Wit is Still Working!

On June 30, 2008, in Homebrewing, by Mark Ranes

Wow!  After eight days, the Belgian wit is still very actively fermenting.  You can still see trub bopping around inside the carboys at high speed.  It also still has a very creamy krausen head bubbling away.  I’m really surprised.

The Two Hearted Ale is also still going well.  It, too, has a large bubbly krausen head six days later.  I don’t want to rush these ales, but the sumer drinking season is at it’s peak right now, so I need to get these in kegs and carbonated:)

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Two Hearted Ale in Glass!

On June 26, 2008, in Homebrewing, Music, by Mark Ranes

Yesterday’s brew day went well.  I had the wort in glass by 2:00 p.m.  It had a wonderful aroma from the 8 oz. of Centennial hops (imagine that smell while you watch the following move:).


When I got up this morning, the krausen was just about to shoot out of the blow-off tube, so the fermentation has taken off well.  I can’t wait to taste this ale!

On a side note, yesterday I took a trip down memory lane, compliments of the gift of a friend (thanks, Mark!).  About a month ago, I was given a couple CDs that had a Tubes concert from April, 21, 1977, that I actually attended at the Palace of Fine Arts, in San Francisco.This was back in my wilder days, and we had an “interesting” ride to the city to see the show.  I finally got around to ripping it into iTunes and was surprised to find that all of the tracks were already tagged for song title and artist.  It was great to hear old favorites like What Do You Want From Life, Stand Up and Shout, You’re No Fun, Hit Parade and White Punks on Dope.

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Wit Went Well!

On June 23, 2008, in Homebrewing, by Mark Ranes

Today’s Blue Moons Belgian Wit brew day was uneventful.  When I brew alone, I tend to be on my game and as a rule, the brew sessions go well.  Hallertau HopsOf course, it is much more fun brewing with others, but I enjoy solitary brewing, too.  I got up early to try and beat the heat, but by the end of the day, 95 degree plus heat and propane burners make for a toasty afternoon:)

My mash efficiency was good today.  My recipe called for an original gravity was 1.060 and I hit 1.058 – pretty good:)  I really love the aroma of the wit wort both before and after the hop additions.  It is one of the more aromatic boils I do.  Once you add the fresh orange zest, it smells like fresh squeezed orange juice.  I love sticking my head in the empty boil kettle when I’m cleaning up.  The aroma is amazing!

Six hours later and the huge WLP 400 Belgian Wit Ale yeast starter is doing its job.  The wit is happily fermenting away:)

Fresh orange zest, dried bitter orange peel and corriander.

Wonderful wit wort!

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Off and Running…

On March 23, 2008, in Craft Beer, Family and Friends, Homebrewing, by Mark Ranes

The Belgian Strong Golden is off and running! The Wyeast 1388 has got to be one of the strangest yeasts I’ve ever brewed with. The ferment took off in a little over three hours and a large krausen head formed by 7:00 p.m. last evening. It was blowing CO2 like crazy! When I checked it this morning, the krausen had already dropped, but it was still fermenting wildly. If it goes like the starter, it will be done in a few days…

We’re having Easter brunch with Stephen at the BrewBarn. It’s our traditional Easter event, and the familiar faces are here:)  Stephen made fabulous grilled prime rib sandwiches.
Grilled Prime Rib Sandwiches

We shared some North Coast Brother Thelonious, Green Flash Imperial IPA,  and some Bear Republic Racer 5.  All in all, a great low-key afternoon!  Thanks, Stephen:)

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