Monday, March 30, 2015

Rye Stout update

After 4 long weeks of fermenting and bottle conditioning, the Rye Stout was ready to drink.
Mexican coke bottle homebrew
Those Mexican coke bottles make novelty homebrew bottles!
I got a total of 16 bottles from that batch, averaging the cost per bottle to about $1.10 each (with no regard to labor of course). I should also mention that the head turned out fantastic. 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Rye Stout Brew Day -- How to use a 5 gallon bucket as a mash tun

Uh oh, it's time for more homebrewing shenanigans!

I decided I wanted to get 2 gallons of beer out of my kettle to save me some time in the long run (plus more beer). What I did not anticipate though is that the recipe I had crafted would require a kettle with more volume to do a successful BIAB mash (6lbs of grain + 2.5 gallons of water + 3 gallon kettle = potential disaster). Frantically, I went out to my favorite Arkansas-based big box store to see if I could get a slightly bigger kettle (read as 1 gallon larger), but they had run out of them (damn capitalists!).
Grains of the field
A multicolored satchel of the specialty malts

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Container Garden Expansion 2015

"It no longer feels like it's still winter in CA. That groundhog was completely wrong this year."

I was shopping around OSH last night to get some new paint strainer bags for my next batch of beer, when I got distracted by all the cool new things in the garden section. I ended up leaving the store with a lot more than just paint strainer bags.
Container garden setup 1
Testing the layout to see how it will all fit together

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Beginning of the End of Winter

I hear of rain coming to Norcal, but it appears that it fell on Southern California instead this week. We've been blessed with a long week of temperatures reaching toward 70°F. Likewise, the plants I currently have are taking off or coming back to life. Here's what's in the garden at the moment.

Mint Plant

New to the garden is a mint plant. I plan on using this plant to make some tea and soap in the near future. Notice how I've planted it in a container to prevent the roots from spreading all over the yard. It would be near impossible to remove if that occurred.