Friday, June 29, 2012

National Homebrewers Conference

The National Homebrewers Conference (NHC) in Bellevue has come and gone.  There was a lot of drinking, lectures, drinking, eating, dorking out on beer, drinking, seeing vendors, hanging with other homebrewers and more drinking.  It was my first time attending the conference and I'd consider traveling again to it on the west coast.  Some of the lectures were hit and miss but the real value of the conference was serving our beer and talking to other homebrewers about it.  The Wayward crew was rocking the fez thanks to Jerome!!  We poured beers at both the Hospitality Suite on Friday morning and at Club Night of course, which was a one-of-a-kind experience of amazing beers from all over the country and crazy themed booths.  Jerome and I also got to meet and discuss our Sasquatch beer with Charlie Papazian, the "godfather" of homebrewing.  Cheers to Mark Emily and the whole WAHA crew for putting on a seamless conference.

Full Photo Set

Monday, June 4, 2012

Batch No. 55 - Theme from the Barrel No. 2

Theme from the Barrel No. 2

Brewed - June 3, 2012

Style - Imperial Porter

  • 11.0 lbs. American 2-Row
  • 9.0 lbs. Maris Otter
  • 5.0 lbs. Rauch Malt
  • 3.0 lbs. Midnight Wheat
  • 2.0 lbs. Crystal 60L
  • 1.5 lbs. Sugar in the Raw
  • 1.5 lbs. Chocolate
  • 1.0 lbs. Crystal 90L
  • 1.25 oz. Centennial (90)
  • 0.75 oz. Cascade (90)
  • 0.75 oz. Cascade (30)
  • Safale US-05 Dry Yeast (3 packs / no starter)

OG - 1.092
Primary – 25 days
Barrel - ?? days
Secondary - ??? days

Transferred to the barrel -June 28, 2012

Kegged - ???

FG - 1.021
Attenuation - 77.2% 
ABV - 9.3%

  • Finally brewing one of my favorite styles, an Imperial Porter
  • Fermented beer will be dumped into my 7.5-gallon Rye Whiskey Barrel from Woodinville Whiskey Company, which was recently emptied of the American Barleywine
  • I'm hoping to get one more good turn out the "fresh" barrel and fuse the imperial porter with the rye whiskey notes; afterwards I will strip and clean the barrel to either use for a few fresh oak beers or turn it loose for sour beers 
  • Barrel was rinsed with warm water after transferring out the barleywine and then I burned a sulfur stick in the barrel to prevent microbial growth while it sits for approximately 3 more weeks until the new imperial porter is ready; ideally I would have been more on top of this to have it ready closer to the emptying of the barrel, but I've been busy with NHC beers and the barrel flavors really took off into the barleywine the last 1.5 weeks before transferring it out
  • Mash at 152° for 90 minutes
  • Turbinado Sugar was added into the boil @ 30 mins to help bump ABV and fermentability
  • 90 min boil
  • First time using Midnight Wheat malt and the wort had a gorgeous chocolate cappuccino layer as it approached boiling
  • I got a normal ~ 10 gallons with this batch, so unlike the barleywine where I used 100% for the barrel, I will have ~ 2.5 gallons of base beer to compare to the barrel-aged version
  • Hydrated the barrel with water for 2 days prior to transfer
  • Transferred to the barrel on June 28, 2012
  • Gravity at transfer was 1.021 for a 9.3% ABV
  • Transfer to the barrel much easier the 2nd time around!!
  • The barrel is definitely bigger than the listed 7.5 gallons; closer to 8.5 gallons and will measure it next time I clean it out

Friday, June 1, 2012

Batch No. 54 - Apple Cores, Smoke Galore and a Blonde of some Uniqueness

Apple Cores, Smoke Galore,
and a Blonde of some Uniqueness

Brewed - May 27, 2012

Style - Blonde Ale / Other Smoked Beer

  • 16.0 lbs. 2-Row
  • 1.0 lbs. Crystal 15L
  • 0.5 lbs. White Wheat
  • 1.5 oz. Willamette (60)
  • 0.5 oz. Willamette (20)
  • ~ 10 lbs. Smoked Apples (20)
  • Wyeast #1056 American Ale (2 packs / 1200 ml starter)

OG – 1.042
Primary – ?? days
Secondary - ?? days

Kegged - ??

FG - 1.008 (estimated)
Attenuation - 81% (estimated)
ABV - 4.5% (estimated)


  • Blonde Ale brewed with ~ 10 lbs. of smoked apples curiosity of Brandon and his BGE; the lot was split between Gala and Fiji apples; like the smoked squash beer, I added this into the boil at the 20 min mark
  • Even though the inside of the apples were surprisingly moist and sealed off from the smoke when I cut them into smaller pieces, I don't expect to get much apple flavor, so I will probably be adding apple juice into one of the fermenters after I take a sample
  • Mash at ~ 152° for 60 minutes; 60 min boil
  • Grain Mill was out of commission, so I used an old coffee grinder; grains were finer than usual and that hurt the efficiency a bit as I expected to be more in the 1.050 OG range