100 Bottles of Beer

19Sep01_Beer__3001076Last and this weekend, I brewed beer. Last weekend was a Robust Porter, and this weekend I did an Blonde Ale. Today, I racked last weeks Robust Porter and all I can say is that even after only one week, it is very tasty. Still needs to sit for a few weeks, but it is nice.

I had a small issue starting the Porter, and it took 40 hours for the yeast to kick in, and when it did the temps went up pretty fast.  It hit 75  degrees for a few hours while I was at work, but settled down when I cooled it.  It is not resting at 64 degrees along with this weeks Ale, which is fermenting away.

I find that brewing beer is quite a bit more interesting, and more difficult, than making wine or mead.  There are so many variations on what ingredients you can use, how long and how to handle your mash, different ways to sparge, and how long to boil.  Not to mention hops.  So far though, I am hitting my numbers, and am turning out a 75% efficiency, which I am happy with. 

Pictures – Set up in the garage; dark, dark Porter; boiling the Ale; grain for future beer.

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Thirteen month ago, I started a Blueberry Wine and a Blueberry Mead.  I tasted both today, and the wine if OK, and the mead is fairly good.  I plan on bottling them next week and letting them age in the bottle for a while.  I would say that I went to high on the alcohol with both of them.  Next time I will shoot for 10% rather than 14. 

The Strawberry-Rhubarb wine from the summer is good, though there is a Rhubarb taste that only Rhubarb lovers could like.  I racked and stabilized the wine, and will see what it tastes like in two weeks and see if it could benefit from sweetening. 

The Jalapeno wine was also racked.  I did not stabilize it, as I am not going to sweeten it.   It is a bit harsh from the peppers, but it is fairly good considering how hot it is.  This, I think, will make an excellent cooking wine. 

One last photo – The wines!

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The two wines under the towel are a Cabernet, which tasted great, and a Merlot, which is even better.  The Cabernet will be bottled next week, and the Merlot the following week.

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