Monday, August 9, 2010

Brewers Best Red Ale - June 26, 2010

This was an exciting day for me, making my first beer. Things went fairly well, could have beer better, could have been worse.

I started the day by sanitizing everything, and I mean everything, buckets spoons, counter tops, plus I banished the kids from the kitchen.

The recipe contains some steeping grains, which have to be steeped at 160 degrees. I put 2.5 gallons of water in my pot and turned the stove on, and waited, and waited. Finally 160 degrees, in go the grains. I should have noticed at this point that a stove wasnt going to cut it, but I didnt.

Once the steeping is done you need to bring the wort to a boil before adding the hops. It was taking forever, I finally got out another pot and poured half the wort into each one, I was finally able to get both to boil and returned all the wort to my bigger pot. I added the hops on schedule, and was able to keep a small boil going.

I was going to add irish moss to this at the 15 min to go mark, but forgot to until about 8 minutes left.

I cooled it in an ice bath in the kitchen sink, in about 20 minutes and added cold distiled water to bring the temp down the rest of the way.

I the packet of nottingham yeast that came with the kit and closed the bucket up, put the airlock in, put it down in the basement for a couple of weeks.

Starting Gravity: 1.042- It was supposed to be higher, but I think I added to much water.

Primary: 12 days

Secondary: 7 days - with gelatin

Bottled On: 7-18-2010

How was it? Considering the problems I had in the process and not knowing what I was doing, it turned out really well. Ive been really enjoying it, and its just a good as any red ales I currently buy.


First Brew - Apfelwein - June 25, 2010

I wanted to have a beer be my first brew, but this sounded so good and was really easy, so I snuck it in the day before my first beer brewing.

I copied this from a thread on

Award Winning Apfelwein Recipe (German Hard Cider) Apple Wine Recipe
Placed 1st in the Cider & Apple Wine category at the BJCP sanctioned Alamo Cerveza fest (out of 11 entries) and took 2nd place for Best of Show for the main category of Meads & Ciders (out of 50 entries).


5 Gallons 100% Apple Juice (No preservatives or additives) I use Tree Top Apple Juice
2 pounds of dextrose (corn sugar) in one pound bags
1 five gram packet of Montrachet Wine Yeast


5 Gallon Carboy (I use a Better Bottle)
Carboy Cap or Stopper with Airlock
First sanitize the carboy, airlock, funnel, stopper or carboy cap.
Open one gallon bottle of apple juice and pour half of it into the carboy using the funnel.
Open one bag of Dextrose and carefully add it to the now half full bottle of apple juice. Shake well.
Repeat Steps 2 and 3, then go to step 5.
Pour in the mixture of Apple Juice and Dextrose from both bottles into the carboy.
Add all but 1 quart of remaining 3 gallons of apple juice to the carboy.
Open the packet of Montrachet Yeast and pour it into the neck of the funnel.
Use the remaining quart of juice to wash down any yeast that sticks. I am able to fit all but 3 ounces of apple juice into a 5 gallon Better Bottle. You may need to be patient to let the foam die down from all shaking and pouring.
Put your stopper or carboy cap on with an airlock and fill the airlock with cheap vodka. No bacteria will live in vodka and if you get suckback, you just boosted the abv.
There’s no need to worry about filling up a carboy so full when you use Montrachet wine yeast. There is no Kreuzen, just a thin layer of bubbles (). I'm able to fit all but 4 oz. of my five gallons in the bottle. Ferment at room temperature.

It will become cloudy in a couple of days and remain so for a few weeks. In the 4th week, the yeast will begin to drop out and it will become clear. After at least 4 weeks, you can keg or bottle, but it is ok to leave it in the carboy for another month or so. Racking to a secondary is not necessary. It ferments out very dry (less than 0.999, see here)

Apfelwein really improves with age, so if you can please let it sit in a carboy for up to 3 months before bottling or kegging, then let it sit even longer. Here's what some folks think.

Originally Posted by Saccharomyces
Six months and it hits its stride. Eight months and it'll blow your mind.

If you want to bottle and carbonate, ¾ cup of corn sugar will work fine. Use as you would carbonate a batch of beer.

Bottled On: 8-8-10

How was it?
Still bottle conditioning til late august.

Welcome to Aquadog Brewing Company

Are we a real company? No. Do we sell our brews? No.
Do friend and family enjoy them for free. Yes!

Im starting this blog to track my brewing progress, and to pass on my reviews of the kits or recipies im brewing.

The brewery name comes from us having a dog that is crazy about going in our pool. We started calling her aquadog and the name seem like a good brewery name.