Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Back in the desert!

Since the last post, a lot has been going on with the brewery, but not much to show for it.  For a brief spell, the brewery was located to Chicago where small batch brewing was tried.

Here's the breakdown on that...

Chicago does have a fine brew store that is close to the Loop.  Brew and Grow has a huge retail space, just west of the Loop with ample parking.  Since we were brewing in an apartment, we switched to 3 one gallon carboys to brew a half-5 gallon recipe. The first recipe was a simple wheat beer to test the capabilities.  We brewed using a 2 gallon stock pot and it took some careful agility to get the wort separated into the 3 jugs and to get the yeast split as evenly as we could. 

After the primary fermentation, we bottled one of the gallon jugs, cleaned that out and hopscotch transferred into an unused empty clean jug.  The 2 secondary jugs got bottled a bit later.  Both sets of bottles turned out quite nicely.

We contemplated brewing a lager to take advantage of the Chicago winter on our balcony, but there was not any consistency to the temperature over the winter (it was around 60F when we threw out our Christmas tree.  In early January.)

Our second attempt we did a Belgian style and taught friends how to brew.  We did the same method of bottling one gallon to make room for secondary transfer and that batch turned out pretty good.  Unfortunately, the secondary batch got infected and was pretty bad.

Soooo, back in the desert now and we were able to brew two full five gallon batches a few Saturdays ago.  The larger kitchen and access to all the equipment makes things a lot easier.  Sanitation was probably overdone, but after the last batch, there was extra vigilance.

More on the two brews currently carbonating in the next post.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

AZ Beer week!

Did a modified strong beer fest for Tom (co-brewmaster) for his birthday. Started at Papago Brewing and loaded up a decent stockpile for the afternoon.

The Papago Brewing/Cheuvront cheese pairing on Sunday was delicious. My only complaint was that I could have easily had 2 plates of the cheese and 2 rounds of the pours. The barleywine and Imperial Stout were incredible.

Odell Brewery was at Papago Brewing on Monday night. Got to meet Doug Odell who recommended switching to full grain brewing.

The second year vintage of Cindy Lou Brew has received good reviews so far. A keg of espresso latte stout is about to be kegged!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Labor day update

Coming soon! 2 wheat beers! One German style, one American style, plus the return of Rocktoberfest!

The Belgian Holiday ale is aging nicely in the bottles -- expect that the shipment of Cindy Lou Brew Two should commence in time for the holidays.

Stop by for a pint!

Friday, June 4, 2010

SB 1070 has been kegged!

Kegged the SB 1070 (Special Brew O.G. 1.070) last night. The O.G. calculated was closer to 1.085 (but the hydrometer said 1.060 - 10lbs of grain though)

Anyhoo, the leftovers from the F.G. (1.020 or so) tasted great. Can't wait to try it cold and carbonated.

The whole Arizona Senate Bill 1070 pisses me off - hence the mockery via beer -- profile this, assholes -- German style beer, American hops, Mexican agave. If you didn't know the beer was brewed in my kitchen, you may not know if it was an import or not. Well, except that it's unfiltered and has a crudely printed label. But that's just profiling.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Upcoming recipes

Unfortunately due to school, work, etc. brew days have taken a backseat. Tom and I have one planned coming up. I have a free weekend this weekend and will try something ridiculous. Tom wants to do a traditional German hefeweizen with agave. Sounds awesome. While researching recipe ideas, I came up with an idea for a Weizenbock, American style.

I'll use the German wheat extract, but use some bock style grains in the early stages. Instead of Hallertau and Tettenger hops, I'll use Amarillo. And I'll add agave syrup for flavor. The preliminary name of this beer will be Special Brew, OG 1.070, in honor of Arizona SB 1070. Yep, immigrant recipes and ingredients, made domestically (except for the agave and German grains/extracts). I'll probably go over the 1.070 OG (Original Gangsta (I'm looking at you, Sheriff Joe)) since I plan on using about 8-9 lbs. of malt extract, plus the agave syrup. It will be a dark, foreign flavored beer, that if profiled, I will remove the label.
Sorry for the delay.

January was a busy brewing month. Tom and I brewed up a double batch one weekend -- a Belgian strong ale and a cream ale using some cherry infused whiskey I found at my parent's place over the holidays. The cherry infused whiskey was a recipe they'd use with the cherries from the tree in the back yard. I believe the recipe was something like this:

1 cup whiskey
1 cup sugar
1 cup cherries

let sit for 6 months. Enjoy.

The cherries were removed about 15 years ago, and the decanter sat untouched since then. We threw a vanilla bean in while it sat in the primary and added the infused cherry vanilla whiskey to the secondary.

Both were delicious, but the crowd favorite was the Belgian. I did really enjoy the cherry cream ale though.

Next was a Maarzen recipe that was brewed at the end of February and kegged in March. Unfortunately, the carbonation was a bit off on the early attempts (after 5 hours of kegging), but mellowed over time. A nice beer that was very quaffable.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Brewing frenzy!

Busy week! Bottled the Strong Belgian Holiday ale on Tuesday -- ABV of about 9.3%

Then bottled a friend's winter beer we brewed in honor of his dog, Yukie. Announcing YUKIEBRAU! We forgot to do the original gravity reading, but we think it's about 1.060, and the FG was 1.012 probably about 6.5% ABV. We used fresh juniper berries from just outside Sedona for additional flavoring. Not too many maybe about 1/2 Tbsp crushed up. The initial tastes from the hydrometer tube were pretty good.

While bottling the Yukiebrau we brewed up an IPA - lots of hops. We'll see how that turns out. It's bubbling quite a lot right now. The air lock wasn't bubbling this morning and later in the day I noticed the lid came slightly popped. Could be good (lots of activity) could be bad (I didn't get the lid on tightly (although I agitated for quite awhile and the lid was on tight then.)