Homebrew Ramblings 1

When I started writing this, I was sitting and waiting on the mash.  This was my first brew since my attempt at the Redneck RIMS.

I’m not trying that again. I don’t think it was smart to cobble together some stuff and do something that just made things more difficult.  I’ve been reading a lot, and a few posts on the Beer Simple Blog kinda got me to change from trying to make RIMS happen to just concentrate on making beer.

Last Sunday’s beer was inspired by Great Lakes’ Nosferatu. It’s an awesome beer.  I don’t brew clone beers, but I DO use clone recipes as starting points.  I changed the base malt to Maris Otter, and I’m using all Chinook hops.  I’m using Northwest Ale yeast, too.  When I initially typed this, I was in the mash and temps were looking good (154 – 155).  Unfortunately, there were other problems, but in the end, I have about 4.5 gallons of beer and I learned a few things for the next time.


  • Dried hope cones go into a bag, because despite what I’ve read in someone else’s brewing book, they don’t create a “filter bed”, they get stuck in pumps and plate chillers.
  • Better Bottles can’t handle 200ºF wort.  They tell us this, and we’d do well to remember.
  • Expect that pumps change how much water your grain “absorbs”.
  • Speaking of pumps, standardizing all fittings to one singular fitting (i.e. cam locks or tri-clamps) is probably a good thing to do.
  • Disasters will happen.  Even homebrewing should have a disaster recovery plan (backup pumping system, a backup method to chill wort isn’t bad either, backup measurement devices, etc.).