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Category: Booze
Tuesday, January 18th, 2005 @ 04:31 pm
Posted By Brent


Category: Booze
Thursday, August 21st, 2003 @ 05:05 pm
Posted By Brent
Yeah, I haven't been posting as of late, but neither have you. In fact, I'm mighty dissapointed in you all. But really, this website has been a pretty big pit of assed out boredom for a couple of weeks now and its high time things change. I've been working quite a bit lately and coming home and just plopping down and not moving. The meager amount of energy I have left at this point is then squandered on drinking beer, but its time to restore the site to its non-former glory.

If you haven't noticed yet, would you please direct your focus towards that little box to the left that houses writings of mine that I deem worthy of temporal stasis on the front page. If you have a sharp eye, you will have noticed that there's an entry called "Brew Your Own Damn Beer". Give it a read, its sure to astound. I hope you have as much fun reading it as I did writing it. Of course it goes without saying that you won't, but go ahead and give it a try anyway.

Ian and his better half came 'round last night to partake of some beer brewing and some beer drinking. We also did some beer bottling, but I think I may have screwed that batch up due to my drunken hijinks which resulted in all the sediment in the bottom of the brewing carboy getting all stirred up before we bottled it. I don't know if it will have any adverse effects, I just keep telling myself that people used to make beer in the long long time ago before the invention of soap and definately before the invention of switchblades and dual speed vibrating sexual aids, so it must be a hard thing to fuck up.

So yeah, I'm pretty hung over from that little adventure, but I'm getting better. A little hair o' the dog might hit the spot, and I got a fresh batch of "Traditional Bock" hanging out in my fridge...


Category: Booze
Friday, August 15th, 2003 @ 03:03 pm
Posted By Brent

(PS: Remind me never to buzz my hair again.)

First, we start with our beer kit, freshly procured from the always affable staff of Brew Ha Ha. Only the finest in beer supply sold out of a 200 year old building with cement floors. Got love New Orleans. The kits usually consist of grain, liquid malt, dry malt, hops, yeast, the big "tea bag" (snicker) you put the grain in, and assorted bottle caps and brewing paraphernalia.
First things being first, we now bring anywhere from 1.5 to 3 gallons of water close to a boil and steep our grain. This is much like steeping tea I'm told, but since I'm neither a woman, a limey, or a gay man, I wouldn't know because I've never steeped tea. With that said, get to steeppin' while the steepin's good.
Just continue getting your steep on for around 30-45 minutes.
Once your steep has been fully gotten on, time to add your precious reagents. Pictured here is me dutifully pouring in the liquid malt which has a consistency somewhere between molasses and "if you get it on your hands you will have to boil them to get it off." If I could find a way to make this stuff flammable, I could put the napalm industry out of business. If there is a napalm industry. I'll get back to you on that one.
Now we add our dry malt, which is much more manageable than it's cousin, the liquid malt. Just pour at will. One thing to note, and I'm not sure on this, I think you should add the dry malt first. It doesn't seem to happen in every case, but once we did liquid then dry and ended up with balls of what could be described as concrete floating around in the pot. it seems that if the liquid and dry malt meet in their respective states, they tend to clump together and make the entire brew process quite unpleasurable.
Let's get hoppin! Dump yo hops on in that biznatch, but hold up! You bess make sure that you leaves some if yous gonna be adding finishin' hops latah. *sound of throat being cleared*. Some brews call for "finishing hops", which means that you will be adding some more hops right before its finished boiling. My going theory is that these hop won't break down during the boil, therefore more of the "flavor" of these hops will make it to the finished product. Of course I have no grounds for this theory, they could just be a hops sacrifice to the gods of home brew beerdom.
Here's the exciting part: you let it boil for a long time. Well, like 45 minutes or so, but its a long time in beer years. One more thing, I've had this stuff double in size during this boil, so make sure you have room in your pot and maybe have a reserve handy incase your cup runneth over.
After its boiled for a while, if you have finishing hops, dump those in at the time prescribed in your recipe. If you're not following a recipe, please save some of this beer for me, I've never tasted gonzo beer before.
Nothing much here, just playing with our wort. No, not genital warts, wort. Wort is what you call this nasty muck you've just made. Don't hesitate to look over it and wonder how this foul crap will turn in to tasty beers. If you're high while you're pondering this, be careful not to lose track of time.
They say you can use tap water for your beer, but bottled water supposed to taste better. I went ahead and shot for the best of both worlds. Filtered tap water. The cleanliness of bottled water, with the "down-homedness" of tap water. I am the smartest man alive. Because my filtered water shooter thing is so goddamned slow, I rigged it to work autonomously.
Once your wort has boiled for the required amount of time, you want to bring it down to room temperature. I did this by filling the sink up with cold water and sitting the pot in it. I didn't take any pictures of it, so just close your eyes and picture a pot of brown stuff in a sink full of ice water. After it was cooled, we realized that we didn't have a funnel to get it into the brewing carboy (which is a fancy name for a water cooler jug), so we had to scoop it out with a pitcher and pour it on in. After you've gotten in all in, top it off with more water until the brewing vessel is full to satisfaction.
Here's where you sprinkle the yeasty beasties evenly over the top of the brew. Since I'm using this jug, evenly means sprinkle a little, jostle the jug a bit, sprinkle some more, lather, rinse, repeat. The point of the cooling the wort in the previous step was in preparation for this. You see, yeast are alive. I'm not sure how advanced their civilization is, or what language they speak, but I assure you they are alive. If you were not to cool the mixture down to room temperature, they would die from "temperature shock" as you dumped them in. Now I know in the human world that going from cold to hot very quickly will cause a slumbering person to wet the bed and produce uproarious laughter from those in witness, but in the yeast world, it is certain genocide. Or yeasticide.
Now the yeast are swimming around greedily tossing all the sugar they can find into their gapping maw's (not sure if they have actually "maws", but I'm going for imagery here people), unbeknownst to them, they are peeing and pooping out precious alcohol. This process also creates carbon-dioxide. Now, you can't seal the container, because this CO2 (as carbon-dioxide is know as in some intellectual circles I run with) will build up and cause it to explode. BUT! you can't leave it open because if oxygen gets in there, something bad that I don't remember happens. The solution: the airlock! The picture is grainy because its a shot from a video that you get the privilege of watching if you click on it! Be in awe of its dog-ass quality. Resolution: Crappy X Fuzzy. (Also note, I put red food coloring in the airlock's water so it would show up better in the video).
There we go, we have it all ready for its 10-14 day vacation in our laundry room. Early in the fermentation process (1 to 3 days), it sometimes has the tendency to foam up and out of the airlock, so we sit it in a spare sink in there.

