Over the 4th of July, I smoked about 3 lbs of Pils malt on an old potbelly stove. It smoked with mesquite chips for a few hours in two batches, then was left to condition for ~7 weeks in an open paper grocery bag.
I first brewed a smoked porter with home-smoked malt in 2011. I used alder chips then, in an homage to Alaskan Brewing Co.’s Smoked Porter. It turned out well and the bottle I opened yesterday as I brewed the 2015 version has aged nicely. The biggest flaw is that the smoke flavor is too phenolic. I tried to avoid chlorinated water throughout the process but may not have succeeded.
I brewed this year’s smoked porter on the same potbelly stove I used to smoke the malt. I’ve already written about the process of brewing on the potbelly stove, so I’ll stick to the recipe and batch notes here. Continue reading Smoked Porter 2015
My in-laws have an old potbelly stove sitting around. Some research indicates it was made around 1900. I smoked about 3 lbs of Pils malt on this stove on the 4th of July, and decided I’d see if it could crank out enough heat to brew a 5 gallon batch of beer.
The answer: almost.
It heated about 4.5 gallons of mash water fairly well, heating it 86.7 degrees in an hour. The slope leveled off a little as it reached strike temperature:
This performance of 390 degree-gallons per hour (when heating water starting at room temperature) is not too much worse than this same pot when I’m heating with a 1500W, 120V electric element – that setup yields about 480 degree-gallons per hour. Continue reading Homebrewing on a Potbelly Stove
Why a blog? I have two main purposes in mind:
- Opinions & ideas that are too long for my Twitter. I’ll probably tweet links to these posts.
- Knowledge management: I often make things after reading on the web about how to make them. Sometimes I think, “the internet was wrong” or “I could explain it better than that.” Now I have a space to see whether I can make some small contributions to human knowledge that others might stumble upon and benefit from. I benefit tremendously from internet knowledge so I ought to give back what I can.
- (Can I not make this sub-bullet A? This blog is off to a poor start) I will also benefit from my own notes on past projects. In particular, I use Brewtoad to design homebrew recipes, but lack a good system for storing notes on the process & results. I like how the Mad Fermentationist logs his brews on a WordPress blog.
Given that this may be a jumble of posts on DIY, beer, electoral politics, data analysis, etc. I expect that very few people will read through the blog continuously or follow it. But if a few of the right readers find each post via other means, that’ll do. And if no one reads it, at least I have a place to take notes.