February 03, 2014

Some time has passed

I must first apologize for the immense break in my blog efforts but I have a few astounding developments to report since my last post in November. Being a true Canadian I must first complain about the relentless winter that we have contended with thus far. I feel that this winter has somewhat influenced my inactivity in creative writing and therefore it will be used as my scapegoat for now. Although the ground hog did see its shadow, spring does feel just a blink away. Since my last post I have brewed two Cascade based IPAs (perfected on the second try), A Chocolatoat Madness Stout, and a retry of the very first pilsner that I brewed without proper equipment called "Take-a-Pils". The IPAs have long since disappeared, the Stout is ready for carbonation and I am currently drinking the Pilsner, although it might benefit from a few more months of lagering. One thing that I have noticed is that my brewing has become much better because the Pilsner just doesn't taste as spectacular as I once believed it was. It is a great beer but I have produced much better since so I will probably modify the basic recipe before sharing it.

Thanks to my beautiful wife, I received the missing components that I was waiting for to begin the next step in beer delivery. I now have two kegs equipped with picnic taps to dispense the beer that I brew. This has significantly increased my brewing experience enjoyment as I have found that it is much easier to keg than to bottle. I modified the chest freezer to include a 4" collar so that the co2 tank and kegs would fit with the lid closed, and I will be posting some pictures in the next post (it still isn't completely finished but it is functional). I also repaired my leaking immersion chiller by soldering ends that would accept water hoses and a valve, so this is much nicer to use. The final piece of equipment that I received for christmas was a 15 gallon brew kettle with a ball valve and thermometer and this has been a joy to use. I am still stuck with 5 gallon batches because of the small mash tun that I have but this will likely be my next bit of kit investment.

Lastly, my hop partner has purchased a bull-dozer which makes further expansion of the hop yard a reality. That said we have decided to keep this years hop yard additions to another 50-60 plants. This will allow more time to strategically design the space so that we can achieve future plans without too much of the hiccups we experienced in 2013. I will be placing the order for new plants shortly and I really can't wait until this snow is gone and the new shoots are coming out of the ground! 

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