Monday, May 2, 2011

Mission accomplished!!

Wedding went flawlessly. All beers came out perfect, had great carbonation and tasted as expected. The IPA and the kolsch were the favorites by far, but the wit had a strong following too. The pale ale was the least drank with only 5 gallons accounted for as drank. 10 remaining are being sent to a friends housewarming party. The only equipment failure encountered was a broken o ring on one keg, and was fixed by other brewers without finding me. The supplication 3 liter sat on the wedding part table but once we poured ours, we invited people up to have some. Went through all t 2 inches of it, which we sampled the morning after but it was too flat to enjoy then. Opened really foaming on pours but no massive spill or bottle bomb.

The wedding bourbon porters were almost all given out except 1-2 bottles and a growler for our anniversary.

All in all a complete success. But obviously the beer is only part of things. We had a great wedding, all vendors did as expected, all friends and family were accounted for and got there and home without issue... The scariest parts of the weekend were getting the bug there (bad fuel pump was stalling) and towed back home and the truck loaded up with 1000 lbs of food beer, kegs, and open container violations back to the house. Exhausted we got it all back and thanks to an amazing bridesmaid, everything was put back and our bags were packed for us for the trip so we could sleep.

On a flight from Austin to Chicago now. Next stop is Brussels.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Two days before the wedding!

Did a lot of work this week and weekend getting things ready. One of the most important, of course was testing the beer out. The first three things on tap were the Haus Pale, the Kolsch and the Wit. Got the kegerator plumbed for all three gas and liquid sides and found what I will be using for labeling my beers. I still need to make that third tap handle soon!



For the porter, I decided to give those as gifts because they likely need more time aging. However, I do have a 6 month old growler of the same recipe that I am going to bring along for the select few that appreciate a good porter.

So that was bottled, and wax topped, and are awaiting the wedding labels that I will likely get done today or tomorrow.


Monday, April 18, 2011

Not brewing related... the toast beer is here!

Whew!   With 12 days to go - I got this in the mail today!


To put it in perspective - those are 5000ml and 2000ml beakers behind it.  This will be the wedding toast beer - it's not available anywhere near Texas.  Especially not in a 3L format.  Either way, the wedding party has no idea how lucky they are that the bride and groom have insane beer tastes. 

Getting excited now!  Almost everything planning wise is done.

Remaining work (short list)
  1. Clean and box all the pints
  2. Label and wax top the Porter - I decided I would gift these and keep a growler for our 1 year anniversary.
  3. Clean fridges and kegerator to a presentable shine
  4. Complete kegerator gas sides - simple once I take apart my charging snake!
Phew.  Wish us luck!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

8 kegs wasn't quite enough

Upgraded the force carbing rig to add the additional 10g of IPA that finished dry hopping last night!

Only 5g left to be prepped - the Vanilla Bourbon Porter - easily the most complex of the beers we made.   I feel like this has been a massive task and it's finally winding down.

All that is left is that 5g, then figuring out the logistics of cooling and serving.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Completed most of the kegging this past weekend

We finally kegged all but 15 gallons of the beer we made.

Each carboy is 5 gallons, and we kegged two kolsch, three pale ales, and three honey hibiscus wits.  The IPA is dry hopping now, and the Vanilla Bourbon Porter is aging in vanilla with bourbon.

Getting ready and set up

About half done

One more keg to be done!

Yeast washed for more beer later!

Our force carb rig for 8 kegs.  Pretty neat.

8 kegs sitting at 30 psi

Friday, April 1, 2011

Dry hopping and racking!

Earlier this week, I dry hopped the 10g of IPA with 2 ounces of Yakima Golding whole hops, 1 ounce of Yakima pellets, and .5 of Amarillo Gold.


Looked and tasted great, and was a perfect 1.005 for a 6.5% ABV

Tomorrow is kegging day for 40 gallons of beer (8 kegs!)

15g Pale Ale
15g of Honey Hibiscus Wit
10g Kolsch

The IPA will get kegged next weekend.   I still need to add Vanilla/Bourbon to the porter, and then oak age it at least two weeks.  Due to time, I actually might skip the oaking to ensure carbonation.  The VBP is getting bottled since it is pretty heavy for on tap.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Realistic kegging needs for 50 gallons of beer

I will need 10 kegs total.

I own four right now, and I think I will order an additional four for $160. I plan on borrowing the other 2.

Now, I will only have a 3 tap kegerator (more to come on that, it's only a one tap today)

So I only need liquid hookups for 3 kegs, but for carbonating, I will need to find a way to pressurize all 10!

Ordering about 6 barbed disconnects for $7 each. Going barbed for this, I am going MFL when I build a keezer (after the wedding)

Now, I only have a single regulator now and a 3 way valve, that will have to suffice. I may step up and get this additional 4 way distributor.

CO2 tank -> 3 way valve -> five of these tee's = ten kegs charging.

Of course, I will also need to get some additional tubing to run all of this, and some small worm clamps.
Most of the CO2 charging will occur at room temperature, as I don't have cold capacity for 10 kegs and the CO2 tank anywhere.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The morning after.... Some awesome news

All 45 gallons is in high krausen and fermenting this morning.   Yes, I cleared that airlock  :)


The day... she is done!

This pic was at 7:50am


First 10g in mash tun then..

Around 11am.. Another two brewers


The results after 14 hours... 45 gallons of 4 varieties....



  • 15g Pale Ale
  • 10g Kolsch
  • 10g IPA
  • 5g Honey Hibiscus Wit
  • 5g Vanilla Bourbon Porter
The only thing we didn't make was the second Wit.  Supposed to be 10G there, kind of ran out of steam at end of day.

More to come.   Fermentation has started on ALL 9 carboys.  Now its monitor, wait, then barrel & keg!

