Sunday, June 29, 2008
pale ales and kegs ohhh joyous day
Wow, its been awhile since I actually wrote a substantive post. Things get busy sometimes and you just forget to keep your blog up to date. What's a guy to do? Brew!
So my birthday was earlier in the month and my beautiful wife gave me the best gift a guy could ask for ... permission to fill our already crowded condo with more beer equipment. Primarily she said she was down with me kegging beer. Well a couple of weeks of research resulted in my decision to get a chest freezer to convert to a kegerator. The benefits of a chest freezer are that they hold a substantial number of corny kegs (I hope to have four kegs on tap, eventually) and that with a simple override apparatus you can manipulate the temperature quite easily. Your standard refrigerator is somewhat more difficult to manipulate and it would look somewhat ridiculous if we had two refrigertors in our 10 x 10 kitchen.
So far I have accumulated all of the gear that one would need to keg beer: a pair of corny kegs, a dual co2 regulator, a co2 tank, hoses and fittings, the chest freezer, and the temperature override. One thing that I haven't done yet is to fill the co2 tank with co2. My understanding is that "Bars by Bud" down Lee Highway fills co2 tanks. Additionally, for the time being I will be dispensing beer out of the standard picnic nozzle rather than a nice perlick or ventamatic faucet. Oh well, it wouldn't be any fun if I had everything I wanted right away.
So you've heard about the hardware, but what about the software? The main reason I am not currently serving draft beer is that I don't have any finished beer. What's a guy to do? Brew!
Two weeks ago a brewed up a 5 gallon batch of belgian pale ale that is currently fermenting away. I decided to make an approachable (approx 6%) pale that used honey as 1/3 of the total fermentables. Because honey ferments more completely than most sugars this should result in a light bodied pale that is being fermented with a golden belgian ale yeast strain. Oh yeah as usual I was generous with the American hops.
Today I decided to brew another pale ale. This one though was inspired by a recent business trip to the State of Michigan. While traveling to northern Michigan I stopped at Right Brain Brewing Company in Traverse City. Wow, talk about an awesome place. The pub had about 8 - 9 beers on draft and two other beers on cask. Despite trying many different beers while I was there, one in particular was overwelmingly memorable. It was called little italy honey basil pale ale. Now basil is not something you usually thing of when talking beer, but I've got to say it was magnificent. So today I brewed up what I hope will emulate that spectacular pale ale.
Hopefully in a couple of weeks I will be reporting to you that both of these pale ales are on tap a la casa Holzman. Stop by if you get the chance and pour yourself up a pint (seriously!). Ultimately I think I will colar the freezer and add tap faucets, similar to the following link:
See you aroud Charlie Brown,