Loose Change

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Loose Change

So since we are not brewing this weekend and I don't foresee myself doing any fun beer projects, I figured I would do a single post about a bunch of random odds and ends. Later this week I will post up the final recipe for the Pumpkin Ale Nick and I are going to brew up this weekend.

So here we go:

First, I have probably mentioned this in a previous post, but the Old Balls Ale is going strong. The pictures below are from when I took it from secondary into the keg. As you will note, there was some really odd "stuff" on the bottle that had me a little concerned at first, but in the end the beer was fine so it must just be traub or something.

The Old Balls Ale is hands down one of the best beers I have ever brewed. You will note that I used a double decoction on this brew as a way of dealing with raising the temperature in the process. I think the decoct gave the beer a very distinct, but complete malt profile. You can definitely tell that some of the malts were caramelized during the decoct and it made for a great beer.

I bottled up a couple of bottles of this to take to a competition because I think this one will do well and I am interested to hear what the judges will have to say.

This brings me to the second point of loose change, my first beer judging came back!!! Though I didn't place or get any awards (except the participation ribbon pictured below) I did get some really valuable feedback.

The beer that was judged was the California Common I brewed called Californication. All of the feedback I got said that the recipe was kind of bland and lacked character. Both judges recommended stepping up the hops and putting some more punch in the grain bill.

After getting the forms back, I revisited my recipe and noticed how simple it really was. It probably could use some spicing up. Although I have to say I really enjoyed it and I think it's a great session beer.

Finally, today I made some adjustments to my kegging setup. When Nick was over, he mentioned that I might get better cooling if I piped something directly from the coolest place in the fridge (the freezer) to the fan. We made some minor adjustments at the time, but I decided to go all the way and duct tape it all into place. This is what I have now.

You will also notice that I filled the fridge with foam insulation. This was also one of Nick's suggestions. He said that it would help keep the temperature where I want it if I fill the empty space. Ben from Ben's Homebrew has suggested this as well. We will see if all these changes work.

That's it for now, cheers!


Adam said...

Old Balls Ale eh? Heheh.

It is hard to get good feedback. Maybe I should enter one of these competitions...hmmmm.

Travis said...

It really is, it's fun too. I am going to win an award at some point and I am sure I will brag about it :-)