Catching up – Porter, Pompey, and W00tstout

I didn’t have much time to homebrew over the summer, thanks to a very busy work and travel schedule, but now that Autumn is in full swing, and the end of the year has brought with it the usual slowdown in my industry, I’ve had time to set up and brew three different beers in the last few weeks.

First up, I did the St. Paul Porter from Northern Brewer (in fact, all of these kits came from Northern Brewer, because I work with them to do some of my own things). This was an extract kit with specialty grains, and I did a liveblog of it on Twitter during brew day. Here are some highlights:

It was a fun brewing session for me, and I enjoyed sharing the steps along the way with people who follow DevilsGateBrew on Twitter (it’s much lighter than my main account, so I can actually interact with people who have questions). In fact, I had such a good time with it, I hatched an idea to do a livestream video of a brew day, explaining all the steps as I do them, and taking questions during the long stretches of waiting for something to happen in the kettle. As a proof of concept for that video (and potential series) I shot a couple things and posted them to G+ when I made Northern’s Plinian Legacy kit, which I call Pompey The Great.

I can’t embed them, because why in the world would Google want to make it easy to embed things that might drive people to G+? So here are links to

The sun went down in a hurry, so it was too dark to film the last part, but after I pitched the yeast (2x 1056), it was bubbling like crazy within two hours. It’s a good thing I used a blowoff, because not only did it overflow the mason jar I was using, but it nearly filled up the little bowl I put the jar in, just to be safe. That beer will be racked to secondary next Sunday, and dry-hopped twice before it gets kegged. According to my brewing calendar, it should be ready to drink around January 16.

Yesterday, I finally had time to use all of my shiny, fancy, new equipment to make the all grain #w00tstout kit that we started selling at Northern Brewer a couple months ago. This is a huge beer, with a target OG of 1.108, 21 pounds of grain, a two and a half hour mash, and a ninety minute boil. I tweeted it, and here are some highlights:

I know it’s called a carboy, by the way. I was just being silly. It was tremendously relaxing to spend literally an entire day — from about 1030am until nearly 6pm — just taking my time to make this beer. I made a couple of small mistakes, most notably not collecting enough wort. I got about 6.5 gallons, which is usually enough for a typical 60-minute boil, but with this being a 90 minute boil, I really should have collected closer to 8 gallons. I ended up with about 4.5 gallons when I was finished boiling, and undershot my OG, ending at 1.106. It’s not the biggest deal in the world, but I’m always learning while I brew, and next time I do this kit, I’ll make sure to get more wort. (I also ended up letting the mash tun run extra runnings into a separate kettle, and got about 4 gallons of 1.030 wort, which I was going to use to make a partigyle stout today, but it’s raining. I have it refrigerated, so I’ll try to turn it into beer before the end of the day tomorrow, just for kicks, and make a 1 gallon experimental batch).

As I type this, the #w00tstout is fermenting a few feet away from me. It’s making happy, tiny bubbles in the blowoff’s Mason jar, but it isn’t filling my room with the magnificent smell of hops like the Pompey did (unsurprisingly). The recipe instructions say that it will be ready in about 3 months.

So that catches me up on my latest brewing adventures. Coming up soon, I’m going to post pictures and descriptions of my equipment, brew the extract version of #w00tstout, share a new brewer’s holiday gift guide, and maybe have a new homebrewing webseries to announce. Thanks for reading, and happy homebrewing!

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