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165…

…gallons. That’s how much I’ve brewed so far this year. Fortunately that means I’ll be coming in under my legal limit of 200 gallons this year, even if I brew a few more times (which I will). I have a rather large stockpile of beer in my basement so I might end up taking a break this winter and brewing some bigger (or more time consuming) ones… Ones that take a while to age. Maibock is definitely on the agenda. I **MUST** learn to brew some lagers… and figure out how to handle them without having to go purchase another damn refrigerator/freezer.

And before someone runs off and starts planning my intervention, here’s a couple of reasons why I managed to get through that much beer in a year:

  • 25 gallons still in in fermenters
  • 30 gallons in kegs
  • 5 gallons in bottles
  • 5-10 gallons still in kegerator
  • A best friend in Dover that typically goes home with a growler or two every time he visits
  • I brewed 5 gallons just for my dad
  • My family (God bless them) can put a hurting on my beer every time they come to visit, which I welcome.

… So I get help making it disappear, and we’re sitting on a good amount too.

Brew Like a Monk is an amazing read and reference for any of you out there looking to brew authentic (or even inauthentic) Belgian-style brews. Its packed with great info from both sides of the Atlantic (Belgium and America) and has many suprises I wasn’t expecting – For example, fermentation temperature control for Belgians would be the exception to the rule – Many many places actually pitch 65-70 degrees and let their temps rise into the high 70s or mid 80s! In addition 15-20% sugar is pretty standard, with some using as much as 30%. And corn sugar (yes, that stuff you use for bottling) is a good substitution for clear candi sugar!

That book also had Lots of good info for me to use for my Ommegang clone or Abbey-style Dubbel – Speaking of which, I picked up 3 750mL bottles of Ommegang at State Line this weekend so I could reculture. We’ll have to see how it goes – Worst thing that could happen is I get really ripped on some belgian-style goodness, even if I can’t get the yeast revived and kicking again.

No brewing this weekend. I’ll be bottling & kegging my 10 gallons of Belgian Wit tomorrow. Next weekend I’ll either be brewing 5 gallons of Oak-Aged Vanilla Porter or 10 gallons of Black Honey Ale – My dad is running low again, so it would make a good Christmas gift. I hope that he actually gets a kegerator when he retires – I could keep him in good beer pretty easily.

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