Gone Fishin'


I'm not actively blogging here anymore. But if you got here because you were searching for something about bikes, you might want to check out my latest project, Vermont Goldsprints. In summer of 2014, I bought a used goldsprints racing setup and have made it a mission to get more bikes in more people's faces by putting on fun races in unexpected places. Come join me!


Brewing Journal: Batches 11 and 12, Entry #1

Batch #11. Purchased 5.5 gallons of unpasteurized apple cider from Boyer’s Orchard. Allowed it to warm to room temperature overnight and pitched a pack of the Wyeast 4767 the next morning. Last year’s cider had an original gravity of 1.051, I’d guess that this years’ was close to that or a little sweeter, but it is whatever it is and I’m not too hung up on worrying about the alcohol content on this anyway. Looking over my notes from last year when I made cider, I can’t believe that I only let it go two weeks in primary and then kegged it, and that I was liking the taste of it two weeks after that! That is way, way too quick for good cider. The best of the cider from last year was the bit I drank in April before the keg finally blew. This year’s plan is more conservative. I’ll give it two or three weeks in primary, then rack it to a secondary for further clarification. I got too much sediment last year going right from the primary to the keg. I also think the cider could have benefited from a little more sweetness and body, so I am going to double the lactose addition from one to two pounds.  Same sugar and maple syrup additions for natural carbonation in the keg, more sugar if I decide to go ahead and put this in Belgian bottles.

Batch #12. British bitter. I brought 2 gallons of my boil water to 170 degrees with my steeping grains in the pot and allowed it to sit for a few minutes, then to the boil with the DME and LME included in the kit, 1 ounce of Kent Goldings hop pellets at 60 minutes and another ounce with a minute left to go in the boil. Chilled the wort to 100 degrees in about 10 minutes in a water bath in the kitchen sink and added it to the fermenter with the rest of the water to make just a hair over 5 gallons. Didn’t bother with a gravity reading, it is supposed to be around 1.035. (Not like I’m really doing a mash here, so as long as the right amount of water is in the fermenter and I put all of the malt in, which I did.)  I pitched the yeast when the wort had cooled to 78 degrees and observed slight signs of fermentation 12 hours later. 24 hours in there was a fluffy krausen about an inch thick and my blowoff tube was bubbling away. This is supposed to need a two-week primary and two weeks of bottle conditioning (fast, low-gravity, low alcohol brew) so I should be able to rack it to a keg for natural carbonation on 10/31 and be ready to consume by 11/14 (at least taste). looks like we’ll be pulling drafts of cellar-temp British Bitter for Thanksgiving if all goes well!