The New Brewery

It took a few months from moving in to get the Freeman home brewery up and running, but just brewed the first batch today. The biggest issue was getting a usable sink in the basement. We just added a double sink to replace the old 1950s shallow sink, but this meant redoing the drain system because the old version was set too high to accommodate a deeper.  sink. More of a job than I hoped when we moved in, but really nice now to have a two bins to work with.

For the moment I’m brewing in the garage, but I have a shed out back that I’ll turn into a brewery.

This was actually my first brewing session since my back surgery, now almost two years ago. I eased back into it with a kit brew, but my goal for this winter–the real goals of my sabbatical which starts in January–is to get a brewery set up so that I can get back into all-grain brewing.

For easing back in, I started with a classic, highly hopped IPA:

Steep 1/2 pound Briess Caramalt 40L and 1/2 pound Simpson’s light Crystal Malt, 15 minutes, 170 degrees.
Strain grains.
Bring to boil with 9 1/2 lb Northern Brewer Gold extract. 60 minute boil.
Boil 1 oz. Yakima Magnum hops, 14.2 alpha, 60 minutes
Boil 1 oz Cascade, 5.7 alpha, 40 minutes
Boil 1/2 oz Warrior, 17.2 alpha, 30 minutes
Boil 1 oz Centennial, 9.6 alpha, 20 minutes
Boil 1/2 oz Warrior,  17.2 alpha 5 minutes
Add 1 oz Warrior, 17.2 alpha at very end of boil
1 tsp Irish Moss and 1 tsp gypsum for final 15 minutes of boil.
Cool to 80 degrees, stir in two tsp calcium carbonate and Wyeast American Ale yeast starter.
Stir vigorously to aerate.
Original Gravity: 1.070

When I tasted this before it began fermenting, the hop profile was pretty intense. My plan had been to add an ounce of Amarillo hops to the secondary fermenter, but I think I’ll see how it’s tasting at that point and decide. I’m always for more hop, but I don’t want it to be unbalanced.


I think next on my brewing list is to go higher gravity and make a double IPA. Stay tuned.

The other nice thing about my brewing set-up in the new house is we have a canning room that is easy to turn into beer and wine storage. At the moment I’ve got lots of other beers and wines stashed there, but it will be great for aging beers. It might even make me interested in using lager yeasts again since the winter temperatures will be pretty cool. I’m not a big lager fan in general, but I’ve always had that dream of creating a recipe that’s close to Paulaner Salvator–one of my all-time favorite beers. We’ll see.

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3 Responses to “The New Brewery”

  1. Jeff Says:

    You have some beers on that shelf that need to be drunk, not aged!

    • GJF Says:

      Indeed. The aging discussion is for future homebrewing. The beers you see here are for drinking, no doubt. Tonight we sampled the sierra 30 year anniversary and the stone smoked porter among others. Yummm.

  2. Bradley Dilger Says:

    Yay for brewing. I still haven’t cleaned out my “brewery”–time to grit my teeth and chuck a bunch of the stuff in there. At least I’m making beer!

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