What The Heck Did I Just Brew?

Initial Gravity

Last night I bottled up my so called “American Style” hefeweizen. It had been fermenting for 14 days by the time I had bottled it. And, by fermenting for 14 days, I don’t mean it was just sitting there for 14 days waiting to be bottled. I mean it was actively fermenting for 14 days.

I got the recipe and the ingredients from a local homebrew shop not too far from work, and they were nice enough to supply me with the recipe. Unfortunately, the recipe never specified how much beer it made, so I just assumed it was for a 5 gallon batch. After brewing it and waiting for 2 weeks, I tried some last night as I was bottling it.

…. What on earth did I just brew?!?!?!

This beer tasted like a cross between a wheat beer and some Jack Daniels. The alcohol content was that strong!

Now, I’m guessing this was probably a 10 gallon recipe. I’m guessing I have something that’s at least a 10% alcohol content. But, since I haven’t purchased a hydrometer yet, I have no way of knowing.

So, if you want a wheat beer that will knock you flat on your butt, come see me in a week, and I’ll hook you up with a bottle or two. As for me, I may hold onto some to use to clean off some engine grease.

Note:  It’s been over a week since bottling, and the taste is similar to what Papazian describes as “band-aid flavor”, which is symptomatic of a bacterial infection in the yeast before I pitched it.  My fault- I tried culturing the yeast for this beer to save some money, and screwed it up.   Grr…

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Batch 8 Almost Ready to Bottle

Made an American style hefeweisen last week. Still has active fermentation going on. It was my first mini-mash attempt. I used a couple pounds of grains, put them in a grain bag and held them at 130 degrees for 30 minutes. Then I slowly brought the temp up to 155. After 10-15 minutes there I brought it up to 158 and held it there for 15 minutes.

After that I sparged the grains (albeit somewhat poorly) and started my wort to boil, adding an additional 7 lbs of wheat extract.

This was also my first attempt at culturing yeast, as I am getting tired of buying stuff for beer. Have some yeast that I grew in a big bottle and then capped it and put it in the fridge after adding a touch of corn sugar.

Can’t wait to bottle and drink this beer. Really looking forward to it.

Update:  It’s now day 7 and still fermenting.  I wish I had a hydrometer and had taken it’s initial gravity.  This is my first batch to ferment this long!

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Erica Rocks!

An old high school classmate of mine just sent me four pounds of hops for free.  You so rock, Erica!

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Batch 6 and 7 Made

Just made a traditional bitter (whatever that means) and an IPA.  I totally cheated, used the can-o-extract.  But I want easy to make, quick, drinkable beer.  So those were good options.

Also got ingredients for an American hefeweisen.  They had ingredients for a pilsner, which looked surprisingly like the last beer I bottled.  Yummy!

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Batch 4 and 5 bottled

What beer?

Well, with all the chaos in the house (me being sick last week, the wife having contractions and sending us into the hospital, and my son barfing all night), I was able to get some bottling done in the midst of this.

Batch number 5 was the weird b@$tard brew that I made by throwing all the ingredients I got from a home beer kit I got from Christmas.   I bottled it up last Thursday while feeling horrible.  There was so much sediment in it that the bottling hose got clogged several times.  I couldn’t find my gelatin to add to it to settle that junk down, so I have 23 bottles of this stuff with massive amounts of sediment.  I tasted some- despite the sediment it was just ok, kinda like a real weak amber ale.  Once it bottle ferments and is chilled I’ll see how it tastes.

Now, batch 4 was the attempt at making a hefeweisen.  Not following a recipe, but following the advice of a friend, we got the ingredients last month, went to brew and realized we’d got the wrong stuff.  The extract that was supposed to be 100% wheat was actually 65% wheat and 35% barley.  That added to the light malt extract and we had a recipe for an amber type beer with a bit of wheat in it.  Also had 4 oz. of  Hallertauer hops.   I started bottling and poured a sample to taste.

Whoa!  It was amazingly interesting!   It was similar to a hef, but closer to a bock.  It had a light body, darker than a regular hef, but the hops were amazing!  Bitter with a great floral and citrus finish.  I have a feeling that will be a great beer, unlike anything I’ve ever had.

I’m excited about brewing some more.  I’m planning on doing an English bitter, an IPA, a real Hefeweizen, and an oatmeal stout made from steel cut oats.  I have to purchase a grain bag and the other goodies I will need, but I’m looking forward to it.

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My Beer Brand Redux

Well, despite the poll I had showing Fat Guy Beer the winner of “What to Brand My Beer.”  Well, given that this is MY beer, and I’m the one brewing it, that gives me the right to name it whatever I feel like.

So, in that dictatorial spirit, I decided I’d go with a more dignified label for my beer, and leave the “Fat Guy Beer” as a name for a style of beer I’ll brew later.

So, with that, I will call my beer label “Brett’s Beer Company.”  Why that name?  I like it.  And it’s my beer.  And it’s more dignified than the fat guy label.

I also plan on redoing the picture inside the logo for each style of beer I brew, which should provide some fun for me to be creative about what I’m doing.

What type of beer would you label as “Fat Guy Beer”?  Maybe an oatmeal stout, something with some real body to the beer.  Gorley’s Grog would make a good name for a porter or a stout (maybe even a barley wine.)  Brett’s Brew is definitely an ale.  What about the Framboise?  Hmm… will have to think about that one.

Any name suggestions for beer styles would be appreciated.

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What To Brew Next?

Friday is payday, and I’m planning on brewing some more beer.  Question is, what should I brew?

I’ve been toying with doing an IPA, since I love IPA’s.  I love stouts too.  I like bitters.  I love a good porter (I had a terrible one at the Horse Brass two weeks ago- it was like drinking water!) Heck, I like most beers.  I want to do a barley wine.  I also at some point want to do a mead.

So, the question goes out to you.  What should I brew next?  This probably will only impact the people who will be sampling my home brew, but I would love to hear from anyone on this.

Click Here to Vote for what I should brew next!

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Bottled Stout and Framboise

Tuesday night I bottled up my oatmeal stout I made.  Let’s just say it starts like a Guiness and finishes with a smoky bitter taste.  I won’t blame anyone if they don’t enjoy it.  I think it will be an OK drink, but not what I was hoping for (my next one will be brewed with a grain bag).


Last night I brewed some Framboos (the name on the extract label), or Framboise as my family calls it.  It is a rasberry Belgian ale.  Very sweet and fruity, and my wife loves it.   So, I had two malt extract kits of the stuff ($9.95 each at the beer store, since they were technically expired.)  Made some Belgian candy sugar, boiled the malt, added the candy sugar, and away we went.  I took a sample of it and let my wife and daughter have a sample as well.  It was very good, it did have some of that fruity bitterness to it that real fruit has, but it was still yummy!  Pitched the yeast this morning, and away we went.

Now, all this brewing, and you think I’d have tons of beer to drink.  Well, not yet.  It takes time to ferment and bottle ferment.  But I did crack open a bottle of my first batch last night, the Old Flemmish Brown, and DANG!  It was good!  I can tell it will be much smoother after it ages a bit, but it was still yummy, and very strong!

My next beer after the Framboise will be a hefeweisen, and then I’ll probably do an IPA.  I absolutely love IPA’s!

There is still time to vote on your favorite brand name for my beer!  So, click the link and give me your opinion!

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The Beer Branding Contest

Question Mark

After a round of comments suggesting what to name my beer brand, I thought I’d put it up for a vote.

So, follow the link here to vote on your favorite name for my beer brand.

Go now! Follow the link and vote! Let your voice be heard!

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