went through 20 to 25 gallons of beer in that 5 hour period.  4oz. at a time!
In the days since, I have heard from quite a few attendees to Kokomo's first microbrew festival that the HCHC had the best beer of the event!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

How they got Buzzed without Booze

 This is the guy chosen to tell the public not to drink?!?
He looks snockered!! WTF?

Are you interested in beer?
(Of course you are.... you're here at this blog.)

Do you have an interest in science?
(Or at least as much as it pertains to making good beer?)

Do you have an interest in history?
(Particularly if it shows the horror if there was, I shudder to say it.... NO BEER?)

Popular Science has an interesting gallery on their site of articles they ran during Prohibition. The magazine went into their archives and found some interesting articles they did during the 14 years Prohibition was in effect.

Diagrams of liquor stills, for educational purposes only, of course. Explanations of how home brewers can determine if their beer is near-beer, of the legal type.

Getting buzzed without booze, trust me the method is shocking. I'll take a hangover any day.

Should the day come when we can no longer brew beer, we can console ourselves by transitioning into making malt syrup for use in soda pop, as some brewers did during Prohibition.

We can sit around discussing the various types of roots that go into root beer, the best forms of carbonation, does red kool aid really make a good cherry soda?

Popular Science's gallery.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Swirled Mash

Sorry for the poor quality of these pictures, my cell phone camera apparently did not take well to the light level. Regardless, in case any of you have thought about swirling your cooled wort after it has been chilled to seperate the hops, here was our first experience last Sunday. It worked great, we will definitely do that from now on!

This was the result of swirling the mash for about 10min.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Beer around the Web

Just a little wrap up of some interesting things I've found recently about beer on the net.

BrewDog Brewery in Fraserburgh, Scotland is coming out with a 55% ABV beer called End of Time. There will be 11 bottles at $770 to $1000 each. The bottle is going to be inside a squirrel. Not a toy squirrel mind you, an actual been-to-the-taxidermist road kill squirrel.

I know that Apple Computers is kind of tyrannical about some things, but I think they have taken it too far. I found this picture of what is supposedly a motherboard to an Apple computer. If you look towards the center, there is a little sticker that says NO IPA. Why should they be able to tell me what kind of beer to drink or not when I tear apart one of their products?

Last, but not least, I would really like to know how the fine people at St. James Gate were able to climb inside my dreams. How did they know this has been what I've been looking for?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

2010 Indiana Brewer's Cup

Making its third public appearance, the HCHBC traveling bar was once again quite the hit.  In a room full of jockey boxes, we really stood out.  The tower was set up as a self serve, and it seems as though most people served themselves Tom's Belgian Blond from the Half Moon Big Brew.  This one used the Ardenes yeast. 
Both the Bourbon Barrel Stout & the Sweet Stout went over quite well too.
Larry & Jeff did the hauling of the bar and all its acoutrement and with the help of their wives Susie & Jean and a helpful Eric, got things set up in no time at all.  With only one minor spill as the lines were hooked up, everything went smoothly until it was discovered that Larry had forgot to open the check valves on the CO2 lines.  The pours started to get really slow, then kind of stopped all together which is what tipped us off.
Larry made a slide show from all the pictures from past club events and had it playing on a mini laptop at the side of the bar.
As the awards portion of the evening began, we were joined by Cary & his wife Kris and Jon from the Half Moon.  With 20 entries from the HCHB this year, we were either the 3rd (as announced) or 4th as the number of club entries were read off.  MECA, as usual, dominated the evening having entered more than 100 beers.  We broke their string however with a 1st for Larry's Oktoberfest, Marzen Dotes and Dozy Dotes.
The professional catagory kept calling out the same names as well but Jon was there for Kokomo with a bronze for his porter and a silver for the hazelnut.
We were all a bit disappointed at missing out on a ribbon for the bourbon barrel competition.  Having the chance to sample many of the entries, we all felt we should have placed well.  But that was not to be.  After talking to several of the clubs, it appears as though most left their beer in the barrel much longer than we did.  One club even added the bourbon to the beer to really enhance the bourbon prescence.  Ours was much more subtle.
For our third year at the awards dinner, the Howard County Homebrew Club is really making a name for itself.  Even members from MECA are starting to take note.  Brew on!

