Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tap Room (a.k.a. the other half of my garage) gets a makeover!

Along with all of the pre-baby projects, I have also given the tap room a face lift. I replaced my old keezer with a bigger one. Each batch I brew is 10 gallons, or two kegs worth. Therefore, I can now serve four beers and also have a backup keg for each of those beers all in one keezer...for 8 total. Believe me, I have been trying to stock up all of those kegs before the baby arrives. I encased the new keezer in beetle kill pine from our own Grand County. I also added casters and a chalkboard front.

I love the natural blue stain and
grain of the beetle-kill pine

This was during an early morning brewday!

A glorious sight!

My incredible wife gave me a rack and fancy beer glasses for Christmas and I just got around to hanging all of them up. The ones on the top shelf are 20 oz. pub glasses and the hanging ones are 16 oz. tulip goblets. Eventually, I will get around to etching them with the Lowell Brewing Co. logo (as of now). For some reason, I think this would be a good kitchen table project when the baby arrives! Maybe I'm totally off.

Awesome glasses and rack

On Saturday, I also brewed another 20 gallons of beer to fill the final kegs. I brewed an English Old Ale for my father-in-law...rightfully named Pops' Old Ale. It should finish out around 8.5% ABV as a full-bodied, malty ale for those cold nights. Five gallons of this will live in the oak barrel for a while. I hope he likes it! The other beer that was brewed was inspired by Jeff called Vernalis Black Ale. It is a black ale that should bridge the winter and spring seasons. Not too roasty, more chocolatey, light-bodied, spicy Chinook hops, and a floral aroma. For those times when it is getting a little warmer, but you still want a winter beer without the heavy body. I'm excited about this one, it will be delicious.
Vernalis Black Ale on the left and Pops' Old Ale on the right!

The other project was moving Mug, the English Barleywine, out of the barrel and into a carboy for clarification. This fella topped out at around 10.8% ABV and will be a good sipper. This will go into the keg later this week! 

So, I know that was a lot, but I have been busy! Hopefully all of this brewing will keep the taps pouring for a good amount of time while we are busy with the new baby. The revamped tap room will entertain all of the guests that will be dropping by! As of now, I have an IPA, Blonde, and Amber on tap. In the next week or so, I'll add an English Barleywine, Black Ale, and Old ale to the mix. I should be good for a while. I'll check back soon...probably after the wee one arrives!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The American Beer Revival

This is a neat little clip showing the history of breweries in America...most notably, how the craft breweries have risen again! Support your local craft brewery.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Hops and Dogs

I have seen a bunch of warnings about this lately and it is very important that all brewers know it. Don't let your pup near your hops!

There was a time, about a year ago, where Moxie (above) grabbed a single hop pellet that had dropped on the floor in the kitchen. Soon after, he began panting and didn't stop for several hours. I now realize, after the event, that the hops caused his body temperature to rise uncontrollably and I am lucky that he didn't ingest more. He turned out just fine, but brewers beware! Never store or dispose of your hops (even used) where the dog can get at them...that includes the compost bin. This also includes homegrown hops in the backyard. Let's try and keep our furry brewing buddies around (I'm talking canines, not humans)!