Monday, February 14, 2011

More awesome updates

Some pretty awesome updates.. I spoke with Marcus at Brewers Equipment and told him I was on a tight timeline but that I really wanted a brewstand before the big brew day. He totally came through for me and this was delivered today. I still need to mount everything to it and configure it, but it's HERE IN TIME! And with spare time for a test run maybe too!

Still need an additional propane tank, and some additional home depot type goodies.

From the top - I added the Banjo burners on Marcus' site.

Underside, here you can see the propane tapped into the frame.
Here, you can see the tank holder, casters, and the overall awesomeness.


I cannot WAIT to try this thing out!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Yeast Starters have been made

Cali ale, belgian wit, dry english ale and Kolsch starters have been made.  OG of 1.045 across the board.  Come on yeasties!


Saturday, February 5, 2011

All ingredients now on hand!

Made the final run to AHS to get all my ingredients!  (Everything in bold yesterday plus 6 airlocks and stoppers)

Went and picked up my "rental" carboys.  Seven for $140 in deposits, $100 in water (oof!)  Buying new was $244..   lets just call this one a wash?


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Recipe and Equipment planning!

Well, we are now 16 days away from the big brew day.  I have worked on the recipe and equipment list, and this is the breakdown so far.

We recently scaled back the guest list, so the magic number is now 50 gallons of beer.  Below is the breakdown on the recipes and the ingredients we are planning on making.  All Ale's, and mostly 2 row base malt to make the purchasing easier.

This overall is going to break down into three 10 gallon batches, and  four five gallon batches.  In the table below, the hop and grain and other needs are all in 5 gallon sizes.  This all should work out to a total of 50 gallons of beer in 10 carboys.  :D
Gallons Needed
Equipment Planned
Hop Bill
Grain Bill
Yeast Needs
Other Needs
Haus Pale Ale
Chris 10g, 1 5g
2oz Cascade
8lbs 2 row
2lbs Vienna
1lb C10

Honey Hibiscus Wit
2 5g
2oz Hallertauer
4.5lbs 2 row
1.75lbs wheat malt
1lb white wheat malt
.5 oz Coriander
.5 oz Bitter Orange Peel
4 oz Hibiscus
1lb honey
Old School IPA
2 5g
2oz cluster
1oz Northern Brewer
1oz Yakima Golding
1oz YG (dry hopped)

9.5lb 2 row
1.75lb Munich
1/2lb C60

Texas Kolsch
Chris 10g

3oz Crystal
8.5lb 2 row
1.25 Wheat Malt
.5 Cara-Pils/Dextrine

Vanilla Bourbon Porter
1 5g
.75 Magnum
1 oz EKG

11 lbs 2 row
2.5 Munich Malt
1.5 brown malt
1 C120
.5 C40
.5 Chocolate Malt
2 vanilla beans in secondary

Summarized Grain Bill:
96 lbs of 2 row
6 lbs of Vienna
4.25 lbs of Wheat Malt
4.25 lbs of Munich malt
3 lbs of C10
1.5 Brown Malt
1 lb of C120
1 lbs of white wheat malt
.5 lb of C60
.5 lb of C40
.5 chocolate malt

Summarized Hop Bill:
15 oz Crystal
6 oz Cascade
2 oz Hallertauer
2 oz Cluster
2 oz Yakima Golding
1 oz Northern Brewer
1 oz East Kent Goldings
.75 oz Magnum

** Things in bold are things I still need to purchase at the LHBS, which is Austin Homebrew Supply.

Equipment List

2 10 gallon keggles (HLT and BK)  (possibly a third by brew day!)
1 5 gallon brew kettle
1 10 gallon MashTun
2 propane burners  (5 if my stand comes from Brewers Equipment comes in time!)
2 20lb propane tanks
Grain mill
10x20 tent in case of weather
5 carboys on hand, renting 7 more!

5g BK
10g MT

5g BK
Propane tank and burner

There are also a few people that are going to be around to help - sanitizing, watching, sparging, etc… 

Of course, if you are in Austin, and want to help, please let me know!

And since no post is fun without a picture - we got 72 of these in the mail last week!  Talk about motivational!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Bulk Grain pick up day

Pretty cool day for me.  Went to pick up my grain order in South Austin.  Then my truck broke down, which sucks, but I still managed to get down to South Austin Brewing Company's new HQ and pick up my grains.

This is about 1/2 the room when I showed up.

My portion of the bulk purchase

And my specialty grain area (this will eventually look cleaner and all be the same containers)

I am hoping to get the complete brewer and equipment count in the coming week, and post up a lot more on the ingredients and planning for brew day. I ordered my water (and free temporary carboys) today as well.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

31 days til brew day

I just today purchased 255 lbs of grain from the Austin grain group buy.  It should be here this weekend, with plenty of time to go.  I also managed to order the custom pint glasses for the wedding.  I used and for 72 pint glasses with a logo, it was just under 175$.  Not bad, but a nice touch and a takeaway for those coming.

Still working on the final equipment and brewer list so I can build out recipes and plan on timing of the big day.

In other beer-related news, I had a few awesome updates from recent days:
  1. I went to San Francisco and greatly enjoyed a lot of Russian River beers.
  2. Visited the new gastropub Barley Swine - it was awesome.
  3. Got a phone call from a co-worker complimenting a beer I had gifted him.  Always cool to hear that.
  4. My Braggot is still aging, but really really good.  I already have plans to share some with head brewer at Independence Brewing next month, and am entering it in the Domras Mead competition in category 23b.

In the next few days, I am hoping to finalize by brewers and assistants list, equipment list and needs, as well as planned recipes.  Still not 100% sure we will be able to do 60 gallons, but have my fingers crossed.  More to come!