Monday, November 21, 2016

Blanket + Bucket Brew-in-a-Bag (BIAB)

One of the easiest ways to transition into all grain brewing is to use the Brew in a Bag method. When I moved and lost my larger brewing equipment, I had run into the problem where my new small brew kettles could not hold all the grain required for a standard 5 gallon batch.

So I have devised a system where I can mash my grains in a 5 gallon bucket instead of using a kettle on a stove top. Essentially, if I can make a lauter tun out of plastic buckets, then I can mash in one too. Here are the items required:

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Coffee Roasting Log #1

Today's varietals to roast
For the first round of coffee roasting, I opted to try roasting the beans on a frying pan. The system I ended up rigging up consisted of a cast iron pan on the grate of the BBQ grill in my backyard.

Coffee roasting supplies

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Coffee Roasting -- The New Frontier

One of my professors from school was starting to teach a class on roasting coffee as I was preparing to graduate. One day, he gave a demonstration of how the class was to be taught, along with the activities to be performed. The purpose of the class was to apply engineering principles to the art of coffee roasting (flavor, energy consumption, cost of raw materials, etc). But it expanded beyond standard book work; there was a lab where you would get to physically roast coffee. I found that part of it fascinating, and hoped to do my own roasting in the future.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Hand Cranked Foundry Blower

I'd mentioned before that I wanted to try melting metal with a wood fire and manual powered air blower. I liked the idea since it sounded simpler than my oil burner regime and didn't require electricity.
I finally got an opportunity to try this when I received a blower for free at a garage sale. Apparently the previous owners had their house heater replaced, and the workers didn't want to throw out a perfectly good blower.
At first, I had the impression that the original housing would be to flimsy to bolt the required hardware to, so I decided to build a new one.
a free air blower from house heater

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Fender Repair 4

When we last left off, the top bracket had broken (again) and one of the stays snapped off. Also, there was a large crack forming in the middle. When in doubt, just add more metal! Actually, if I were using the bike for its intended purpose, this never would've happened. Most of the front fender damage was a result of improper use (attempting to put a bicycle inside a car). Note to self: never put a vehicle inside a vehicle.
home made fender

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Graff Bottling

The head on the carbonated product was much more profound.
Two weeks of fermenting the graff, and it was ready to bottle. This brew finished up at 1.000, giving it an ABV of 8%.