Friday, July 9, 2010

State Fair Brewer's Cup

Indiana Brewer's Cup prep work from Howard County Home Brew Club on Vimeo.

A few weeks ago I helped out with getting the beer entries for the Brewer's Cup ready. That meant unpacking beer, labeling it, packing it back up. Since I can't seem to resist, I shot some video of the work so that everyone could see all the hard work that went into getting the beer ready for the judges.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Send me to BEER CAMP!!!

So here's the deal. I want to go to camp.... beer camp that is.

it just so happens that Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. has a 2 day beer camp for beer lovers at the brewery in Chico, CA. They are holding a contest to pick winners to attend beer camp.

The only thing contestants have to do is enter a creative project explaining why they should be invited to camp. Video, picture, essay-whatever.

For my first beer I brewed recently, I did a time lapse movie. Now at the time I didn't know about the contest, I just did the time lapse because, well... they're fun!

Erik's First Brew from Howard County Home Brew Club on Vimeo.

And now it just so happens that I have a great reason to show off the time lapse. Cause not all camps are created equal. Band camp isn't equal to beer camp. I guess that goes without saying.

Over at Sierra Beer Camp there are all the entries that people have submitted. Find my entry and click the "like" thumbs up. Mine is the one called "Erik's Brew Day"

I don't know how much the votes matter to being selected but it sure can't hurt. And I think I have a pretty cool video also. There is some competition. There are a couple other cool videos, but I hope I can hold my own.

Voting closes July 9th so it's just a couple days left.

The video here is a little longer. I had to keep my entry under two minutes, but I had other stuff I wanted to include. It's tough to get under two minutes.

Please go over to Sierra Nevada and vote tho! Hopefully it's interesting enough you want to help out a fellow member.

I don't even need money! When's the last time you heard that? I mean besides that Nigerian spam email that arrived this morning.

I sure would appreciate it. :)


P.S. Go vote NOW! ;)

Monday, June 28, 2010

20 Things Worth knowing About Beer

Found this funny comic at

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Ales For Tails 2010

This year's Ales For Tails fundraiser tried something new this year.  They invited the Howard County Homebrew Club to show off some of their beers in addition to the amazing selection of beer supplied by World Class Beverages
It was the first time the event had draught beer as the new club bar got its second use in as many weeks.  The bar, and especially the gas tower got many compliments. 

The foaming problem experienced at the Brew-B-Q in Indy was not an issue.  Larry wrapped the beer lines and stuffed the inside of the tower with bubble wrap.  The 3 kegs were set in coolers and filled with ice and that kept the taps quite cold.  The pressure on the CO2 tank was set at about 3psi to keep from blasting the beer into the tiny 2oz glasses everyone received upon entering the Quarry.
The 3 beers on tap were the 2 club projects of this year (the bourbon barrel and the Belgian Blond big brew ala Mike & Jason) and last year's Indiana Brewers Cup Best of Show, Susie's Sweet Stout. 

Word quickly spread as there was an amazing number of people coming up and asking for the Sweet Stout and Bourbon Stout by name.

The two bartenders were kept busy filling glasses as the afternoon went on.  There was more than several times when I could hear people talking in the crowd and saying we had the best beer at the event.

After weighing the kegs after it was over, it appears we served up about 6 gallons of beer, 2ozs at a time. 

