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I love hard cider.  Check that I love homebrewed hard cider.  I’ve made close to a hundred gallons of it the past 2-3 years.  For the majority of them ive used store bought juice.  Today I’m doing a side by side of juice and fresh pressed cider (thanks mike schlachter).  Both batches are 5gals, same yeast, same fermenters.  Original gravity on the two differed slightly, 1050 for the juice and 1046 for the cider.  Cider had a distinct apple peel taste while the juice was cleaner and sweeter.  The four points difference really showed.  Yeast pitched was second generation of a blend of white labs cal ale V and wyeat 1056.  Both 8gal fermenters got a quart of slurry pitched at 66°.  At the least its going to be a tasty experiment.   Tune in in a few weeks for the results. 

We’re having a cold spell where I live in pa and my basement is holding a temp of about 50 degrees.   To some that might mean long johns or another log in the fireplace,  but to us brewers it means lager time.  A cool unfinished basement is a brewers friend no matter the season,  in the summer mine rarely gets above 66.  In the winter months 50 is the norm.  I like dark beers so I’m doing a cycle of dark lagers this year.  Schwarzbier,  doppelbock, and baltic porter.   First up a schwarzbier inspired by jamils recipe.

Based on 75% efficiency

6lbs munich

3lbs pilsner

1lb victory

8 oz crystal 40

8 oz chocolate malt

4 oz roasted barley

4oz black patent

20 grams of 10% magnum for 90 mins to equal 30 ibu

Og should be around 1.050-2

Cooled to 50 degrees in fridge and pitched saflager 23

Fermented for 17 days inthe low 50s 4 day diacytl rest gradual to 68.


The nhl’s lockout mercifully ended sunday morning so I decided to have a beverage to celebrate.   I’ve been saving a Samiclaus dopplebock for a special occasion,  and what better one than that?

Where to start with this one?   Well it’s a 14% lager,  nose is raisins, caramel,  and booze I couldn’t detect any hop aroma.  Color probably falls around 20 srm,  dark amber not quite red.  This beer tastes like caramel covered raisins,  faint vanilla and again no hops. For a 14 % beer its pretty easy drinking, II’ve had the Samiclaus helles and didn’t enjoy it half as much as this dopple (triple? ) bock.

Oh, I also quaffed a bottle of Lagunitas brown Shugga for good measure.

In this blog I plan to discuss brewing and drinking beer.  I love beer.  I love brewing beer, then drinking said beer.  I hope you enjoy reading about beer and all the other crazy shit that pours/spews from my fingers.Image