January 31, 2012

Whats the focus ?

I have been writing this blog for a few months now and recently i have been being asked what the focus of my writing is. I thought this would be a good opportunity to think about what my focus will be, look at some past posts I have written and talk a little about what i plan on writing about in the future.
Its obvious I write a good amount on home-brewing and I plan on continuing with those posts. One thing I don't think I will continue with is reviews of my own beers. I don't post my recipes online so a highly biased review of the beer on my part is pretty useless. I will, however, continue with posts on my brewing in general or interesting processing of ingredients.
I want to expand the posts I do concerning the professional brewing industry. One of the most popular posts on the blog to this day is the one about New York state hops. I'm already in the process in expanding this portion of my writing.
Finally I have FINALLY started my studies at Siebel ! So there will be many more posts coming up on my experiences in getting a formal brewing education.
In short Im going to eliminate the tastings and beer reviews (I'm not great with reviewing my own product and beer reviews are all over the internet, not to mention taste is very subjective) Im going to keep up the brewing process and ingredient posts like normal while expanding the posts on news/ issues concerning the professional brewing community.
Thank's everybody for reading so far, There are plenty more good posts coming.

January 16, 2012

Blending for consistency

Every year I brew my famous assorted porters which generally include coffee porter, vanilla porter and the base robust porter, additionally, I decided to try some caramel porter this year but that was a resounding failure as i was not able to get the caramel to stay in solution. Because so many people are always wanting some of this beer I decided this year to do a double batch which meant I would have to blend both batches without causing any oxidation or off flavors in the process.

To do this I modified my boil kettle to be a dual use combination/ blending tank and kettle. I split some 3/4 inch vacuum tubing for cars down the middle and placed it on the lip of the kettle. Then i used clamps for woodworking to hold the lid on tight, I put a small hole in the lid so i could purge the entire vessel with C02 and I was good to go.

After the initial fitting of the components We broke down the valve and sight glass cleaned and sanitized everything, rebuilt the vessel, purged with C02 and started racking beer into it. I was able to rack beer i had in corny kegs (not carbed) and from my conical fermentor into the blending tank then back out into corny kegs while only loosing a couple of pints of beer.
Some people think that its unnecessary to blend two batches of the same recipe, especially for homebrew. But I really want to get a consistent product, and i feel like blending separate batches or separate carboys is the way to go. Additionally with my second batch of porter I missed my initial boil volume so blending the two batches was the way to go. Also I have been known to blend two beers if I brew a beer with a flaw so this could be a good method for that too.