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Just saw this nice video on

I Am A Craft Brewer from I Am A Craft Brewer on Vimeo.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

2010 Brew-B-Q Pictures

Some pictures from the 2010 Brew-B-Q at Sun King June 12:
Ohio Valley Homebrew Club
Great Fermentations
HCHBC and Bar

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I have made a table top display for the bar that explains the whole obsession we seem to have with  Purina checkerboard green tower.  I have placed it on and you should be able to access it by clicking the link to the right called "The Legend of the HCHBC Logo".

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Beer Tower

The tower for the club bar is reaching its final stages.  Painted, hardware installed and ready to be mounted.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Larry Barnhart's Half Moon Guest Brew

Larry Barnhart's REALLY Big Brew from Howard County Home Brew Club on Vimeo.

Now that Larry's award winning Susie's Sweet Stout is going on tap at Half Moon, take a look at all the hard work that went into making it. Brewer John Templet was very gracious.... and let Larry do most of the work. "It's only fair" is probably what most of the home brew club members would say. The brew went off without a hitch, except for maybe taking a little longer than what John is used to. 

Tho as "they" say, the real proof is in the pudding.... or in this case the dark, sweet beer on tap. Get a taste before it's all gone.

Unless of course Larry decides to repeat at this year's state fair and win again. ;-)

(If you are on a slower connection turn HD off, which will speed up the playback.)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

May Meeting

It was a rather small group by recent standards.  12 of us eventually arrived bringing 9 beers to taste.  They included an Alt, an Amber, Thistle Dew Ale, a Pale Ale/IPA that Tom F. is having trouble deciding which catagory it should be entered in.  2 Hefeweizens (1 regular, 1 hefty), Bourbon Barrel Stout and a Brown Ale that'll knock you're socks off at 9%.

Brent has finished the club bar and Tom has brought in the taps and tubing for the tower that Larry is preparing for his wife, Susie to paint.  Larry also brought in one of the tap handles Cary has made with the logo Larry had Stoops Laser Engraving make on it.

It is hoped it will be completed by race weekend this month to get its trial run at Brent's race party.  Its first public appearance will be June 12th at the Brew-B-Q in Indy.  Other uses planned for this year will be the the Ales For Tails fund raiser on une 24th, the Indiana Brewer's Cup Awards dinner where Larry's Susie's Sweet Stout and the club's Bourbon Barrel project will be served, and the club's Halloween party in October.  For those who are supplying kegs at these events, you will need to supply the correct fittings for the kegs i.e. pin or ball lock.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Ready for hardware

Friday, May 7, 2010

Be(er) Prepared

I was a track meet at Taylor High School taking some photos and I saw this guy with a shirt on from Sanibel Island. They get some storms there from time to time, always good to be ready with your storm plan.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Big Brew a Go for May 1

It's a go for Half Moon Big Brew May 1 at noon.

At 3:45 PM Friday April 30, the weather forecast shows rain tomorrow morning ending by noon. The afternoon from 12:00 to 3:00 has only 10% chance of rain forecast increasing to 40% at 3:00. So it looks like we should be able to get our Big Brew in at Half Moon.

John will have the wort ready for us at noon. To do this he needs to start the mash at about 9:00. I'll make one last check of the weather forecast at 8:00 AM so if the forecast has changed dramatically at that time we could still cancel the brew. You should check this site again tomorrow before coming out to Half Moon in case we have to cancel tomorrow morning.

Jeff Gloudemans for Tom Ferguson

First Round NHC Winners

The first round of the Great Lakes Region for the National Homebrew Competition has been completed.  Indiana was represented very nicely with 25 winners advancing with 25 brews.
On the Howard Co. Homebrew front, Larry B., Tom F. & Jon C. all have the chance to advance to the finals.  Larry took 1st out of 16 entries with his doppelbock in the bock catagory.  Tom & Jon took a 3rd out of 22 entries with their pilsner.
For a complete listing of the 1st round winners go the the AHA website at
For the listing of the Indiana winners, go to the Indiana Beer blog at

Monday, April 26, 2010

Dark Lord and home brew

Found this interesting article over at Beer Dorks arguing that home brew is just as good and important or more so than Three Floyd's Dark Lord Stout.

