Equipment Wish List Continued

About a week ago on my birthday I made an equipment wish list with three items that I would really enjoy. Today I would like to add three more items to this list, because you can always upgrade no matter where you are. I really love Midwest supply, they have great equipment, and that’s where the three Items on this list will be from.

The first one on this list would be the DRAFT BREWER® SINGLE KEG SYSTEM. My partner and I are still conditioning our beer in bottles. This simple kegging system is awesome, and would be a great start for us to use kegs to condition are beer.

Photo Credit: Midwest Supplies

This would increase are brewing quality of life extremely. We would no long need to bottle are beer, clean every bottle. Also the conditioning time would decrease from a week to twelve hours. This kegging system would be an amazing purchase and something I’m considering very soon. The price tag for this is 189.99.

 

The second item on my list would be this amazing cleaning kit. The NATURAL BORN CLEANER – COMPLETE CARBOY, KEG, AND BREWERY CLEANING KIT would be a must if we want to start kegging.

Photo Credit: Midwest Supplies

This thing would make cleaning our brand new keg a breeze. Cleaning is the worst part about brewing, it is what probably takes the most work and the most amount of time. Having tools to help you with this cleaning enhances a brewer’s quality of life enormously. The price tag for this item is 158.99.

 

The third item on my list would be a new burner. The burner we currently use to boil our beer and to heat up the water for are wort is not the most reliable piece of equipment we own.

Photo Credit: Midwest Supplies

The heat is not always consistent, and this is hard when trying to replicate a recipe because it takes different times for our boil to start. The DARK STAR® BURNER 2.0 would be the perfect burner for us as it would guarantee consistency. The price tag for this item is a modest 65.99.

Improving your equipment is a constant battle for brewers, and mine will never end. These are definitely the next items on my list.

For my first wish list refer to:

Equipment Wish List

For more ideas for equipment I should purchase, or another website I should be using please comment below.

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Benefits to Kegging

There are benefits to conditioning your beer using a keg other then conditioning your beer in bottles. My partner and I currently condition our beer in bottles. Though we want to get a kegging system soon.

Photo Credit: Leonard Lau via Flicker

The first benefit to using a kegging system, is that it takes a lot less time to condition. When conditioning in bottles it can take up to two weeks for your beer to be carbonated. When using a kegging system you can force carbonate your beer in under 12 hours. When conditioning your beer in bottles you add a little bit of sugar to your beer, this gives the yeast a jolt, and since it is in such a compact space, this creates the carbonation. Since you are waiting on the yeast to feast, this is what creates such a long waiting time. When you use a kegging system you use co2 to force carbonate the beer, which is a simpler process, that does not count on microorganisms.

 

Another benefit for using a kegging system is the cleaning and the work required. My least favorite part of the brewing process is bottling.

Photo Credit: Daniel Spiess via Flickr

First you have to clean every single bottle, not just clean but sanitize. Then you have to use a hose and funnel the beer into every single bottle. It is very monotonous.

 

For a step by step guide to an all grain brew please refer to my previous post.

All Grain Bottled Cured Step by Step Guide

All About the Hops

Please comment below on how you cure your beer

 

Top 3 Favorite Breweries in Reno/Sparks

Reno/Sparks have a lot of great breweries. There have become so many recently that the market may be over saturated. Though there are so many, there are a few that stand out to me. Here are my top three breweries in Reno/Sparks.

  1. Great Basin Brewery

    Photo Credit: Trip advisor

Great Basin Brewery is the most famous and well known brewery in Reno. You can find their beer all over town, every grocery store and gas station. Their beer is the reason, it is fantastic. Their Icky IPA is one of my favorite beers, and what got me into IPA’s in the first place. I have visited both locations multiple times, and happily living down the street from the location in Sparks currently. Their beer, atmosphere and food are great. Honestly I don’t know why I ever go anywhere different.

 

  1. Under the Rose

    Photo Credit: Under the Rose

Under the Rose brewery is a brewery that is not as popular as it should be. Their brewery and taste room had the best atmosphere for a brewery I have ever been to. It was in a warehouse on east Fourth Street, if you didn’t know it was there you would most likely drive by it. Though the second you walk in and the owner of the brewery shakes your hand, you don’t want to be anywhere else. Unfortunately they have closed their brewery for tasting, and have opened up a new taste room on Virginia that I have not been to yet. Though I hope it is just as awesome.

There beer is fantastic, my favorite being their wet hop British beer. This is a variation of their British beer using fresh hops. It tastes so fresh and crisp, and it being very limited when they make a batch just adds to the appeal. There staple beer, the Nevada beer is also fantastic, a great American ale.

 

  1. Pigeon Head Brewery

    Photo Credit: The Thirsty Nevadan

Pigeon head is a new brewery in town founded in 2014. Though new in town, they have already made their mark with fantastic beer. I have seen their beer on tap at numerous bars in town. They are located on East Fifth Street, just under the Wells Bridge. They are in a location that is hard to find, but once inside you will know that you have found the right place. You will not want to leave until you have had at least 5 beer. My favorite so far is there barrel aged red rye lager.

