Update(Finally)

Ok, so I’m a bit of a slacker when it comes to my blog, but I have a been busy little home brewer, and a slightly less busy runner. Since my last post I have brewed the following:

2.5 gallons of Stout, 5 gallons of IPA(a delicious Two-Hearted Ale clone!), 5.25 gallons of Cherry Wheat, 3 gallons of Kölsch(BIAB), 3 gallons of Chocolate Imperial Stout(BIAB), and 2.5 gallons of Apfelwein.

Those two BIAB batches were my first all-grain batches, and I think they’re going to turn out pretty well. I already tried the Kölsch, and while it’s not my favorite style, I think the beer turned out to be pretty good. I paid very close attention to my fermentation temp, keeping it at 60° for three weeks before a two week lagering phase. The chocolate imperial stout was a bit trickier. I overshot my mash temp slightly, so it didn’t attenuate down as low as I thought it would. I also racked onto vodka-soaked cacao nibs after three weeks, so hopefully that gives me the flavor I’m looking for. I’m a big fan of Widmer Brothers’ Chocolate Imperial Stout, and while I wasn’t trying to clone their beer, I was trying to come up with something tasty. Here’s my recipe(if you’re curious):

BIAB Chocolate RIS

9 lbs 12.0 oz Maris Otter (Crisp) (4.0 SRM) Grain 1 91.5 %
8.0 oz Roasted Barley (Briess) (300.0 SRM) Grain 2 4.7 %
3.0 oz Chocolate Wheat (Weyermann) (415.0 SRM) Grain 3 1.8 %
2.0 oz Black (Patent) Malt (500.0 SRM) Grain 4 1.2 %
1.5 oz Chocolate Malt (Thomas Fawcett) (250.0 SRM) Grain 5 0.9 %
0.75 oz Centennial [10.90 %] – Boil 60.0 min Hop 6 43.1 IBUs
0.90 oz Willamette [5.20 %] – Boil 20.0 min Hop 7 14.9 IBUs
0.50 oz Cascade [7.80 %] – Boil 10.0 min Hop 8 7.5 IBUs
0.50 oz Willamette [5.20 %] – Boil 2.0 min Hop 9 1.2 IBUs
1.0 pkg London Ale Yeast (Wyeast Labs #1028) [124.21 ml] Yeast 10
4.00 oz Cacao Nibs (Secondary 7.0 days) Flavor 11

I ended up getting about 70% efficiency on this batch(my Kölsch came in closer to 77%), so I think the larger grain bill, combined with the higher initial mash temp may have had something to do with that. Hopefully I’ll get the efficiency back up on the next batch, which will probably be an ESB(mmm). I also got a keg for Father’s day, but I haven’t had a chance to fill it yet. Everything I’ve brewed to this point has been bottled, and I’ll probably bottle the Apple wine, too, since it needs time to age(and I don’t have a regulator yet).

As for my running, I’m still struggling to get my endurance back post-surgery, but I have started racing again. I’ve run a couple of 5ks(my son Alex also ran his first 1 mile race!), and I’m planning to run another next month, a 10k in September, and a half marathon in October. I’m not going for PRs(my last 5k was 7 minutes slower than my PR), but I’m just trying to get back into the swing of things.

That’s pretty much it. I promise I won’t go another 6 months without a blog post. Maybe I’ll post about next months brew session. Have a good night, everyone!

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still not where I want to be, but I’ll get back there eventually

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My shiny new 2.5 gallon corny keg from Adventures in Homebrewing. I just need to get a regulator and some lines, and I’ll be ready to go. I have a paintball tank, so I’m planning to naturally carb the keg, and use CO2 for serving.

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Alex finishing strong in his 1 mile race. He finished in 8:55. He was so excited!

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