Monday, November 28, 2005


2005 Rackup

So here are the brews I've done this year and those yet to come. E = Extract, EG = Extract with Grains, AG = All-Grain. I think that I may actually squeeze in one more 10 gallon brew taking my total to the 200 gallon limit since we are only spending a week in Atlanta for Christmas, which means I'll spend the other week here in DE.

2505-Jan-05EGYe Old Porter5
2609-Jan-05EGNasty Habit Abbey Tripel5
2714-Jan-05EGOak-Aged Vanilla Porter5
2812-Feb-05EGBerry Beer (for sister)5
2925-Feb-05EGJim Rossi's Honey Pale Ale5
3020-Mar-05EGRainy Day IPA5
3126-Mar-05EGAlucard Strong Dark Belgian5
3201-Apr-05EGLimey Vale Nut Brown5
3317-Apr-05EGBlack Honey Ale (for Dad)5
3425-Apr-05AGLiving Dead Girl Ale5
3529-Apr-05AGFergus Scottish Ale5
3606-May-05AGPig Iron Porter5
3721-May-05AGHamish Oaked Scotch Ale5
3805-Jun-05AGLittle Brave Red Ale5
3908-Jun-05EB3 German Hefeweizen Kit5
4012-Jun-05AGNative Rage IRA5
4122-Jun-05AGRise & Shine Oatmeal Stout5
4127-Jun-05AGOak-Aged Vanilla Porter5
4309-Jul-05AGAmarillo Pale Ale10
4431-Jul-05AGSirius Black Honey Ale5
4506-Aug-05AGFool's Initiation APA10
4614-Aug-05AGQueen's Darkness Imperial Stout5
4728-Aug-05AGPhoenix ESB5
4805-Sep-05AGMy Wife's Nutty Brown Ale10
4910-Sep-05AGIchabod's Revenge Pumpkin Ale5
5004-Oct-05AGKiss of Frost Witbier10
5115-Oct-05AGIchabod's Revenge pt2 Pumpkin Ale5
5226-Oct-05AGPeated Scottish Ale10
5313-Nov-05AGSirius Black Honey Ale10
5426-Nov-05AGOak-Aged Vanilla Porter5
55*PendingAGNasty Habit Abbey Dubbel5
56*PendingAGHomegrown Pale Ale5

I have some of these recipes in the recipes section of the First State Brewers. I stopped posting any there because I realized not too many of our club members were all-grain brewers, nor did we get many hits to that section of the site. If anyone is interested in a recipe, just write and I'll get it out there for you.

I wonder - do yeast starters qualify as brewing beer? I'll be getting a pressure canner for christmas so I can brew some all-grain wort to use as yeast starters. By canning I'll be able to stick them on a shelf and just pull off quarts as I need them (talk about fast compared to my current method). Nah... it can't. You don't drink yeast starters, and I think the law says something about consumption.

Thursday, November 24, 2005


Let's go to England!

This will make our next trip to England a little more convenient. We won't have to worry about when the pub is going to close!
New UK drinking laws start peacefully -- for now
Thu Nov 24, 2005 10:32 AM ET
By Katherine Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - The introduction of extended drinking hours passed off peacefully across England and Wales but police said on Thursday the biggest test would come at the weekend.

The race against the 11 p.m. closing bell encourages Britons to drink excessively while the eviction of boozers from pubs all at the same time spurs the violence and vandalism that plague town centres, they say.

"At last adults in this country are going to be treated like grown-ups and given a little bit of choice about having a social life beyond 11 o'clock," said Mark Hastings, spokesman for the British Beer and Pub Association.

Read the rest here

Wednesday, November 23, 2005



OK... So all you people out there that received a MoreBeer catalog in the mail, get that guilty look off your faces. You know who you are. Did you notice the testimonial on page 27? I just did today, and I nearly fell off the can when I saw it. If you didn't get a catalog, or missed it - check out the attached image.

Between that and showing up in Zymurgy, its been a very weird month for me. Too bad they didn't spell Delaware correctly. ;)


More Oaked Vanilla

I've got a 3qt starter of Dry English Ale (WLP007) on the stirplate as we speak. I'll probably brew the Oak Aged Vanilla Porter on Friday morning. The rest of you nuts can spend Black Friday running around to shopping centers beating each other up for a couple of bucks off, but I'm staying home.

This batch I am actually going to use both chips and oak cubes to see if the taste is any richer. Cubes are more pricey, but I'm hoping they are worth it. I may also add a 3rd vanilla bean.

In addition to the Homegrown Pale Ale and Abbey Dubbel I have planned, I think I need to do some of the following soon too:

As you can see, I've got lots of stuff I want to brew... But they obviously won't happen this year (Except maybe the Ommegang clone). I've got 2 oz of oak cubes that have been sitting in Jim Beam for a few months now, and a couple nights ago I put 4oz oak chips and 2 more oz of cubes in some bourbon as well. I figure that they won't really go bad, and at worst I just give them to someone in the club to experiment with (once they are soaked thru).

