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I bottled my first beer of the season tonight, though I’m not sure what it is. It was an experiment to test the beer-in-a-bag process as seen in this post on The Brewing Network forums. The process worked great, but I didn’t bother putting together a recipe and just threw hops in all willy nilly. That was kind of dumb.

The final product is seven bottles of what I’m going to call a blonde ale. It dropped from 1.043 to 1.010, which gives it about 4.3% ABV. The hydrometer sample was a little more bitter than I had wanted (probably due to my low original gravity), but I’ll just let it sit and mellow out for a while before I make a final judgment. And I saved the yeast cake so I can make some more beer this weekend without running out on Friday to buy and overpriced vial of White Labs from the local shop. This time I’ll throw a recipe together beforehand, though.

The real point of this post, and most of my posts really, is to say that if you think you a) can’t brew beer or b) can’t brew all-grain beer, you’re wrong. It’s easy and you can do it in your kitchen in not much time and without that much space. So get to it.

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A symbol of man’s hubris

I’ve been gone for a little while, but I’m back now.  I had some business trips and then I was sick and then I had to travel again.  But now that I’m back I have some funny stories for you all (both of you reading this).  Well, not so much funny as depressing.  See I’ve had some beer related failures lately and since I’m an honest guy I’m gonna tell you all about them.

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Let’s stop talking about our (my) problems for a minute and talk about something cool – like gadgets. Now I’ll be the first to admit that I have a problem when it comes to gadgets and tinkering. It could be that I’m an engineer and that’s just the way we work, but I think it’s deeper than that; I think it’s genetic. My grandfather on my mother’s side was a TV repairman back when there were actual vacuum tubes in those things (TV’s not grandfathers). And my father is always building, repairing or modifying something in his house – currently he’s bugging me to get some infrared emitting diodes so he can make a bunch of battery-powered Wii sensor bars…for real. It only makes sense that I’m a tinkerer – and infuse all my hobbies with that tendency. I put together mash tuns from Igloo coolers and made a little wort chiller from some cheap copper tubing from the hardware store. So what would be next? Behold!

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You are a blinding brilliant light from heaven.

Now I may be biased, but that has got to be, without hyperbole, the coolest damn thing mankind has ever and will ever know.

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Some updates on what’s brewing and what’s doing including, but not limited to:

Not-So-Old Ale Bottling!
Experimental Speed Ale Goes Into Secondary!
New Nano-Starter Experiments!
And I Co-Host Trivia Night At A Local Bar!

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A little over two weeks ago I brewed a 2 1/2 gallon batch of brown ale with my brother-in-law. It fermented quickly and looked great so tonight I took a gravity reading.

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Success!

If you can’t see that clearly enough, it reads 1.010. That may not mean much to you, but it was the final gravity I was shooting for. Which means two things-(a) the beer fermented just like I wanted and (b) it’s ready to bottle. And bottle it I did.
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There is a man in Jersey City who really loves beer. This is his story.