Back in October, really more so back in August of 2010 I, Matuz, signed up for a group called STLMalts. It is ran by a guy named Kent Robertson, and if you live in the St. Louis, St. Charles, Jefferson County areas, I recommend signing up and getting your malts from him for some of the LOWEST prices you will ever see. Going through Kent, we bought several sacks of grains and a grain mill. This has lowered our cost per beer significantly, and we will no longer have to pay the price of shipping which can sometimes be 20% of the cost of the batch! Since using these grains and crushing them ourselves on the day of the brewing, we have noticed an increase in hitting our O.G. measurements. We have always been within range, but 3 batches in a row were right on the dot! We are pretty excited about that. Next step: Yeast Culturing...which brings me to my next update.
A BEER FRIDGE! Craigslist is great. I bought this fridge for $50 from a fellow brewer. He told me the freezer part did not freeze, I thought that was great, it would just stay cool and I could store yeast cultures in there. I was wrong...but in good way. The freezer part did work, so I can't complain about something that is working, right? So far we have this fridge, two college fridges, and a deep freeze(temp controlled) holding beer...oh and a kegerator with two kegs. AND we STILL have beer that can't fit...why so much? Well that brings me to my next update.
|I swear the two Bud Selects in the pic are not for me|
...but the Coke Zeros are!
We recently updated our brewing schedule to increase the efficiency of hitting our wanted taste,smells, and gravities by brewing only during the late fall, winter(mainly), and early spring. We found that those seasons allowed for much more stable and desirable temperatures in our "Brew Haus" in the basement of Irish Rover. The temp controlled freezer helps out a lot, but that is mainly for lagering(lower temps than can be reached naturally), and conditioning. We have discovered two things by planning our brews this way.
- Better brews.
- Allows time for more family/friend activities since we are brewing much more in less weekends. Our summer is completely open! Along with most of fall, and most of spring was, too!
Finally, on my end, I will end with a little bit about what I have done recently at my new residence. I just moved into my new house with my beautiful wife, and we have planted two hop rhizomes(Nugget and Sterling), and 6 semi-erect thornless blackberry plants. The hops are doing great, and if we can get rid of this rainy weather they will take off even more. Right now they are between 5-6 feet tall. The blackberries may give us some fruit this year, but definitely more next year after they have taken hold. Enjoy the photos and stick around for more updates about Antonio on Wine, Der Brauer on his grain and grape endeavours in Hermann, and Irish Rover winning Crown Valley Brewery and Distillery Porter category.
|Hastily prepared blackberry site. Basically put them in and|
covered in mulch...
|My wife helping me put the stone border around.|
|My dog, Scully, checking to make sure the stones are in the|
|View from the road.|
|So far so good! Bring on the sunlight!|