Month: December 2007

Dry Hopping in a Keg

                               One of the things that I have been asked a few times is ‘How do you dry hop your beer in your kegs?’.

I am the kind of brewer that likes to use odds and ends that are around me for brewing gadgets. As I tend to procrastinate, this works well for me most times.

Dry Hopping in a Keg started when I wanted to dry hop an ordinary bitter about a year and a half ago. I could have used a hop bag, but I really wanted the hops to just float around in the keg and really ‘touch’ the beer. I could have used a stainless pot scrubber, but I use those to get the wort out of my kettle. So, I looked around and saw that I had extra stainless steel braided hose left over from my second mash tun that I had just built.

Head to the Gallery page for some images. It works great and you don’t get much in the way of hop bits in your beer, the little bits you do get don’t bother me.

Friends and Brewing

Last Saturday I was fortunate to get together with my friends JasonS and KevinP to brew some Ale.

I had been thinking of Jason and Kevin quite a bit and was really missing the ‘bonding’. Kevin, Jason and I have been through a lot over the past (gasp) 20ish years. Almost the first 10 of those years were spent in the theatre industry. They have also been there with me since the beginning of the Burning Barrel Brewery.

These two men stood up with me at my wedding..’nuff said.

Our Saturday brew all started the previous Monday with an email from Kevin that simply stated ‘WE should get together for drinks.’. That simple email then grew into us deciding to get together at Jason’s to brew.

I had 5 days to decide on what to brew and I was expecting some Fermentis S-04 Ale yeast from George Leet. This arrived on Wednesday, so I decided to use up the rest of my Crisp Maris Otter and make an Ordinary Bitter. I pretty much stuck to my standard OB recipe with a few variations.

When Saturday morning arrived, I looked outside and thought to myself ‘What a beautiful day it’s going to be.”. I was looking forward to the brew day. As I walked outside to get my gear out of the shed, I realized that looks can be deceiving. It was cold outside, but it was even worse when I walked into the wind. But it didn’t matter, I was going to brew today with friends.

With all the gear in the van, my son and I headed into town as he had hockey before the brew day was to begin.

Jason’s place is very close to the rink so that was an added bonus. When we were done with hockey, my son and I headed for a bagel and a coffee for me and an apple juice for my son then off to Jason’s. My wife, who had my other son at basketball, came and picked up the hockey player.

Then Jason and I started to setup for our brew day. We realized then that Kevin would probably not be brewing, but he did show up with some beer. In his hands on arrival were…Big Rock Grasshopper and Trad – we finished these off first and saved the best for last as he also brought Pumphouse Red and St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout.

The great thing about when the three of us get together…it’s like we haven’t been apart. The brewing almost is secondary as we spend the day discussing what has been going on in our lives since the three of us gathered last (which should be more often…but we get older, heh heh).

As we brew we forget about some things in the brewing process…but it will be beer in the end.

At the end of the brew day and the cold…cold day, Jason, the saint that he is, had some amazing chicken chili ready. And of course we washed that down with some of the beer that Kevin arrived with. The chili was just what we needed to end the cold brew day. Nice thick, hot, spicy chili. Oh and the hockey game was on the television.

Cheers to my friends Kevin and Jason (who have become brewers).