I think variety is the spice of life, beer of all prices and mass produced or home brew is a good thing. But this is an interesting take on the subject.

A quote I found along these lines, "Beer was not made to be moralized about, but to be drunk." Theodore Maynard.

Beer Dorks "Don't Fret, Home Brew"

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Big Brew Yeast Starters

I made the starters today for the Big Brew next Saturday at Half Moon. The plan was to make 5 one gal starters and 5 half gal starters each with a different strain of Belgian Yeast. What I did was randomly pick yeast strains of the 10 varieties purchased to divide them among the 1 gal and 1/2 gal starters. Since I only had 4 one gal containers available one of the 1 gal starters (Wyeast 3787 Trappist High Gravity) was made using two 1/2 gal growlers and splitting the yeast between them. All of the yeast varieties purchased were from Wyeast.

1 Gal
3787 Trappist High Gravity
3538 Leuven Pale Ale
3655 Schelde
3522 Ardennes
3942 Wheat

1/2 Gal
1388 Strong Ale
3463 Forbidden Fruit
3724 Belgian Saison
3711 French Saison
1214 Belgian Abbey Ale

My plan is to let them ferment out and then deliver them to Half moon on Wednesday or Thursday to be stored in their walk in cooler.

Jeff G

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Got alot done on the Club Bar today.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Larry's Half Moon Big Brew

On Thursday, very early in the morning, Jon put me to work in the Half Moon brew house to brew up a batch of the award winning Susie's Sweet Stout.  Jon had all the grain gathered up and set out the night before, water heated and everything ready to go when I arrived at 7:45 in the morning.

After a quick explanation of the intricate manifold with its myriad of switches & levers and a brief lesson on the tri-clamps for the hoses, we did a sanitizing ritual with very hot water through everything we would be using that day.

After re-arranging the hoses and clamps and I was ready to start the heavy end of the day.  Or what I thought would be the heavy end of the day.  297 pounds of grain had to be loaded into the mash tun.  Fortunately only 55lbs at a time. 
Then came the mixing/stirring of the now wet grain.  Using a fancy "hoe" and reaching all the way to the false bottom of the tun I had to pull the grain to the top and make sure there were no dough  balls and everything was evenly mixed.

In the following hour, Jon had me move some more hoses around allowing me to work on my one-handed tri-clamp technique and get things set up for the yeast transfer that was to come later.  Eric M. arrived with his video camera to document the momentious occasion.  We also sampled a bit of the Susie's Sweet Stout that I brought from the secondary at home for a sample of what we are shooting for.   It is from the batch I brewed a few days earlier that will be the featured beer at this year's Indiana Brewers Cup dinner. 

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

April Meeting

The April club meeting brought out 17 people and an equal number of beers.  The one we were all there to taste was the sample pulled from the bourban barrel to assess.  A pronounced bourbon aroma greeted you as you raised the glass, but the vanilla from the oak and a chocolate flavor are what you tasted.  It is very good!
There was some discussion as to whether to leave it in the barrel longer or if this was the right time to keg.  The majority felt it was just right and it was decided to keg it soon.  Those of us receiving a keg (or 2) of it will try to leave it alone until it is time to enter it in the Indiana Brewers Cup contest.  A sampling of everyone's keg to determine the effects on storage and carbonation at a later meeting will determine which keg to enter.

Another use for a keg of the brew was brought up in that the Howard County Homebrew Club has been invited to participate in the annual "Ales For Tails" fundraiser that will be held at the Quarry Restaurant on June 23rd.  It is an evening of sampling beer & wine paired up with food in order to raise money for the Kokomo Animal Shelter.  We were approached to possibly set up a display there for homebrewing and it was also suggested that the club offer something for the silent auction as well.  It could be something as simple as a lesson in homebrewing.

