Archive for June, 2008

Smoked Chuck Roast.

Posted in Meat on June 30, 2008 by Aleforge

For my birthday my wife got me a “Smokey Mountain Smoker” by Great Outdoors. The only thing I have attempted so far was chicken, and I smoked the living shit out of it. So much that everyone wondered if they were eating seasoned firewood. I had no idea what I was doing, and well I pretty much still don’t but I keep tying anyhow. I decided to go with a chuck roast this time, as we love pot roast and how it “pulls” so easily. Especially compared to brisket, which I am not a huge fan of.

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Hop update.

Posted in Hops on June 25, 2008 by Aleforge

I took another photo of my slow growing hops yesterday. Comparing them to the one I took earlier in the month you can see there is “some” growth happening. I was pretty concerned about them, but have finally gave up worrying and will just let them do their thing. They are still rooting themselves in, and most of their effort in the first year is to get established anyway.

Keezer, almost done.

Posted in Equipment on June 25, 2008 by Aleforge

Yesterday I finally got around to working on my keezer project. My freezer will hold 5 cornies and a 5lb tank, but at the moment I am only going to put two on tap. I left plenty of room for 2 more taps on the left side, along with the middle if I ever go the 5 route. I have not painted / stained the collar yet as I am not sure if I am going to match the body in a high gloss white, or do something else entirely.

Mead & Hefe, Party in the basement!

Posted in Beer, Mead on June 13, 2008 by Aleforge

Both my Mead and Hefe are doing well. As of last night my ambient basement temps are holding steady around 65. Kind of cool for the Hefeweizen, but I am sure it will be fine. I checked on my Lager also and it still has a cidery aroma to it (Acetaldehyde). It has been in cold storage for 3 weeks now at 34’F, I am giving it one more week then just kegging the SOB, calling over a few friends and clearing it out if it sucks. It was my first Lager and I learned a lot along the way. For instance, monitor your freezer or cooling device well if its on an outside GFI! I had mine trip 3 times from storms and it didn’t notice it until a day or so later. Luckily during the primary it only spiked to around 60’F. This is considered a BMC light clone, along the lines of Bud / Miller light. I wanted something super light and easy to drink, so my BMC fanatic friends could for once try and say they like homebrew. I know this is the complete ass backwards way of converting the die-hards, but I gave up on most of them already. And besides I don’t mind a light lager in the heat of the summer!

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Hop woes, or not.

Posted in Hops on June 13, 2008 by Aleforge

This year I had an itch to grow my own hops. I decided this at the completely crappy time of may. It seems this was the year of the Gardner for my wife and I. As we also put in our first veggie garden, planted in a raised bed. Anyhow, I went out and read up on anything I could and started to ask questions. It seems Hops like to be in the ground just after the last frost (well before may in these parts). I planted mine around May 7th, so they have been hanging out for about 37 days now. All speculation was hops could go like mad “after” the first year of growing. So my expectationsshould not of been very high. However with optimal growth spikes of 3″+ a day I figured by now i would have at least something more notable. But so far all I got is this,

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Hefeweizen in the wind.

Posted in Beer on June 12, 2008 by Aleforge

I bought a new burner last month and finally got to try it out last Sunday. As many of the guys know over and the hbt forums many of us got a great deal. We all paid 32.00 or so shipped for this set, which came with a high output burner, stand, aluminum pot / lid, thermometer and some odds and ends. It was hard to pass up, especially since my other burner was about 20 years old and the regulator looks handmade. Anyhow after about a month Amazon seemed to of sold out and now the price has jumped from 32.00 to 127.00 which makes the deal feel even better.


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MEAD, it’s whats for .. breakfast.

Posted in Mead on June 12, 2008 by Aleforge

I attempted my first MEAD last weekend, its a variation of the “JAOM” recipe. Malkore from the “homebrewtalk” forums posted it and many of us grabbed it up to try. The advantages to this recipe are the MEAD ferments out very quickly. Leaves a lot of sweetness and hits up around 12% ABV. How quickly? Try a month, thats fermented, tossed through a secondary and bottled. If you know anything about MEADS most take a very long time to age and finish up. Up to a year in fact. I don’t have that much patience, that’s the main reason I had not tried to create my own batch.  The “JOAM” recipe accomplished this but took around 8 months of aging to drop its bitterness. Malkore found a remedy for this by swapping out the bread yeast for Wyeast’s 4184 Mead yeast. This allowed a much quicker time frame with a drinkable mead in 1 month, although Malkore recommends allowing it to age, as the mead still improves over time.

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