For more great blog posts refer to the links below.

My Top 5 Beers I drink Currently 

Tipsy Redheaded Stranger, Our Saturday Brew

Let me know what your favorite breweries are in Reno with a comment bellow.

Tipsy Redheaded Stranger, Our Saturday Brew

This Saturday my Partner Anthony and I brewed some beer. The name of our beer is going to be the Tipsy Read-headed stranger.

It is a red ale made with Maris otter and red wheat grains, with only one type of hops, Willamette. We re-used the yeast for our honey ale, I don’t have the notes on this yeast, but I will edit it once I find out.

The Brew:

We mashed the grains at 160 for 90 minutes, and sparged it with 160 as well.

The hop schedule for the brew was 60 minutes and five minutes, both with the Willamette hops. The five gallon pot we had took forever to boil, but once it started, it was raging.

We used a wort chiller to bring the wort down to 70 degrees, and then added it on top of the yeast that we used for our honey ale.

The Recipe:

We got our recipe from a local brew store in town called the Brewchatter. The only thing we changed was the yeast.

My thoughts on the brew:

The brew went really successful, we love the color that we got from the grains. The wort tasted as sweet as we wanted it to. The yeast started to ferment and bubble right away. The only concern I have is that the wort took a long time to boil, which might mess up our timing if we try to recreate it.

3 Recipes Clones for 3 Great Beers

My Equipment Wishlist

Submit some recipes that you would like me to try in the comment section below.

Equipment Wishlist

Today is my birthday! So naturally I want to look around at all the equipment I can’t afford. Today we will be looking at some brewing equipment that are on my wish list.

Number 1 on my wish list would have to be a brand new all-in-one brewing system. Midwest supplies has a top of the line all-in-one system that looks gorgeous. Here is the BLICHMANN 1 BBL BATCH ELECTRIC HORIZONTAL BREWING SYSTEM.

Photo credit: midwestsupplies.com

I mean just look at that thing! With a price tag at just under 7000 dollars, this thing does it all. This thing does mashing, it does boiling, sparging, and even cooling too. It does all of this with pinpoint accuracy and temperature control. A problem that my partner and I have is creating a beer we like over and over again with consistency. With this thing we couldn’t go wrong. I would never leave my house, all I would do is brew if I had this thing. Hopefully one day I will be able to afford something even close to such beautiful equipment.

Number 2 on this list would have to be this beautiful stainless steel fermenter. This thing is so much more beautiful than the plastic fermenters that we currently use. Here is the SOVEREIGN™ STAINLESS STEEL FERMENTOR.

Photo Credit: midwestsupplies.com

This fermenter is gorgeous. With an easy to sanitize set-up fermenting would be a breeze. Plus, it has a spout on the bottom that makes transferring to bottle or keg a breeze. The fermenter we use is one of those generic plastic bottles, in order to get the beer out we have to use suction and hoses. Also with this fermenter being metal, you don’t have to keep it in a dark place. Oh, it would be nice.

Number three would have to be a new strainer. Right now we don’t use a screen for our hops, we throw them directly into the boil. Which works fine, but makes cleaning a bitch. But a metal strainer that would hold in our hops during the boil would be amazing. Here is the GREEN WIDOW HOP SPIDER.

Photo Credit: midwestsupplies.com

Cleaning up the remaining hops in your boil bucket is such a hassle. It likes to cake on, and never leave. This boil screen would save us so much time.

 

 

 

 

For more brewing equipment visit Midwest Supplies, they have great stuff.

For some more ideas on equipment to add to my wish list, please comment below.

3 Recipe Clones for 3 Great Beers

About a week ago I posted an article about the top 5 beers that I drink currently. Today I’m going to look up clone recipes for three of these beers for us all to try are selves.

Photo Credit: David Haines via Flickr

Top five beers I drink currently.

The first one, the Arrogant Bastard is not going to be the best clone because it is originally cured in a bourbon barrel. I don’t have any bourbon barrels laying around, but if you do go ahead and try it out.

Surprisingly this clone is relatively simple. It only calls for 3 types if grain and only one type of hops.

This recipe was found at Brew365

All Grain Recipe – Stone Arrogant Bastard ::: 1.071/1.015 (6 Gal)

Grain Bill

13 lbs. – 2 Row Pale Malt
1.25 lbs. – Aromatic Malt
1 lb. – CaraMunich Malt
1/2 lb. – Special B

Hop Schedule (98 IBU)

1.5 oz – Chinook [13%] (60 min.)
1 oz – Chinook [13%] (20 min.)
1.5 oz – Chinook [13%] (1 min.)

Yeast

White Labs California Ale Yeast (WLP001) – (Starter: 1130 ml shaken or 1000 ml on a stirplate)

Mash/Sparge/Boil

Mash at 150° to 152° for 60 min.
Sparge as usual
Cool and ferment at 66° to 68°

Though this beer is simple, it packs a punch, with the amount of grains and hops required. The Chinook hops that are a duel use hop, both for the aroma and bitterness.

