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:
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!
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
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