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Homebrew #82: Urban Owl

by Rob Friesel

Yeast harvesting and re-pitching had kind of fallen by the wayside for me over the past year or so. In 2017 through the early part of 2018, I’d tried to do quite a bit of it. The petite fiasco with Prosody (Mosaic) turned me off on that aspect of homebrewing for a while.

That being said, if you’ve got a big healthy yeast cake from a just-racked lager, then it seems a shame not to re-pitch it. So that’s just what I did here — drew up a recipe for a Munich Dunkel and called it Urban Owl:

Urban Owl
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Homebrew #81: Half Dark

by Rob Friesel

I’ve got a soft spot for amber beers. My first homebrew was an American Amber Ale (née red ale). It morphed into Honestatis, which I’ve brewed eight times (with multiple variations). And of course we can’t forget Sirius Moonlight (and Mk. II!) and Le Rousse.

So when we were doing our BJCP study group, and I started to learn how hard it was to come by most of the Czech styles around here, I thought that I might brew one. Well, that session came and went without such a homebrew, but the plan didn’t die. So I committed to brewing one in 2019, and in fact made it my first of the year — Half Dark, a Czech Amber Lager:

Half Dark (Czech Amber Lager)
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Homebrew #79: Naked Braggot

by Rob Friesel

Braggots — that fun little beer/mead hybrid. I’ve made the one so far, and used honey in brewing a fair number of times. I pitched a talk to Homebrew Con and thought that if they accepted it1 then it would be good to bring a variety of braggots to share. The Naked Braggot would be the first.

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  1. They didn’t accept it though. Oh well. []

Aroxa off-flavor training notes

by Rob Friesel

During our 2017-2018 BJCP study group, we talked a few times about doing an off-flavor training. We’d pool our money, pick up a spiking kit, and spend one session working through a few of the common off-flavors. For better or worse, we didn’t manage to get around to that.

Meanwhile, a study group formed for the Certified Cicerone exam. While I wasn’t able to commit to that group in addition to the BJCP group, there was an open-ended invitation to attend some of those sessions. Luckily, I caught wind of one of their off-flavor training sessions and got myself on the list.

Who couldn’t use some bad beer education?

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keeping my brewing pipeline organized

by Rob Friesel

I like to keep things organized. I like to have a plan. I’m OK changing plans or deviating from them — even improvising from time to time can be fun. But at the end of the day, I like to have at least some kind of loose roadmap to point to. This even extends to my brewing.

And over the past couple of months, I found that Trello (in combination with a few other tools) is a decent lightweight solution to bring that kind of organization to my brewing. Here’s what it looks like right now:

First four and a half columns of my Brew Board Trello board.
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Homebrew #78: Le Rousse (Ambrée Bière de Garde)

by Rob Friesel

As we raced to the end of 2018, I wanted to fit in at least one more new-to-me style. I don’t know the Bière de Garde style well1 but the description was intriguing. And while it isn’t much of a clever name, I haphazardly dubbed it Le Rousse2– an ambrée bière de garde.

Le Rousse (Ambrée Bière de Garde)
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  1. Straightforward examples are hard to find around here, as our study group discovered last year. []
  2. Confession: this beer was marked in Evernote for months as “🇫🇷 – Bière de Garde” and I almost named it “Literal French Flag Emoji” or something like that. []

Homebrew #76: Lupulin-Industrial Complex

by Rob Friesel

Perhaps because I live in such a wonderland of New England IPAs, I’d never felt a burning desire to make one. Don’t get me wrong, the challenge itself is tempting — but only 4-ish years and 75 brews into the hobby, there are still so many challenges to choose from! However, when the opportunity to get a little hop hash came around, it seemed like the perfect excuse to take a stab at this. And this brings us to Lupulin-Industrial Complex:

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