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Hocus Pocus Ale

So after a long dry spell, we finally get back to brewing beer. For this one we chose the Magic Hat’s Hocus Pocus summer ale clone from the BYO Catalog. It should be a hoppy ale and perfect for early spring (if it lasts that long).

This was the first brew that we took to outside and used a turkey fryer, and it worked great. The extract with grains recipe had us steep the grain for 45 min at 150 degrees and the burner kept us at that temp much better than a stovetop ever could. And of course, our two SWMBO will enjoy not having spills on their stoves anymore.

We completely forgot to take any gravity readings so it’ll be a guess where this one turns out as far as alcohol content, but it’ll sure taste good.

Because of upcoming events, we also took the time to sanitize our bottles for this batch ahead of time, we put them back in their boxes after drying and saran wrapped the boxes to keep the safe. Thinking this could be a good practice for days when the brew just needs to set and we still need something to do. Of course, we could always get moving on kegging…😀

Either way, this will be another great brew for after the new year. Until then, we are still enjoying our past Apfelwein and Full Sail Wassail brews.

-C

Grapfelwein, you say?

Yeah, so we decided to put a new twist on a favorite of ours. The apfelwein recipe has been a great brew for us the past couple years and it is so easy. We decide to throw a wrench in things and try something new. Grape Juice instead of apple juice. Still used 2 lbs of dextrose and the Montrachet yeast. With 6-8 wks in the carboy and then a couple weeks of bottle conditioning, this one should be ready for tasting around mid-Jan or so.

In the notes for the apfelwein recipe you’ll see that you should be using juice without any preservatives, noting that ascorbic acid is an acceptable ingredient. The brand of grape juice that we used was Juicy Juice (mainly because I like drinking it as is, compared to the others). The extra ingredient in this one is citric acid. We will just have to see if that plays a role in how this batch turns out. Look for tasting notes after the first of the year.

-C

Way too simple

Back at the end of May, we got a group of friends together to share in our brewing experience with an attempt to brew an Easy Street Wheat clone. With 7 friends and the great tradition of drinking homebrew while homebrewing, I am amazed that the beer turned out ok. In fact, it’s pretty damn good. The recipe can be found at Brew Your Own.

Between late additions of malt extract, extra wort cooling time, and airlock problems, it is easy to see where this batch could have gone all awry. This should act as a testament to how simple it is to brew your own beer. With that being said, find a good book or instructive article before doing your first batch just to shore up some of the first mistakes we all make.

-C

mmm Apfelwein

Well, I tried the latest Apfelwein batch last night and it was great. The extended time in the fermenter was apparent but it didn’t have the same bite as the first Apfelwein did. I am thinking the apple cider made it a little bit smoother taste without taking away from the great apple taste. Definitely a good brew.

-C

Yeah, I know. I’ve been delinquent. Yet, last Friday I finally was able to bottle the Apfelwein that was made from Apple Cider. Looking back, I had started fermenting on October 29th, 2009. This comes out to about 19 wks in the fermenter. So I am really interested in how it will taste after a month or two of bottle conditioning. We’ll see….

-C

Poll to kick off 2010!

Let me know your thoughts, and if you select other, please comment on the post with your suggestion. Thanks!

Apparently, I didn’t know my own strength, because as I was capping the bottles for the Full Sail Wassail one broke:

Broken Bottle..😦

It didn’t explode, but just cracked as I was sealing the cap. I really considered saving the beer inside, but I just couldn’t justify it with the possibility of very small glass pieces getting into the beer if they hadn’t already (that bottle). There was very little pieces on the capper already that I had to clean of before continuing. Thus, I lost a full bottle of beer :””(

-C

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