Sunday, August 27, 2017

Vessi Test Brew II - Kolsch

Image result for brewie
Brewie continues to be a 77 lb paper weight in my basement, but I am holding out hope that it will one day work.  My friends from Hungary are reportedly scheduling my unit to be picked up and sent back to Taiwan to be fixed.  I am rather disappointed that the entire machine has to be sent back for a software issue.  It baffles me why Brewie didn't think to create a startup or install disc that can simply install the software.  That concept has been around since the dawn of the computer era, but I digress.

I completely refreshed my 3-tap kegerator with new seals for the leaky Perlick taps and all new beer lines. The rebuilt Perlicks are perfect again and do not leak.

I was eager to test out the transfer mechanism that is built into the Vessi.  Vessi has a transfer port that can be directly connected to your kegs so that you can transfer your beer under pressure.  If you purge the keg with CO2 before initiating transfer, no oxygen can come in contact with your beer during transfer. This is a pretty cool feature and worked flawlessly for me.

With the Vessi on rollers, I was able to wheel it over to my slop sink and cleanup went smoother than I expected.  The sediment removal system (SRS) removes all of the yeast and sediment after fermentation so there really wasn't much left in the Vessi to clean out.  I cleaned and sanitized everything and Vessi was ready for its next brew day.  One thing I did notice however is that my Bev-Air kegerator gets the beer a lot colder than the Vessi.  I set Vessi at 35 degrees but serving temp is definitely higher.  The serving temp is still acceptable in my opinion though.

I decided to brew a simple Kolsch for my next Vessi test brew.  Out of season I know, but I will enjoy it as fall comes around and it should remind me of summer again.

Vessi Test Brew II - Kolsch

6# Pilsen malt syrup

20 min boil
1oz Perle at 20 mins  
1oz Tettnanger at 20 mins

2.5 gallon boil, topped up to 5 gal going into fermenter

Target OG-1042


US-05 yeast fermented at 64 degrees
Carbon filtered tap water, no adjustments

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Vessi Test Brew - American Pale Ale

Hello?  Is this thing on?

So, uh, yeah, it's been a while.  Over two years ago, I sold my electric brew system and invested in an Indiegogo campaign for a brew system called Brewie.  I have been patiently waiting for the Brewie and while I have finally taken delivery, it is currently broken.  The latest software update doesn't work and it just sits there looking pretty, but totally useless.  I also invested in another Indiegogo campaign for a temperature and pressure controlled fermentation and serving vessel called Vessi.  Whirlpool backed Vessi, so that one has been a much better experience from start to finish.  With Brewie broken I could not wait any longer and had to brew a beer to test out the Vessi.  This APA came out much better than I expected.  The Vessi is a really cool gizmo and I highly recommend the product.  Using Vessi is a much easier process to ferment and dispense.  With a closed system, no oxygen can get into the beer and I no longer have to lift or move any carboys.  I have only dropped and cracked one carboy in my brewing career, but alas it was full of beer and ended up entirely on my basement floor.  No more risk with Vessi.  It is a really slick product.

Vessi Test Brew - American Pale Ale

6# gold malt syrup
1# amber dry malt extract

20 min boil
1oz Summit at 20 mins
1oz Cascade at 15 mins
1oz Cascade at 10 mins
1oz Centennial at 5 mins

3 gal boil, topped up to 5 gal going into the fermentor

Target OG-1052

ABV: 5.38%

US-05 Yeast
Carbon filtered tap water, no adjustments

Monday, October 13, 2014

Biere de Garde

I received a recommendation from my sister to brew a Biere de Garde for the fall.  I have never made one and thought it sounded like a fun beer.  Saisons get a lot of attention but this style seems to be rather under the radar. Biere de Garde is a farmhouse beer from the border areas of France and Belgium.  It uses lager yeast at room temperature to impart a mildly sweet and fruity flavor.  It should have a low bitterness and excellent smoothness with spicy hops for flavoring and aroma.  I am looking forward to sampling this one. 

6# Extra light DME

1# Sparkling Amber DME
1# Aromatic malt
8 oz Pilsen malt
4 oz Special B malt

Grains mashed in with tap water and removed at 170 degrees.

6.4 gallons post mash and pre DME addition.

60 min boil:
.5 oz Hersbrucker at 60
1 oz Saaz and 1 oz Spalt at 15 min
1 tablet Brewvint yeast fuel at 15 min
1 whirlfloc tablet at 15 min

Wyeast 2042 Danish Lager Yeast
Ferment at 65

Water adjustments: 1 tsp gypsum

O.G. = 1.064 
F.G. = 1.012 
Approximately 6.8% ABV 

1.0656 OG

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Belgian White

I made this one for my wife and brewed it with my little guy.  He named this beer Nolan's Turbo Happy Birthday Nancy beer.  Her birthday is this weekend, remember, buy a big present.....

