Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Dry Stout Update

We racked the beer into secondary fermenter last night, probably two or three days behind schedule, but better than nothing. The SG was about 1.018, down from 1.050 when we put it in. The recipe sheet says that it should stop somewhere just below 1.020. It's starting to taste like a nice dry stout (think boddingtons maybe), but tastes like it has a little ways to go with the sugar yet.

We've come up with a highly developed refrigeration unit to keep it between 55 and 65 degrees for the next week while it finishes fermenting, basically just set the carboy into our largest enameled canning pot full of water, then threw a towel over the top which wicks water up over the top of the carboy. It kept the setup at 65 degrees last week while it was 100 outside. This week I'm running a fan on it to see if I can convince the setup to get down closer to 55, but I'm not sure it'll work.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Kayaking (b)Log

9/20 - SFA - Chili Bar - 1650cfs - Went with Melody, Bill, Rafael, Gabrielle - Handpaddled, awesome, and surfed it up at First Threat.

9/19 - SFA - The Gorge - 1650cfs - Went with Marion - Started early (before water), but rode the bump through the gorge. Awesome run, both of us felt really confident with all the rapids/lines.

9/13 - Pacific Ocean - Albion Cove - 100000000cfs - Paddled with Melody and Will, Marion and Rafael in attendance - Kayaked with Chris and Rafael while they were Abalone diving, then spent an hour surfing some nice waves with Melody and Will

9/5 - 9/7 - Lower T - 1200cfs - Marion, Melody, Will, Rafael, Libby, Bill, Brian G, Luke - Last T release of the season, was super nice run, I got to do Clavey IV sneak twice, pretty much nailed it the first time in Diesel 75, got to see most of the rapid upside down in the Java. Video

Thanksgiving Brew Kickoff

We spent the morning brewing up a batch of beer for Thanksgiving. The beer is a Dry Stout mix from the Beverage People, a beer and wine homebrew store in Santa Rosa. The yeast we used is Wyeast 1084, an Irish Ale yeast.

The first step is prepping the grains by bringing to a simmer, then letting steep for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, the main brew kettle is fired up with about 4 - 4 1/2 gallons of water and the malt extract powder mixed in. There was a little container of water conditioner which we threw in, it's probably a mix of salts and minerals for people with soft water, but we threw it in anyhow.

After the 45 minute steep on the grains, they were sieved out and throw in with the wort. The first round of bittering hops is added followed by a 15 minute boil. The second round of bittering hops is added, followed by a 45 minute boil. The final round of hops (aroma hops this time with a distinctly different smell from the bittering hops) is added with a final 5 minutes of boiling. It took about 30 minutes with the wort chiller to bring the temperature down from boiling to about 80 degrees.

The wort was measured for specific gravity and tasted for appropriate hoppyness. The OG is 1.050 and the beer is pretty dang bitter. We poured off the wort into a glass carboy and pitched the yeast. There were chunks left in the bottom of the pot, mostly the hops which had been added at various stages. I wasn't sure whether they should be added to the carboy or not, to impart more flavor as the beer ferments, but since it was pretty bitter already, I decided not to put the sludge in. We'll see...

That's it, the brew has started bubbling already, more once it's done and we get to taste it.