Family Time

The family that brews together…

No matter how you cut it, making beer takes time. There’s the recipe formulation, brew day preparation, brewing, clean-up, fermentation, and bottling/kegging – all before you get to the drinking part. I remember the days when I could take a full day and brew up two batches, which usually involved inviting a couple of buddies over, smoking some bbq, and throwing back a few beers. With two small kids, brewing a batch of beer these days usually requires scheduling in advance. Sometimes I like to throw caution to the wind, grab some malt extract and let the 4 year old brewmaster go to town.

Here in the Worts, we’re all about family inclusion, so what follows is a guide to brewing for 4 year olds…

  1. Get all your ingredients together.
  2. Fill pots with the proper amount of water.
  3. Have a parent help you put the pots on the stove and heat up the water.
  4. Taste grain and put in grain bag to add to pot.
  5. Remove grain bag and have parent help to get water boiling.
    Grain Bag
  6. Add 60 minute hops to boiling pot.
  7. Have a 45 minute dance party.
    Dance Party
  8. Add malt extract with 15 minutes left and add some hops. Of course you can lick the inside of the container!
    Malt Extract
  9. Add more hops…and more hops…and more hops.
    More Hops
  10. Chill wort – make sure to get a good whirlpool going.
  11. Put chilled wort into fermentor and add yeast.
  12. You’re all done, now go take a nap!

And remember, a 4 year olds batch of homebrew is better than that batch you never brewed…

Decoction Mashing

Contributed by Mark Keck.

With the Master’s Championship of Amateur Brewing calendar year 2014 championship coming up, I had to re-brew a lager that I competed with in the Fall of 2014 that qualified for entry into the competition. The original beer was a Munich Dunkel that I brewed in August 2014 for which I conducted a double decoction mash. Due to the club’s recent desire to have more educational resources available, I decided to record my brew day via photo and post my process here. I would first like to say that I used Kai’s decoction mashing tutorial and his video on YouTube, and read Greg Noonan’s “New Brewing Lager Beer” as my resources to teach myself this process, and I would definitely suggest looking those up to get more/better information than what you’ll get from this single post.
Continue reading Decoction Mashing

BJCP Study Group: Mini-competition #4

The fourth mini-competition of the 2014-2015 season of BJCP study group will be held March 12, 2015. The competition will tentatively cover Category 3 (European Amber Lager), Category 5 (Bock), Category 6 (Light Hybrid Beer), Category 15 (German Wheat and Rye Beer), and Category 18 (Belgian Strong Ale). If you are interested in competing, please contact Mark Keck. Entry is free (but limited to members of the club or BJCP study group). Entries must be received no later than Tuesday, March 10, 2015.

Clone Brew Competitions

2016 vs Brew Free or Die: Smuttynose – Baltic Porter

  • Individual Winner – Ramsay Hoguet, Club Winner – Worts (30.0 vs 29.2)

2015 vs Brew Free or Die: Sierra Nevada – Celebration Ale

  • Individual Winner – Kyle Fidalgo, Club Winner – BFD (29.9 vs 29.4)

2014: Cambridge Brewing Company – Audacity of Hops :

  • Winner – Alex Dusenbury

2013: Maine Beer Company – King Titus :

  • Winner – Ramsay Hoguet

2012: Allagash – Black :

  • Winner – Mark Keck

Belgian Blond Yeast Experiment

To help learn how different yeast can change a beer, brewers all made the same Belgian Blond but each chose a different yeast to ferment with.
Blond (5G)
1.065 OG, 25 IBUs
8# Pils
1# Munich (10L)
1# White Wheat
1# Sucrose (@KO)
1.5oz Hallertau @60
1L stir plate starter of yeast (or equivalent)
mash @151F

Wy3787 –
Wy3739 –
WLP585 –
Wy3538 –
WLP570 –
WLP380 –
WLP550 –
Wy3944 –
Wy3724 –