Our next recipe is my staple, the Sierra Nevada Pale ale. This beer has many recipe clones, for it is a popular beer to clone. This recipe was found at BYO.

10 lbs. 4 oz. (4.7 kg) 2-row pale malt
1.0 lb. (0.45 kg) crystal malt (60 °L)
6 AAU Magnum hops (60 min.) (0.5 oz./14 g of 12% alpha acids)
3.5 AAU Perle hops (60 min.) (0.5 oz./14 g of 7% alpha acids)
11 AAU Cascade hops (30 min.) (2 oz./57 g of 5.5% alpha acids)
2 oz. (57 g) Cascade hops (0 min.)
1 tsp Irish moss
Wyeast 1056 (American Ale) or White Labs WLP001 (California Ale) or Safale US-05 yeast (1.5 qt./1.5 L yeast starter)
7/8 cup corn sugar (for priming)

This recipe is a little more complicated than the arrogant bastard as it only conatins 2 grains, but three hops, and some Irish moss.

The last recipe we are going to look at is the Widmer Hefeweizen, which is my favorite beer to drink during the summer. And since it has been so damn hot out, I will probably be brewing this soon. This recipe was found at Beertools.

.5 lbsAmerican Munich

.5 lbsCrystal Malt 40°L

6 lbsDry Wheat; Muntons

1.5 ozTettnanger – 4.5 AA% pellets; boiled 60 min

1 ozTettnanger – 4.5 AA% pellets; boiled 20 min

2 ozCascade – 5.5 AA% pellets; boiled 5 min

.5 ozSweet orange peel – (omitted from calculations)

White Labs WLP320 American Hefeweizen Ale

This recipe looks like the most complicated out of the bunch. It calls for four different grans plus four different kind of hops. If you are unable to find the hops that are called for in this recipe, either ask the attendant at the store, or look up another clone recipe.

For other great recipe ideas, please comment down below.

All Grain Bottle Cured Step by Step Guide

Photo credit: Jen via Flickr

Step 1: Deciding on a recipe and purchasing the products.

If you are new to home-brewing my advice would be to look up a recipe online. A good way to do this is just by picking a beer you like and looking for a clone recipe. Otherwise if you are experimenting with your own recipe then I would make sure to thoroughly think about every ingredient you are picking, and how it will affect the flavor of your beer.

Once you have your recipe, head to your local homebrew store. They might not have everything that the recipe calls for, so ask the assistant to help you pick the best substitute. Make sure that you don’t activate your yeast on the drive home, and to put it in the fridge the second you make it home.

Step 2: The Mash

First you are going to want to heat up some water, the amount depends on your set-up. The most common home-brew set up is five gallons. The temperature of the water matters, and you want to make sure that it is consistent. A common temperature for a lot of recipes would be 90 degrees.

Once you have gotten your water to the temperature your recipe calls for, it is time to add the grains. Make sure you are using some kind of filter, so you can easily separate the grains from the water. There are plenty of filter out there, right now we are using a simple meshed bag. The timing of the mash changes with different recipes, but a solid rule of thumb would be about 90 minutes or so.

Step 3: The Wort

The sweet liquid that you have created by mashing your grains is called the wort. This sweet liquid need to be transferred to another container to boil. A common set up for mash pots to have a funnel at the bottom of them.

Step 4: The boil

This step is the most timing is everything. This is the step where you add your hops. Depending on your bitter hops and aroma hops, you’re going to be putting hops in at different times. A recipe could call for hops to be added in the first ten minutes of the boil, then 30 minutes into the boil, and then 60 minutes into the boil. Make sure you are keeping a good look at that clock, especially if you are trying to recreate a beer that you have already brewed. Boil times are different with every beer, but 90 minutes is a good rule of thumb.

Step 5:  Pitching the Yeast

After the boil you are going to want to cool your water down. If you try to add the yeast into water that is too hot, you will kill the colony. Look on the package of your yeast to see the temperature that that certain yeast likes, 70 degrees is a good rule of thumb.

Some yeast packages have a package that primes the yeast for you before putting it into your wort. It is common that you will want to pop the bag and let it sit for a few hours before pitching it.

Step 6: Fermenting.

This is the first wait stage in your brewing cycle. It takes about 2 weeks for ales to ferment, and it could take 2 months for a lager to ferment. Make sure that the beer is in a cool and dry place where no sunlight gets in.

Step 7: Bottling

Before bottling your beer to cure, you need to add some priming sugar. This gives the yeast its last meal and gives you carbonation to your beer. Make sure the beer bottles are sanitized. It will take another 2 weeks for your beer to cure in the bottle. But then it is ready to drink. Enjoy.

The top five beers I drink currently.

Sanitation is the Key to victory.

Please comment bellow if I missed anything.