Here's where I should have taken some pictures of the changes that happen in the following two weeks, but I didn't, and they're not really that exciting anyway. Basically, your airlock goes crazy, it foams up, then the airlock calms down and the foam settles. That's the first three or so days. After that it just sits there and poops air out every couple seconds or so (depending upon what you're brewing it in and what kind of airlock you have.).
Beer is done! Time to start bottling those babies! Start by pulling out your airlock and inserting your store bought rigid siphon tube thingy into the carboy almost to the bottom. You will not want to rest it on the bottom, because, if you actually brewed beer and not let wheat broth fester for two weeks, there should be a thick layer of dead yeast resting on the bottom. You would really do well no to suck massive quantities of this out when you siphon.
Attach your siphon hose to your rigid siphon thingy. Be sure to know how siphoning works before you siphon. If you don't know what siphoning is, get off my website, you moron. Basically we're going to siphon the beer out of the carboy into the bottling bucket. You don't want to bottle it from the carboy due to the massive amount of funk in it at this point; and you don't want to pour it into your bottling bucket, because the pouring process with carry all of said "funk" with the beer. Siphoning is your best option. (Hint to siphoning morons: be sure the bottling bucket is closer to the ground than the carboy, that how siphoning works: 1 part air pressure, 1 part gravity).
Now comes the part where your shady past walking the streets of North Hollywood come into play: Suck! Suck! Suck!
As you can see I'm not as well versed as you in the sucking arena, it took me many attempts to get it flowing good. I'm quite proud of this fact.
Not that I even come close to your sucking prowess, but look at that strong, steady flow. I command that from now on you call me the Siphon Master: Ruler of all Air Pressure Physics. You will rest golden laurels on my head and throw rose petals beneath my feet as a walk.

