Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Brew Thru #6 Updates

When you don't post often, there is always something to discuss!  In this Brew thru...

  • Sharing Homebrew
  • Why I am switching (back) to Five Gallon Batches
  • Alcoholic Root Beer
  • Shegogue Brew Around the Web

Sharing Homebrew

8 Taps
(Eight Taps for the picnic)

Last month I attended a community picnic featuring a homebrew tent.  Eight different home breweries (Shegogue Brew included) provided a variety of beer for all to enjoy.  I brought my session IPA (recipe and review to be posted soon) and it seemed to be well received.  Its always nice to see smiles on the faces of complete strangers enjoying your beer.

Tasting a new brewer's beer
(Sensory Analysis for new brewer's beer)

Five Gallon Batches

I have reverted back to five-gallon batches and I want to explain why...

In the beginning, 99% of homebrewers follow their extract recipe and kit to "a tee," and I was no exception. All of those extract recipes are designed for 5 gallons post-boil (with top off water). It's easy since all ale pales have a clear demarcation at the five gallon mark. So why does it seem that a lot of brewers move onto batch sizes which not divisible by five?

My guess is Brewing Classic Styles - To some this is their homebrew recipe bible.  All of the recipes in this book are formulated for 6 gallons post boil, leaving a half gallon of trub/hops etc in the kettle.  The remain five and a half gallons is fermented leaving at least five full gallons to go into the keg.

This may work for some, but looking back I can see all the headaches it caused me!

I ferment in six gallon better bottles.  You know what is a sure way to make a mess or require a blow off tube, which can still make a mess?  Fermenting five and half gallons of wort in a six gallon better bottle.  I did this for a while and just used a blow off tube, but it is a pain cleaning both airlocks and blow-off tubes all the time.  Not to mention liquid suck-back if I chilled the beer down quickly.

You know what doesn't make a mess or require a blowoff tube (in most cases)?  Filling that six gallon better bottle with five gallons or less of sweet wort.

Five gallon kegs hold five gallons, not five and half.  If you aren't paying attention you can fill the beer in the keg so high that it covers the CO2 dip tube.  This is a sure way to spray beer everywhere when you "burp" air out of a pin lock keg (ask me how I know).

So in an effort to make less of a mess while also saving money on ingredients, I am going back to 5 gallon batches.  If you are interested in any of my recipes, please take note of the batch size as the older recipes will still utilize a six gallon size.

Not Your Father's Root Beer

Not Your Father's Root Beer

A friend gave me a bottle of this on Labor day weekend.  If you have not had this one yet I will tell you it does taste exactly like root beer.  Only difference is it hash a slight boozey note in the finish.  My reaction was much like my friends - you start out amazed at the sorcery that is conjured to create an alcoholic root beer and think "Man, I could drink a whole six pack of this!"  By the end of the glass, however, you are changing your tune.  I was on a rather empty stomach, but even so it was just too sweet.  I have mixed beer and sweets in the past and never makes my stomach feel good.  This beverage just expedites that feeling by putting the two together for me!  Would still recommend trying one if you haven't.  I may have to look into creating something similar in flavor but decreased sweetness.

Shegogue Brew Around the Web

Only one article to note since the last brew thru - Organizing Tips for Homebrewers.

Well, that is it for now!  I am about to put my brown ale on tap and when I get a chance I will be posting that recipe as well as the session IPA.  Looking to try and brew this weekend, but having trouble deciding what to make... suggestions welcome.



  1. get that pumpkin ale going for Thanksgiving!!!!

    1. Not doing a pumpkin beer this year as very few enjoy it. I am however making a tincture of pumpkin pie spice which can be added to my brown ale if someone is looking for the pumpkin pie flavor.