Well, first off, happy holidays everyone!  I’m into my second week of time off from work, and enjoying it… as much as I can!  I don’t get sick often, but when I do it’s usually a doozy… it was a head and chest cold that rendered me into a sniffling ball of – well – never mind… I’m just now getting over it, thanks for asking…  but we did have to jam out on two family visits that we were looking forward to.  Such is life.  Just today I felt the energy to do some beer-related activities.

So, I bottled the most beer ever done on a bottling day: 15 gallons!  Yep, that’s half a barrel by industry measurements!  Once everything is set up in the kitchen, it’s a great use of time to bottle 2 or more batches.  Not having a dedicated brewery in the house like some home brewers do, there’s a lot of set-up and take-down… lots of traipsing from my office where I store everything beer related, back and forth to the kitchen – at the other end of the house.  Some day I’ll get it together and actually build a dedicated room in the basement just for brewing, but that’s for another time.  But still – inside of two hours saw three buckets of golden nectar put away for future consumption.

Two buckets were my signature blonde ale (White Moustache), with some extra DME and dextrose for and added alcohol kick.  My numbers show it to be about 7% ABV.  Ooh baby!  Which reminds me – I did a batch of barley wine that is long gone – that stuff hit 9%.  What a kick!  But I wasn’t too fond of the flavour – quite malty for my taste buds, so I cut it with some blonde ale.  Another heavier beer I did was a stout.  Same thing – meal in a glass, not as malty as the barleywine.  Quite yummy actually.

Anyway, the third batch I bottled today was a kit beer I did up; a Coopers Pilsner.  This is the second kit beer I’ve done this winter for a couple of reasons.  Firstly, I ran out of barley grains so I had to visit my local brewery shop… that, or let my pipeline dwindle to the point of having to buy store bought beer.  that my friends is against my religion, unless I’m buying some kind or craft beer.  No megaswill for this dude.

The second reason was laziness and the weather.  It was frikin’ cold out, and I didn’t want to bother with a six-hour brew day.  So on that day, I bought a “Brew House” Premium Lager.  I’m drinking it now – it’s quite good, and the quality really shines through.  It doesn’t taste like a kit beer, and it’s very clear.  The kit comes in a 15 litre bag… all you do is add water and yeast.  No boiling, no muss, no fuss.  I was done in 30 minutes!  But, what you get in convenience, you sacrifice in recipe flexibility.  Unless of course one wants to dry-hop for flavour and aroma.  But otherwise, I kinda enjoyed the experience and convenience.  Price-wise, it’s comparable to doing all-grain if you can’t get grain in bulk-buy amounts.

So there you have it – here’s me thinking I had lowered my beer-snob standards by “devolving” to buying kits, but it’s damn good beer and it suits my schedule and lifestyle at certain times.  FYI – I now have a few bags of barley put away for those milder winter days when I can do 10 gallon batches.  I’ll always love all-grain brewing.  Mmmm. Beer….

 

Cheers for Beers,

Jim

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This is what clean-up looks like after bottling 15 gallons of beer.  My wife steered clear for the afternoon!