Archive for October, 2011

You Grow Your Own Food? Harvest 10/29/11

Squash, tomatoes, basil seeds, and beans. Green tomatoes picked due to dead plants. Broken tromboncino because I let others harvest this one for me.

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You make your own beer? Sassafras preparation

Got some sassafras root to go into either a root beer porter or a sassafras spruce porter. I’ll decide later which one to brew.

Harvested sassafras. The roots broke much more easily than I thought they would.


I'm after the roots only.


The washed roots


Cut into smaller pieces and placed on a plate to dry.

My girls (and a couple of guys)

Made some changes to the coop last weekend. Added a couple roosts and a nesting box. Should be starting to lay pretty soon I hope.

New addition: a nesting box


Drop side for egg access.


Checking it out


Not sure about this.


The wood chips taste pretty good.


Checking out the changes


The big roo


The small roo


The girls


The big roo is the boss of the coop


He stands tall over the ladies


Strutting his stuff

You Grow Your Own Food? Harvest 10/23/11

Squash, beans, tomatoes

2+ year old Earl Grey Cinnamon Braggot tasting

Tasting Notes 10/26/11 Brewed 8/26/09

Appearance: bright coppery amber with a tint of orange. 1 finger head of fine, thick bubbles. Amazing lacing. Very brilliant, no cloudiness at all.

Smell: big cinnamon, boozy, faint orange, alcohol stings the nose slightly

Taste: candy sweet upfront, caramelly and toasty in the middle, light cinnamon in the end.

Mouthfeel: thin, oily, big carbonation bite, alcohol heat after swallowing

Drinkability: Not a quaffer. There is a lot of flavor in this braggot but it doesn’t blow away your taste buds.

Overall: This is finally coming around to be enjoyable. The flavors are melting together and the alcohol bite has dropped down finally.

I’d brew this again with a bit more Earl Grey and less cinnamon next time, perhaps more grains and less honey too. Not major increases/decreases just slight adjustments.

You Grow Your Own Food? Harvest 10/18/11

Squash, beans, tomatoes

You Brew Your Own Beer? Blessed Bitter, BIAB style.

Brewed up what was supposed to be an ordinary bitter today but got really really good efficiency so it’s more like an ESB. I mashed in before church starting about 8:45, then brought up to a mashout after church at about 12:15. The recipe:

Type: All Grain
Batch Size: 5.50 gal
Boil Size: 9.00 gal
Boil Time: 90 min

Amount Item Type % or IBU
7.00 lb Pilsner (2 Row) UK (1.0 SRM) Grain 80.92 %
0.50 lb Acid Malt (3.0 SRM) Grain 5.78 %
0.50 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (120.0 SRM) Grain 5.78 %
0.40 lb Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM) Grain 4.62 %
0.25 lb Special Roast (50.0 SRM) Grain 2.89 %
0.75 oz Goldings, East Kent [6.10 %] (90 min) (First Wort Hop) Hops 20.2 IBU
0.25 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] (Dry Hop 3 days) Hops –
1.00 oz Goldings, East Kent [3.00 %] (30 min) Hops 8.7 IBU
0.50 oz Goldings, East Kent [3.00 %] (15 min) Hops 2.8 IBU
0.50 oz Goldings, East Kent [3.00 %] (1 min) Hops 0.2 IBU

I added 4-1/8 tsp gypsum to the mash

Original Gravity: 1.047 SG
Bitterness: 31.9 IBU
Est Color: 9.6

The 1st ounce were commercial, the 2nd two ounces were homegrown by Joe from our homebrew club, thanks Joe!

The homegrown hops going in, smelled AWESOME


Whole hops floating in the boil always look so cool


After racking into the fermeter, the whole hops do a pretty good filter of the beer


The wort has a nice color, this should look really nice when fermented and clear


All oxygenated, yeast added, airlock and blowoff attached and tucked into a nice 19C chamber.