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July 2008 Archives

July 12, 2008

Batch 13 write-up (Good!), Batch 14

Summary of the popular opinion for Batch 13: "Holy shit, this is good!" (Why is everyone always surprised?) Closely followed up with, "A bit too wintergreeny, though." (Yeah, I know.) Good comments came from:
- Friends and Family, who's spoken opinion I don't necessarily trust ("..this is.. ..nice.." *sets bottle down*), but they asked for more, which I do trust.
- Coworker Dave, of whom I've always gotten brutally honest, and rather detailed, opinions from
- George, proprietor of the local brew supply store, who sounded surprised to like it; I think he was expecting root beer from concentrate.
- Cindy (wife), who normally prefers the stuff I make from extract.

This batch has universally received the best reviews so far. The Spiffy Cheapo Filter-O-Matic(tm, pat pend) worked miracles on the bitterness/astringency problem. That problem is solved, as far as I'm concerned. The rest of the mix was good, except the wintergreen which overpowered everything else, so how can we really tell that the rest of the mix was good? Yeah, who knows. But people liked it, so I've got that goin' for me.

I'm excited because I finally got the filtering stuff solved. The next batch (fixing the wintergreen) should be great.

So, without further ado...

Batch 14:
3g RO water
4c avocado blossom honey
4oz sassafras
1tsp anise seed
2 vanilla beans
.5c malted barley extract (normally used for making beer)
2tsp wintergreen extract (_NOT_ 2tbsp!)

Usual procedure, but with a different order this time. Boil 1gal water. Add honey stirring to make sure it dissolves completely. Put colander in water and add sassafras, anise and vanilla beans. Boil for 20 minutes, stirring continuously. Right near the end, add the malted barley extract, stirring to make sure it dissolves completely. Pull the colander, and with it the bulk of the solid bits. Use a bit of hose left over from the construction of the kegerator to siphon the brew into the "New And Improved Spiffy Cheapo Filter-O-Matic, Mark ][ (tm, pat pend)" (See below for construction details.) Add ice and RO water to top off. Add Wintergreen. Close up the keg and shake the snot out of it. Pressurize, burp, stow in the kegerator for a couple weeks.

The "New And Improved Spiffy Cheapo Filter-O-Matic, Mark ][ (tm, pat pend)" is basically a canning funnel, screen mesh from a colander, a hose clamp, and a (clean) tea towel sewn up into a two layer sock. The mesh is cut off the colander then fit to the bottom of the funnel and attached with the hose clamp. This was from Mark I of the SCFOM. For Mark 2, took a tea towel, folded over length wise and sewed up all four edges. I then folded over again lengthwise and sewed up one short side and the long side. This gives a very long and narrow sock with two layers of fabric between the inside and outside. This was too long for my keg, so I cut it in half and sewed up the appropriate edges to make two socks, each half as long as the first. I then took the open end of one of the socks and slipped it between the screen mesh and the hose clamp such that any liquid poured into the funnel would first be filtered by the screen mesh, then by the tea towel cloth before going into the keg. The whole sock goes inside the keg and the funnel (or, more accurately, the screen mesh bits that stick out of the hose clamp) rests on the opening to the keg. This makes it easy to ladle, pour or siphon liquid, through the "NAISCFOM,M][" directly into the keg. It worked like a champ.

Batch 14 is currently in the kegerator, chillin' and carbin'. I look forward to a report in about 2 weeks.

About July 2008

This page contains all entries posted to Mark's Blog in July 2008. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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