Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Helpful #HomeBrew Thieves

My wife's family visited this past weekend.

They came in last Thursday night and then we spent the weekend (Friday thru Monday) up in Breckenridge.

I wanted them to help me reduce my SheppyBrew inventory, and they did. Boy did they help.

I started them off with some Summer Lovin' American Wheat in hopes that they would help me kill that keg so that I could have an empty one (see below for why it was important to have an empty keg). After awhile Thursday night, though, they wanted to try some other beers, and of course I let them.

Tracy's dad seemed to really enjoy both the Gringo Cerveza Cream Ale and the Gringo Cerveza Jalapeño Cream Ale. He is certainly not a craft-beer drinker, and I was not surprised at all that the Cream Ale would be his favorite. I am a bit surprised that he like the Jalapeño beer, though.

The newest brother-in-law tried a bunch of different kinds. The one he seemed to like the most was 15 Year Anniversary Amber Ale. He told me that ambers are his favorite. I suppose he probably would have been a fan of Phat & Tyred Amber Ale, but I didn't have any to offer him.

The older brother-in-law (older than the newer b-i-l ... not older than I am) also tried a bunch. He was a real big fan of the Fox Sox Knox Rye Pale Ale and the TommyHawk APA. He especially enjoyed the dry-hopped version of the TommyHawk, which was my favorite of the evening. I thought both those beers were tasting particularly delicious that night as well.

Tracy's youngest sister is pregnant, so didn't have much. She did have a few sips here and there and made some very complimentary comments.

The middle sister isn't much of a beer fan but did seem to like Summer Lovin' American Wheat and Buckwheat's Belgium Pale Ale.

I brought the rest of the keg up to Breckenridge. It emptied early Friday afternoon. This makes me very happy.

I let youngest sister take some beer home to one of my virtual beer friends. Hopefully next time I see her, she will be able to obtain some of his for me to try.

The SheppyBrew inventory is much lower than it was before the in-laws came to visit. In fact, it is lower than it has been in a long time. This is good in that I now can brew again. Sadly, we wiped out 15 Year Anniversary Amber Ale and Fox Sox Knox Rye Pale Ale. I'll certainly have to brew those again.

Can't wait to work on my pipeline again.

So, why did I want to have an empty keg? The last beer I made and kegged was Quarter Life Crisis Hoppy Red Ale. I dry hop this beer, and this time I decided to try dry hopping without using any kind of hop sack. Then, I didn't cold-crash and probably was not as careful as I should be to leave behind the bottom hop matter when I transferred from the carboy into the corny. Anyway, I ended up with enough hop matter in the keg that my poppet valve on the beer-out side was clogged up and the keg did not dispense beer.

The only thing I could think of to rectify the situation was to move the QLC into another keg, but at the time, my only other keg was full of Summer Lovin' Wheat. I would have bought another keg, but at the moment, used corny kegs are pretty expensive, plus I knew that the Beer Model's family was coming and that they have been known to consume a fair amount of beer when with me.

Tonight, I sanitized the empty keg and siphoned beer from the full keg to the empty one. I left a couple of liters of the QLC behind just to try to keep as much of the hop matter out of the new keg. I didn't waste it, though, I transferred some of that into a pint glass and the rest into a growler. I drank the pint glass and the growler is still in my fridge.

The new keg of QLC has been pressurized and is in the keggerator. I just poured myself about 10oz, and it does flow. It also tastes very good.

I guess the SheppyBrew Brew Master will consider this a learning experience. I'll be using hop sacks for dry-hopping and/or making sure I cold crash and/or be careful transferring dry-hopped beers into kegs. All's well that ends well, but I don't want to make this same mistake again.

Next brew day for SheppyBrew:  Phat & Tyred Amber Ale.

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