Cherry Melomel … sort of

I had some old left over honey from a group brew of medium sweet mead several years ago.  It had crystallized and darkened somewhat, but still had a very pleasant smell and flavor.
I was bored and wondering what I could do to use the honey so I can give the giant honey containers that I have to my father to fill with fresh honey from his hives.
I kicked around some ideas and just decided to wing it with a kitchen sink of stuff and hope for the best.
I went to the grocery store and shopped around for some concentrate or juice that had no preservatives, was not too expensive, and sounded good in a mead/wine as I had some wine yeast left over from my Perry. Continue reading “Cherry Melomel … sort of”

Big Benny's DryPA – single hop (Centennial) IPA

I brewed again this weekend trying to build up my stock after the three year hiatus. I started with the Dead Ringer IPA recipe from Northern Brewer, but went a bit higher on malt color and extract amount. The name is from the single hop that I used with a bit of a stretch (Centennial = 100, Benjamin Franklin on $100) and I’m dry hopping as well as using a well attenuating yeast (Safale US-05), of which I pitched two packets.
I’m fermenting in a 7.5gal carboy and will rack after a week into a 5gal carboy for a two or three week secondary before bottling. Continue reading “Big Benny's DryPA – single hop (Centennial) IPA”

Rebrewing … getting back into the hobby

You may have read my post regarding a Perry and read that I’m going to start brewing again. Here’s the long story and my next steps.
Due to my wife’s job(s), we have had to relocate three times in three years.  We were living in Blacksburg, VA for 4 years.  I had an awesome brewing setup.  I had an entire basic kitchen in my basement along with a double miller sink (stove, fridge, kitchen sink, cabinets, drawers, and the double miller sink) as well as a great cellar for fermenting and even lagering in the winter months. When we had to pack up and move to Raleigh, NC all the brewing gear got shoved in a shed or closet where we lived.
Since I know that was a short term arrangement, I never got around to brewing. Likewise a year later when we moved to Ithaca, NY; where we only lived for 10 months. Continue reading “Rebrewing … getting back into the hobby”

What to do with all these pears … Make a Perry (and some preserves)!

We have a pear tree. No idea what variety, but they are hard pears and were turning yellow and rotting in the center so we decided they were ripe enough to harvest. We ended up with about 35 lbs. of pears. I did some searching online and I think we have Green Anjou, but we can’t really be certain.
My wife, Stacie, picked the really nice looking ones and is packing them in saw dust to soften so she can eat them (pears are her favorite fruit). I took the middle of the crop and made pear preserves with a very light syrup. This was challenging as there were lots of bad spots that were found once I pealed the pears so some of the medium sized pears were the size of walnut halves once peeled, cored, and the bad spots cut off.
I took the remainder of the pears and made a pear wine, which even though it’s technically not a Perry, (which is either a pear mead or a sparkling pear fermented pear juice and mine (recipe below) has a lot of added water and table sugar), I’m going to call it that as it has a nice ring to it. Continue reading “What to do with all these pears … Make a Perry (and some preserves)!”

Brewmaster Sid

Boiling Wort
Boiling Wort

Not a whole hell of a lot going on.  I have been playing with the wiki a lot.  I’ve enabled some fun extensions and have been importing data from other wikis to use as a base for some of my extension development testing.  I’ve also procured a couple of domains and have entered into a hosting arrangement to host some of the things I’ve been working on so that they aren’t running on my home server.  A big thanks to those that have assisted, and please feel free to continue to play around with the BoswellWiki.
I brewed a batch of beer over the weekend.  I was making a Sierra Nevada Stout clone, that I call Polemonium Stout.  It was the first batch in several months, and it showed.  My temps got high to begin with, dropped too low when I was trying to compensate which I couldn’t correct for as I hadn’t thought far enough ahead (nor remembered from previous similar situations) to have boiling water sitting on my extra (homebrew) stove.  By the end of the brew day, I drank a few beers with Courtney, who came over to watch, and I think the beer will be a success.  It might not have the exact malt profile I was shooting for (as the temps got too low, it may be more fermentable than designed).  It is bubbling away now and smells great.  Brewing beer is all about ditching the stress and making beer.  Papazian couldn’t have coined a better phrase when he said, “Relax, Don’t Worry, Have a Homebrew.”