This year's BIG BREW at the Half Moon will be on May 1st, starting at noon.  Once again Jon, the head brewer of the Half Moon will mash up a batch of wort for us to brew up for the day.  This year's experiment will be yeasts.  A Belgian Blond beer will form the base.  Tom F. will order the hops for the brew and we will all follow the same hop schedule, theoretically all producing the same beer.  Then those participating will each use a different Belgian yeast, so that we can taste the differences that the yeast contribute to the final beer.  Jeff G. will brew up a batch of starter for all to get the yeast up and running.  So with Jon providing the wort, Tom ordering the hops & yeasts and Jeff providing the starter, everything should be fairly uniform to accentuate the yeast profiles.

Brent gave us an update on the construction of the portable serving bar he is making for the club.  Something that will be used at the Indiana Brewers Cup and the Ales For Tales as well as other homebrew functions.  Hardware still needs to be purchased, and some decissions like how many taps will be needed still has to be decided.  Cary K.  will make some tap handles.  He also had some well made mash paddles that he was selling for the bargain price of $5.

Jon & Larry set the time for Thursday the 22nd to be the brew day for Susie's Sweet Stout for the Half Moon.  They will be using the recipe that won the Best of Show at the 2009 Indiana Brewers Cup.  It was unanimous that Jon should let Larry do ALL the work.

A group hop order & malt order was discussed.  The hop order is a go with several members jumping in on it, and the grain order looks to be in the future.

The dispensing of the beers for the evening went quite well with everything from a Mr. Beer kit to a blend of several "left overs" that all got mixed together to for a "perpetual" beer.  Maibocks, Porters, Heffes, Brown ales, Munich Dunkels & even an IPA made with lager yeast.

The best story of the evenng was Cary's apricot mead that required a 3' bottle opener & a blast shield to open.

Tom F. Offered up bags of hop rhizomes from his hop garden, and Andrew offered some "aged" grains that he was anxious to move out of his basement.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Susie's Sweet Stout Double Brew

In getting ready to finish up my 1 year of fame, I brewed up the double batch of Susie's Sweet Stout. This is the 2 kegs worth of 2009's Best of Show that will be the featured beer at the 2010 Indiana Brewer's Cup award dinner.I've never done two brews in one day before, so this was something new for me. My equipment is set up to do single 5 gallon batches of beer. But because I'm using the yeast built up from a batch of Thistle Dew Scottish ale I made last week, I had to get both batches done in relatively short order.

I took detailed notes in the brewing of the Thistle Dew. Things like how long does it take to heat 4 gallons of water to 170 degrees, and how long does it take to drain 6 1/2 gallons of sweet wort from the mash tun. I was then able to put together a time line of when to start the second batch while still working the first without ending up with two critical events happening simultaniously.

I sent out an invitation to the Howard County Homebrew Club to join in on the event. 4 members came by to share the day. Jeff G. was first to arrive with a couple of his own beers. Erik M. began his Homebrew Tour as he is looking to document the different methods of brewing the members of the club uses. Jon S., who donated the use of some of his equipment to help out in the heating of muliple pots of water, stopped by to have a beer. Matt D. drove up and unloaded his brewing equipment to do up a batch of his own beer. He also brought a keg of beer to share as well.

Then the non-brewers began to show up. 5 other friends & neighbors came over to enjoy the beautiful spring day, and have some wonderful homebrew and brats that were grilled by Jeff in the back yard.

Erik filmed the process throughout the day, and everything went quite smoothly with onle one minor spill that he caught on tape as the transfer hose of the first batch went astray spraying beer all over the floor of the kitchen. Eric showed signs of a mild panic like he'd never seen anything like this before, which he hadn't. I kept my cool, having seen this kind of thing before and got it quickly under control and began the clean-up.

The transfer of batch #2 went much smoother and with the insertion of the airlock, my brewing was done. Now all that was left was the clean-up. Interestingly enough, it was also about the time everyone decided it was time to leave too. It was a good day, and though I don't think I'll be doing another double brew anytime soon, I enjoyed the company for my Big Brew Day.

