Friday, February 6, 2009

Update - February

When I got back from my Christmas Break, I had a bunch of ideas to post about, mostly reviews, and some stuff focused on homebrewing equipment. I've sort of become uninspired by the beer review thing. I still like to try new beers, but I'm tired of buying pale ales and reviewing them. I mean there are a lot of pale ales out there that are great, and worth mentioning, but there's nothing really new going on with the style.

Part of the reason is that I think the last beer I bought was a sixer of Shiner Black to share with my friend, John, on Christmas Eve. I still have at least one of those in the fridge. Mostly, I've been focused on putting recipes into ProMash, going back and re-reading my Brew Your Own magazines and throwing the recipes that look interesting into ProMash for later inspiration.

I started out the year making a schedule of beers that I wanted to make. I haven't done a good job sticking to that list. I was going to knock out one beer a month, starting with a Smoked Porter, followed by the Rocka Rolla Amber that I cloned from Magic Hat's Roxy Rolles ale, and in March, make the Pilsner I made last fall, only with all-grain

Instead, I focused on building a Mash Tun, which I will post an article about after I brew this weekend, and I just finished building a fly-sparge arm, which will also be included in that article. Then I had to remake the Jinx.

I decided to remake the Jinx (I decided to call mine Samhain Ale - which I believe was a Pagan celebration of Fall, as well as Glen Danzig's band after the Misfits and before Danzig) because I wasn't satisfied with the more malty version I created in 2008, I had the hops to make it, and I was interested in making something with Marris Otter malt. I've tried it out of the fermenter, and it appears to be very good. By the time I post this, it will be bottled and ready in 3 weeks.

After brewing the Jinx, I decided to utilize my conical fermenter. It's got a valve at the bottom of the cone, where you empty the trub and yeast that is done fermenting. So I read a couple of articles online about re-using the yeast, after another homebrewer I talked to, named Tom, re-used his yeast on two batches of his Sierra Nevada Pale clone.

So I thought that I could use this yeast to make 2 more brews, both Magic Hat clones, the Rocka Rolla, and a version of the Magic Hat #9, which I will call 9.5 Weeks. It appears that Magic Hat uses some generic English Ale yeast for all of these beers, so I figured I would try it to see how regenerating yeast worked.

The obvious choice would have been to do the Rocka Rolla, since I already have 2/3 of the hops for it. However, I got so interested in the #9, and thought it would be nice for my wife to have some beer, AND thought that if the yeast was weak (I will make a starter), the #9 had a low enough gravity that it would probably be the better choice.

So I'm making the 9.5 Weeks on Saturday.

Then, on Sunday, Shoreline is having the Mug Club Chili Cookoff.

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