5# Wheat LME
2# Wheat DME
1# Flaked Oats
8 oz Maris Otter malt
8 oz White Wheat malt

Grains mashed in with tap water and removed at 170 degrees.

5.77 gallons post mash and pre DME addition.

30 min boil:
.75 oz Hersbrucker and .5 oz Saaz 30
1 tablet Brewvint yeast fuel at 15 min
.25 oz Hersbrucker and .25 oz Saaz at 5 min

Wyeast 3944 Belgian Witbier Ale Yeast
Ferment at 68, 70, then 65

Water adjustments: .5 tsp epsom salt, .1 tsp chalk

O.G. = 1.056

1.0592 OG

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Double Extract>Kolsch>Raspberry Wheat

I decided to brew two easy summer beers and settled on a Kolsch and the Raspberry Wheat that I made last year.  I went with extract for the time saving and knocked out both brews at the same time.  My little guy woke up at 5:23am so he got to help.  It was a really easy morning brew.

6 lbs lme German pils extract (two row Moravian pilsner malt with a touch of Vienna malt)

1.12 oz hallertau at 60
.75 oz hallertau at 5

2565 Wyeast Kolsch at 65-68 for 12-14 days, then keg condition for 3 weeks

1.036 pre boil, 6.25g before malt
1.043 post boil

Water Adjustments

Raspberry Wheat

6 lbs lme 60% wheat 40% German two row

1.12 oz hallertau at 60
3056 Wyeast Bavarian Wheat Blend at 65-68 for 12-14 days, then keg condition for 3 weeks
4oz Williams Raspberry flavoring at kegging

1.037 pre boil, 6.25g before malt
1.042 post boil

Water Adjustments
.5 Epsom
.1 chalk


Wednesday, January 29, 2014


It has been a really long time since an AG brew so I had to get some Pliny into the fermenter.  Brew day was easy, easy, easy.  I hit all my numbers and had cleanup done in 5 hours.

12.25# Pale Ale malt
10 oz c-40
10 oz carapils
1# corn sugar

Mash at 150 for 45 mins, 15 min sparge

90 min boil
3.5 oz Columbus at 90
.75 oz Columbus at 45
1 oz Simcoe at 30
2 oz Chinook at 0
1.25 oz Centennial at 0
.5 oz Simcoe at 0

1.5 oz Simcoe dry for 7 days
1.75 oz Columbus dry for 7 days
1.75 oz Centennial dry for 7 days

Target og 1072
Target fg 1011

US-05 at 68

1048 pre at 7.62 without sugar
1056 pre at 7.62 with sugar

1068 post at 6.12

76.9% efficiency

Water Adjustments
2 tsp gypsum

Monday, November 18, 2013


I have been monitoring a new hop that was recently introduced as experimental hop #483 of the American Dwarf Hop Association.  I was eager to learn when (if) it would become available to homebrewers.  A patent was filed in May 2013 for a new hop named Azacca.  After a quick google search, I learned that Azacca is the Haitian God of Farming:

"Keep him well supplied with copious amounts of food, booze and sex and he will never desert your farm. If you own a farm think carefully about this.  He's a bit of a hillbilly, being barefooted with denim dungarees, a straw hat and pipe, and an exagerrated country drawl.  Azacca loves his grub but has simple tastes : boiled maize, bread soaked in oil and rum. And he eats like a pig, hiding away with his food and troughing the lot in double quick time. Unlike his sophisticated brother.  Azacca knows everything that's going on in the lives of the commoners and often spurts out everyone's embarrassing secrets after a skinfull of rum."

Sounds like a solid dude.

One of my online hop sites got a few pounds and I pounced on it.  I decided to mix it equally into my mosaic pale ale recipe that turned out so tasty.  Given the ease of the 15 min boil, I turned this one over to a new assistant brewer, my 3 1/2 year old son.  He rocked it out in no time, crushing the grain in the mill, the hop additions and finally pitching the yeast.  What a kid.  Unfortunately, he will be devastated when I explain to him in 6 weeks that he can't try it.
6 lbs Light DME
1 lb c-40 steeped to 170

15 min boil
2.5 oz split Mosaic/Azacca at 15
1 oz split Mosaic/Azacca at 5
.5 oz split Mosaic/Azacca at 0
1 oz split Mosaic/Azacca dry hop two weeks

US-05 at 66 ambient, raise to 68 for 2 weeks, then dry hop for two weeks

7 pre boil at 1051 with DME added, back down the water next time
6.75 gallons post at 1053

Water Adjustments
2 tsp gypsum