Larry Barnhart's Big Brew from Howard County Home Brew Club on Vimeo.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

A Very Late Addition to the Boil

I brewed one of my perenial favorites on Sunday, Thistle Dew.  Its a Scottish ale made with a pound of thistle honey.  I've probably made more batches of this beer than any other.  But this batch had me confused.
Everything was going smoothly, even though I was trying to squeeze this brew in before heading off to work.  I had to get this beer in the primary on this day because it is to be my yeast starter for the double batch of Susie's Sweet Stout I am going to brew in a little over a week's time.
As the final hurrah in my year of fame as brewer of the Best of Show in the 2009 Indiana Brewer's Cup competition, I have to make 10 gallons of the award winning beer for the 2010 awards dinner as it will be the featured beer of the evening.
But I digress.  Everything was going smoothly with the mash, with the initial gravity reading falling right where it should be.  Even the boil went without incident, without so much as a threatened boil over. The chilling & transfer to the carboy went smooth as silk. Everything went right in with not even a drop of spillage on the floor.
But here's where things took an odd turn.  In checking the OG, I was surprised to find the reading to be a bit low.  Actually, quite a bit low.  The mash efficiency was running at 74% and the initial reading into the kettle was right on the money.  Gravity readings are supposed to go up after the boil, this went down according to the Beer Smith brew sheet .  I was confused.
It wasn't until the next day when I opened the cupboard and found the jar of thistle honey still sitting on the shelf that I realized why the gravity of the finished product was off.
Now comes the delimna of how, or even should I try to add the honey while I have a very active fermentation in progress.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Walking Into the Sun

Sun King Brewery visit from Howard County Home Brew Club on Vimeo.

This is a short video I did when I visited Sun King Brewery and checked out their tasting room.

Sampled some beer, saw their operation, took a couple growlers home. Nice way to spend a Friday afternoon.

I know there were a few HCHBC members who asked questions about Sun King on the message board, I hope this video might give you some idea about who they are.

Hope you enjoy the video. If you didn't, have another beer, it gets better by the pint.

*It might take a few seconds for the video to buffer and start on a slower dsl connection. I hope no one is on dial up trying to view this, it literally will take til the end of time.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Toasts from around the World:

Afrikaans - Gesondheid!
Arabic - Fi sahitak!
English - Cheers!
Chinese - Kong chien!
Farsi - Ba'sal'a'ma'ti!
French - Santé!
German - Prosit!
Greek - Gia'sou!
Hawaiian - Hipahipa!
Hebrew - Le'chaim!
Hungarian - Egészségedre!
Icelandic - Santanka nu!
Irish - Sláinte!
Italian - Salute!
Japanese - Kanpai!
Pakistani - Sanda bashi!
Polish - Na zdrowie!
Russian - Vashe zdorovie!
Spanish - Salud!
Swahili - Afya!
Swedish - Skal!
Tanzania - Kwa afya yako 
Turkish - Serefe!
Thai - Chook-die!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Improvised Manifold

Last Saturday Jason and I wanted to try brewing a 10 gallon batch for the first time. The biggest catch was the false bottom for our new brew pot has yet to be delivered, and our old mash tun is not capable of supporting a 10 gallon batch, at least not at the gravity we were aiming to achieve. Jason had read on the internet some people were successfully using stainless steel braided line for a manifold/false bottom, so off to Lowes we went. $5 worth of 1/2" toilet feed line and two zip ties later we had our would be manifold.
Frankly, the thing actually worked great. We had estimated our O.G. to be about 1.072 based on 60% efficiency. Our measured O.G. was somewhere between 1.084 and 1.088, showing an actual effciency of 72-76%. The range was due to our hygrometer measuring after temperature correction 1.084, and our refractometer indicating 1.088.

Warm Beer, Cold Women

Beer Is Good