Thursday, April 29, 2010

Repurposed, Recycled, Reused...

Improvised technology is an amazing niche of activity that has, of late, begun to receive much more of the attention it deserves. Consisting of re-using, recycling, and repurposing old items and materials for new purposes, we in the "first world" have seriously missed the boat. Luckily, it's not too late to learn a little something.

When I decided to begin building the Brass Monkey-my garage bar and brewery-I must admit that one of the main points of interest for me was that I would be forced into a creative use of materials that I already own, could scavenge, or could buy at the local swap meet (more on that land of wonders later). Improvised tech is not always pretty, or elegant, but it is creative. Check out some great examples on this site:

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Easiest Hefeweizen in the World

Dang, I love simplicity. This is the easiest recipe I've ever used, and it's the best hefeweizen I've ever tasted. It can truly be called a close clone for Franziskaner or Paulaner. Hefeweizen, for those of you who are not beer geeks, is a type of ale made from a mix of malted barley and wheat. It's naturally hazy due to the wheat and the special strain of yeast used. Originating in Bavaria, it's been around for hundreds of years because it rocks.

I've brewed hef many times, and it's been good, don't get me wrong. But this is just too good and too easy not to share. The main ingredient is Thomas Coopers Brewmaster Selection Wheat Beer Hopped Malt Concentrate, 3.75-Pound Can

To prepare, simply dissolve the Briess Wheat Dry Malt Extract 3lbs
in a gallon of boiling water, then add the wheat beer kit and stir until well mixed. Top up to 5.5 gallons with cold water and pitch a nice starter of White Labs 300 - Hefeweizen yeast. Make no mistake, the yeast is the clincher. If you use something else you'll get something else. Word. If you use this yeast you'll get a fruity, bready, delicious Bavarian-style Hef.

P.S. If you are a homebrewer whose self-esteem is based on making beer absolutely from scratch, this recipes not for you. It utilizes a beer kit and you'll be ready to pitch the yeast in about 10 minutes. If you're a homebrewer who wants to drink tasty hefeweizen and don't give a freak what people think, come give me a high-five. Then make this beer.

Ent Draught

I first brewed this pale ale about a year ago, formulating the recipe based on some IPA recipes I had seen around the internets. Something about the combination of hops and ratios of grains scored a hit, and now I'm brewing it for the fourth time. The ale pours very light in color, with a slight biscuity-sweet malt flavor providing the background for a powerful punch of resiny, floral hop flavor and aroma.
Named after the powerful draught that Treebeard has brewed in the depths of the forest from the waters of the mountain springs on Methedras, you can sip this and see if you grow any taller!

Ent Draught - 5 gallons

10# British Pale Malt

1/2# Crystal 10L

1# Munich Malt

1/2# Wheat Malt

.5 oz Columbus (14.2%) for 40 min

.5 oz Centennial (9.9%) for 10 min

.5 oz Columbus (14.2%) for 10 min

1 oz Centennial (9.9%) for 1 min

.5 oz Columbus (14.2%) for 1 min

dry hop 7 days in a secondary with .5 oz Centennial and .5 oz Columbus

Safale S-05 dry yeast

OG: 1.060
FG: 1.012
SRM: 7
IBU: 41

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Brass Monkey

The Brass Monkey Brewpub is my own home bar, being built in my garage and serving my homebrewed ale and homemade cider. Having homebrewed for over four years, I started the project of building a little bar when my wife gave me a personalized bar sign and suggested I make a little bar space.

I've always had an interest in repurposing/recycling materials and items, as well as improvised building, so this was the perfect opportunity! The blog will record some of the projects that go into making the bar functional and fun.

Also, if the idea of homebrewing is new to you, I'll be posting some simple how-to's and links to great informational sites. I'll also be posting my latest recipes and showing how easy and inexpensive homebrewing can be.

Welcome! Thanks for looking!