Here you dissolve sugar into two cups of hot water and pour it into the bottling bucket and stir well.
I forgot to take a picture of this, so instead you'll get a longwinded explanation. See, at this point, the yeast have eaten through mostly all of the sugar. But once they're bottled, you want them to start up again, but not for the alcohol, for the production of CO2 so that when you finally open your bottles, you get the pop and fizz of carbonation! The sugar gives the yeast a little more food to work with in the bottles to make this happen.
Time to start bottling. You can pick up one of these nozzles thingies at any brewing supply store and install it into a bucket. From what I've read you want to fill up the bottles to about an inch away from the top. Seemed to work for me.
Here's a good example of what a beer should look like after its been filled. Looks kinda like a bottle of beer with no cap. That's because that's exactaly what it is.
After the bottle's full, you take your caps that usually come with an ingredient kit, and a bottle capper, which is unfortunately kind of necessary, and commence the capping.
Same thing, but with boobs:
After the bottle's full, you take your caps that ususally come with an ingredient kit, and a bottle capper, which is unfortunately kind of necessary, and commence the capping.
*A Chorus of Angels Sing in the Background* "Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah, Hallelujah!" My first ever self made beer. A single tear rolls down my cheek (not pictured).
With the beer bottled and waiting for precious carbonation to take place (along with a couple other things that happen after its bottled that I never paid attention to), we notice our lives have become drab and dull, with no more beer fun at hand. No worries! Just hop by the home brew supply store for another kit and get crackin' all over again! Life is good again!
Once your beer has sat bottled for 4-5 days carbonating, and another 4-5 day in the fridge, it finally comes time for my favorite part of beer brewing: Consumption!

The End


Category: Booze
Thursday, August 7th, 2003 @ 09:47 am
Posted By Brent
I saw Adaptation the other day. Pretty wacky, I think that me knowing all about the general plot of the movie before I actually saw it kinda took the majority of the quirkyness out it, but it's still worth a look. Nicholas Cage actually acts in this movie and will actually come across as someone other than Nicholas Cage. I know that statement may start some Nick Cage fanboy flamewar, but it was a first as far as I'm concerned.

As for current events in the life of the old g13, not much of note is happening. I checked out Ian's new crib uptown last night. Sort of a mutilated shotgun. Quite a few beers were drank within its newly hallowed walls. He and the Bean are supposed to be "jamming" tonight. "Jamming" being in quotes cause I'm not too sure what the kids are calling it these days, but I'm pondering popping in for beers and a show. Of course it's between that, or my daily ritual of nothing. Hrmm, still got some more pondering to do.

Now, on to the meat and potatoes of this post: The Firday Night Beer-A-Taste-A-Thon. Come one, come all. We will be sampling my fine vintage in an all out blood orgy of fun. Keep in mind, beer other than the beer I made with mine own hands with be needed for at least four reasons:
  • While it may sound like a lot of beer, me and my friends can burn through massive quantities of beer in very short amounts of time.
  • I was hoping on not completely depleting my stocks on the first night that my first batch of beer ever is drinkable.
  • I need to save some for people that will not be in attendance.
  • This is my first time brewing beer, and honestly, I have no idea wether or not it will be any good.
There you have it. Pick yourself up and throw yourself towards my house on Friday. Oh yeah, I don't want to hear any of this "You didn't invite me" crap. If you read it here and know how to get to my house, you are pretty much invited.

Even Niel.


Category: Booze
Tuesday, July 29th, 2003 @ 09:48 pm
Posted By Brent
Well, the beer we brewed is bottled and will be spending a good 4 or so days building carbonation, then another couple o' sun cycles in the fridge for not only making slighly warm ones into official "cold ones", but also for what's known as "mellowing." Now, I have no idea what that means, but by god, I ain't fucking up my first batch.

Now onto the title of this post "BEER 2.SHIT". As many of you may notice, its a play on words regarding the previous post "BEER 2.0". Actually, it was "STRANGE BREW 2.0" now that I look at it, but shut up, its my website. See, the thing is, the lovely woman in my life went to get ingredients for our second batch today, and while getting ready to brew her up (the beer, not the lovely woman), tragedy struck. Upon opening the molasses like "Malt Extract" container, we happened upon a nice furry layer of mold resting cozily on its surface. Yetch. Gonna have to bring that back tomorrow for some malt that doesn't have a chance of curing the clap.

Of course, by the time we had opened it up, we had already started steeping the grain in water so I guess when we exchange it we'll have to ask if its ok for that shit to sit overnight in the fridge.

Oh, the life of a beermiester is one filled with the highs of intoxication and the lows of putrification.


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