Friday, June 20, 2008

Summer Brew Session

I'm back. The pic above is my Centennial 2 weeks ago. Not much to look at yet, but they're growing! I went to the garden a few days ago and the Cascade had shot up to knee high, the Centennial was about 8 inches, and the Zeus was about 4. The Cascade and Centennial both got trained up the pole, but the Zeus isn't quite big enough yet, I think it gets a little too much shade from the bumper crop of raspberries I have coming in. Still crossing my fingers for a harvest, but I'm not keeping my hopes up.

In other homebrew news, the Wee Heavy is finally carbed and tasting good, but I've stashed half the batch for next winter to wait for improvement. Unfortunately, I'm down to just a handful of Bourbon Barrel Browns (drinking one right now), and it just keeps getting better. The double IPA is still a little undercarbed after 3 weeks, but it is tasting excellent. I'm having a hard time waiting for them to condition - it's going to be so nice to not have to worry about that once I start kegging. I dryhopped the Red Rocket clone on Father's Day and really enjoyed the sample, I'm hoping to keg that sometime next week.

Now that things have settled down after bringing my new son home, I was able to sneak away for an early morning brew session this morning. I finally brewed the American Homebrewers Association Big Brew recipe for Fill in the Hop Blonde Ale with Northern Brewer hops, I'm hoping I like them so maybe next year I can get a rhizome. I overshot the gravity (intentionally) because I didn't feel like messing around with measuring out 7/8 of a pound of DME and I also accidentally added the whole ounce at 10 minutes instead of a half ounce - that's what homebrew at 7am will do to you. Now I need to decide if I'm going to dryhop like the recipe suggests or just let it be. Either way I should get a nice summer brew.

Just for fun, here's some pics of the rig, especially the 8 dollar windscreen. I bought 2 pieces of 8 inch furnace pipe metal from Menards, joined them together, and on brew day I wrap it around the burner stand. I don't know if it is because of the windscreen or what, but I get 7 batches per tank. The last pic is of the tag if you want to go to Menards to grab one for yourself.


Matt Andrews said...

Your hops are looking good! My one plant is now taller than me! All 5'9" but man are they growing!! All 2 plants have grown at different heights and speeds and look close to the same.

Also Congrats on the new son!!

richt said...

Wow, that's some growth! The pic is from over 2 weeks now, so hopefully they're a lot bigger now. I think I'll check on them tomorrow and I'm bringing the twine just in case. Cross your fingers for me!

Thanks for the congrats!

Matt Andrews said...

I took some pics the beginning of this week with plans on a hop update post. Well, the growth out of these bad boys are amazing! The one must have shot up a foot this week! So have the others! They get some warm weather and they shoot right up. I got the rest of the twine up for the bines to go to town on! Can't wait to see some flowers. I saw on NB's forum some people that have flowers already! It could be older plants too, but it looks cool!

Bri said...

Rich do you use the shield all the time, or just when it's windy? It must keep the heat more regular. I get annoyed when a gust of wind blows on the burner. I might try to incorporate a similar design, but I'll have to attach it to my burner somehow since it is 2ft about ground.

I picked up a half barrel and I plan on cutting the top off soon and using it for my boils. I'm hoping the 12th or 13th to brew again.

The hops are looking good. I'll have some photos soon too. Only one plant survived, but it's doing well and about 4ft tall now.