Monday, November 21, 2005



Heard this on a local radio station.

Jane Hautanen (Jane Doe)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Fermentation frenzy

I brewed 10 gallons of Black Honey Ale this past Sunday, taking my 2005 year total to 175 gallons. The stuff was done fermenting yesterday, 48 hours later. Last night I added 4 pounds of honey to the primaries (2 lbs each), and within 10 minutes the airlocks were going nuts again, and tonight - done. Servomyces, pure O2, and some serious yeast starters have kicked my fermentations into overdrive - its incredible. My flavors and yeast aromatics have never been this good either... I'm really pleased with my system and techniques now.

And so - I will play with my techniques some. Two things have really been bothering me about my all-grain brews so far:

  1. I can't seem to brew a pale ale that isn't somewhat hazy.

  2. Some of my beers have awful head retention, particularly the dubbels and tripels I've brewed.

So, being the kind of guy I am I went online and found something I could potentially do to kill two birds with one stone - Add another step in my mash regimen. A 30 minute protein rest at 125 to 130 will break down the longer protein chains largely responsible for chill haze into smaller ones, reducing the problem. These shorter protein chains are also supposedly very good for improving head retention - so hell yeah!

I'm going to try the new protein rest step in two of my upcoming beers, an Abbey Dubbel and my Homegrown Pale Ale. The current brewing schedule for the rest of 2005 includes:

I don't think I'll hit 200 gallons this year, but I'll come close. The Pale Ale is going to use my homegrown cascade and nugget hops exclusively for both bittering and flavoring / aroma. I'm not going to dry-hop, but I'll have plenty of late-addition charges to the kettle.

Meeting this friday... Woot! After the meeting I'll be returning home to play hours of Resident Evil 4 with my best friend and tie a good one on while fighting hoards of monsters, the undead, and unholy possessed villagers. Life is good.

Saturday, November 12, 2005


November Meeting - HDYB

That's right - the venue for the November meeting has changed from Scott Bieber's house to How Do You Brew? in Newark. Joe Gallo asked to have the club come there and meet him, so this will be a great opportunity for all our members to meet the new management. He and his wife make wine at home, but don't have any experience with homebrewed beer... so make sure you bring some samples for them to try!

Joe is also still looking for someone to give a brewing demonstration on Saturday - If anyone out there is interested, please contact him!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005



Researchers in Oregon say beer may fight disease. I heard this on the local hoity-toity classical music station. The anchorwoman said "of course there's all that burping to contend with."

Jane Hautanen (Jane Doe)

Sunday, November 06, 2005



I didn't brew this weekend. I was planning to - but then just didn't. No time nor energy nor preparation. Instead I took the opportunity to enjoy the beers I have on tap, move the scottish to the secondaries... and that's it.

Both the Nut Brown Ale and Witbier are on tap now. They're both good. Not sure how long it will take to kick my Oak Aged Vanilla Porter - Its strong enough to where I drink one or two max. Next time I think I will bottle at least a case.

Next batch will be 10 gallons of black honey ale so I can give some to my dad for Christmas. He loves it, and has been rationing the few he has left. Unfortunately these won't be ready until almost Christmas, so he's gonna run out before then... but he won't be without for too long. My friend Chris is thinking of buying a kegerator. That probably means that I'll be brewing regularly for him as well - or at least 10 gallon batches regularly.

Joe at How Do You Brew wants us to have the November 18th meeting there at the store. I wrote to Scott to get the venue changed. Joe is also looking for volunteers to do demonstration brews the following day (Saturday). I unfortunately can't because its my kids' birthday weekend and we have plans to take them to the Philly Zoo. Anyone out there interested? If so, call or write Joe...

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


Dear Homebrew Club Member,

Help Us Keep Our Club Locator Up-to-Date!

It's easy to do! Just visit to fill out the club update form, submit and you're set.

The American Homebrewers Association (AHA) is gearing up to celebrate the 7th Annual Teach A Friend to Homebrew Day on Saturday, November 5--as always the first Saturday in November.

Teach A Friend to Homebrew Day is our way of sharing this great hobby with our friends and family. Please help us make this year's Teach A Friend to Homebrew Day a success. You or your club can host a Teach A Friend to Homebrew site. So, on November 5, gather those beer enthusiasts in your life who are not yet brewers or members of your club and brew up a batch of homebrew.

And while your at it, participate in the Teach A Friend to Homebrew Day Contest. The Teach A Friend participant that signs up the most AHA members from their brew site will win a complete set of the Belgian Series books. Titles include: Farmhouse Ales by Phil Markowski, Wild Brews by Jeff Sparrow and Brew Like a Monk by Stan Hiernoymus.
Click here to download the AHA membership form.

For more details and to register your site online visit

Happy Brewing!

Arriving in your inbox in November...

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