Last October I wanted to try a new beer style I hadn’t attempted before, and one that was at a higher difficulty level than most of the ales I’ve done before – I brewed a scotch ale.  The brew day requires a longer boil to help develop the flavors from carmelization, but otherwise is pretty much the same.  The tricky part comes with fermentation.  Using WYEAST 1728 Scottish Ale (2 smack packs to make sure the yeast had a good start), I had my apartment’s ambient temperature set to 61 degrees F.  The colder temperatures are desired with a scotch ale to help more slowly develop the refined flavors that are desirable in this type of beer, where higher temps can produce too many esters which impart undesirable fruity & overly sweet characters to the beer.

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All grain home brewers looking to increase efficiency and save time and effort on brew day are in for a treat.  The STC-1000 temperature controller that many of you may have used for the keezer project I posted in the past can now also be used for controlling temperatures through step mashes when using a HERMS or RIMS type system, and at a low cost, which we all love!  Thanks to reverse engineering and a programmer who put together some open source coding, modifying the STC-1000 to automate your brew day is within reach.  However, this project is not for the faint of heart, and requires a solid knowledge of hardware & electronics.  If you’re up for it, here are the related links to check it out:

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I-90 Cross Country Brewery Tour

by Daniel on July 3, 2013

It has been a while since I last posted, and I think I owe an explanation!  I’ve been working hard studying for my board exam and completing my residency training.  It’s been grueling the last few months, and now I’m finally finished.  Now that I’m done (as of June 30th), I have packed up all of my belongings and am driving back from Rochester, NY all the way to Seattle, WA to start my new job.  Along the way, I’m taking this unique opportunity to visit some breweries along the way, and I look forward to providing you a full report!  My list is a bit short due to the fact that I have limited time to get across the country, and driving too far out of the way or attempting multiple stops to hit more than one brewery would just make for ridiculously long days.  This is especially true because I’m maneuvering a 30ft diesel truck with another 12ft car trailer behind it, making for a pretty big rig.

So far I’ve made it to Minnesota, and I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Three Floyds Brewing in Munster, IN, and New Glarus Brewing in New Glarus, WI.  Both were amazing in their own way, but I’ll have to wait until I get some more time and internet access to do some posts.  I was hoping to make it to Town Hall Brewery and Surly Brewing in Minneapolis, but it may not be in the cards, as some breweries (including Town Hall) are closed July 4th, and that’s my window.  I’m also hoping to make it to Big Sky Brewing in Montana.  We’ll see what happens!


Cigar City Brewery Review

by Daniel on November 23, 2012

If you happen to travel anywhere near Tampa, Florida, I suggest you stop by Cigar City Brewing.  I flew in to Tampa for a wedding and stopped at the brewery both upon my arrival, and then again just before my departure.  It was that good!  They’ve got a 15 barrel system and mostly focus on distribution in Florida state, making their beer tough to find and certainly sought-after.  Fortunately, they’re located conveniently close to the Tampa airport, so you don’t have to go out of your way if you happen to visit.  I’ll give you a rundown of the beers I tasted and share with you why I was slightly disappointed when I went to bring some home.

cigar city tasting review

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Fairport Brewing Company Open for Business

by Daniel on October 17, 2012

October 16th marked the celebration of Fairport Brewing Company receiving their liquor license.  I stopped by and got a taste of their beers and ended up sticking around for quite a while to enjoy great company and watch them brew a batch.  Fairport Brewing is located at 1000 Turk Hill Rd (#298 of Turk Hill Park), Fairport, NY 14450, on the second floor of a building that’s been divided up into a number of businesses.  It may be a little bit off the beaten path, but it’s worth the visit.  So let me introduce you to the brewery and their current beers!

read my review of their beers


Best Pumpkin Beers – Blind Taste Test

September 29, 2012

This time of year is extremely popular for pumpkin beers, and every year there seem to be more and more breweries releasing their unique contribution.  Some nail it while others may miss the mark, depending on your taste.  My friends got together and collected all of the pumpkin beers we could find to make our […]

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Ebenezer’s Restaurant & Pub Review

August 21, 2012

I had the opportunity to visit Ebenezer’s Restaurant and Pub in Lovell, Maine at the end of August.  It has been voted by Beer Advocate as the “Best Beer Bar in the World” five years in a row, and therefore was a must-visit for me even though it did involve a considerable amount of driving […]

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Belgium Comes To Cooperstown – Brewery Ommegang’s beer festival review

August 8, 2012

I spent this past weekend at one of the most epic beer festivals that occurs each year in the U.S., and it’s one that has its prime focus on Belgian style beers. Belgium Comes To Cooperstown, or “BCTC” for short, is a full blown weekend marathon hosted at Brewery Ommegang that has grown immensely in […]

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Mystery of a seemingly over carbonated keg

July 15, 2012

I kegged my most recent beer a few weeks ago and was excited to try it after giving it about 5 days to carbonate.  To my dismay, when I went to pour the first glass it looked a lot like the photo on the right: all foam.  The first thing that came to my mind […]

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All grain brew no. 2 – russian imperial stout & porter (2-in-1 batch)

July 2, 2012

The most recent batch of beer I brewed was ambitious, which also made it a great learning experience for me when I ran into trouble.  As my goal has been to share my mistakes & successes along the way, I think this is the perfect experience to walk you through step by step so you […]

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