A few months back we decided to start crushing our own grain so that we could purchase bulk grain sacks and have better control of our mashing process. After shopping around and reading all sorts of reviews we went for the Barley Crusher
I originally watched this video a few months ago and prior to viewing I had not heard of Freetail Brewing or of Scott Metzger. I was immediately drawn in when he presented the idea that the way our market works is failing communities by creating an economic incentive to buy big brand items instead of local options. He ties this argument back to the beer industry and how it had collapsed into a very small consolidated brand and style market. But consumers like variety, choice is important to us.
If you’ve read our post about our new brew system then you’ll know that it was constructed from an old Hi-Lo trailer. As an homage to that trailer Eryn decided that the first beer we made on the brew system would be called Hi-Lo. With the name firmly set we went to work figuring out what it would actually be. Since we had two great words in the name, high and low, we started playing with the idea of doing a high alcohol low hop Belgian ale. It finally came down to a Belgian Strong Golden Ale that was lightly hopped.
Fermentation is a point in our brewing process where we’ve always had a bottleneck. We’ve been using 5 and 6 gallon glass fermenters since we jumped to 5 gallon batches but have always been looking for something more. This past fall MoreBeer had a very quick sale on Speidel Plastic Fermenters. I happened to catch […]
Double Barrel Ale is honestly one of my favorite beers out there. It’s got a rich flavor that’s textured with the oak. If you haven’t tried it you need to. A while back we were talking about what beer to make next and we decided to look up to see if anyone had a decent […]
Gardening has been something that we have loved to do ever since Eryn and I moved to our current home. We have a great vegetable garden that we grow during the summer, flowers during the spring and a collection of roses that border our back fence. Since we started brewing we have talked about the possibility of growing hops as well but we were always concerned about space and unsure how we could trellis them. A few weeks ago during a stop at our local homebrew supply we noticed a sign for their hop rhizome sale. On impulse we ordered two rhizomes and just decided we would figure it out when we got them.
Last weekend Eryn, bill, and I all made the trek up to Arcata to pour some of our beer at this great event I discovered called the Humboldt Homebrew Festival. I had come across it the year before but not early enough to get any beers together to pour so this year when I saw it come around on the competition schedule we made a point of getting registered and getting some beer together. And now I am so thankful we did.
One of the gifts that I received for Christmas this year was the book Start Something That Matters. The book is an autobiography of Blake Mycoskie, the entrepreneur that started Toms shoes. It is essentially his story about starting Toms shoes, the inspiration, the community need and the new way he has decided to do business.
When we first started brewing it was single gallon batches and a Mr. Beer kit. We instantly fell in love with it but were quickly outgrowing our capacity. To remedy that we purchased a turkey fryer as a kettle and a cooler to mash in. We jumped up to 5 gallon all grain batches and had a great time, but we still felt like there was a piece missing.
It’s been two years now since the brewing bug bit us and it hasn’t let go. This year we doubled down and got even more serious about our brewing, coming up with new recipes, new hardware, and some great parties. We’ve made lots of new friends, rekindled old friendships, and celebrated with our friends and family. We had six tap parties and lots of folks come to taste through our creations. We love everything about it and can’t wait to see what this new year holds but before we get going here’s the breakdown on the last year.