Monday, July 23, 2012

Brew Closet

Being the OCD person that I am, I had to create a space in our house that was dedicated to nothing but brewing. I was previously sharing a closet with my son Julian, which in hindsight, was kinda odd, but oh well.

Anywho, I reworked a closet in our spare bedroom. I put in some shelves on the side to hold supplies and what not. I also using the clothes bar for hanging extra fermenters and other buckets. The floor is then used for fermentation process and other storage.

This also was done so that I could work on a way to cool down our fermenters. Since we live in Louisiana, it is too hot to do many different types of brews.  After a lot of research, I made a 'swamp cooler'. This entailed a shallow pan (a plastic Tupperware tray) filled with about an inch of tap water. I then wrapped the fermenter in a towel and placed it in the tray with water. The water then goes up the towel, and after keeping a fan on the bucket, the temperature drops to a controllable temperature.

Batch #2 - Georgia Roots (Bitter Ale)

Batch #2. Another extract based brew. We ordered from Austin Homebrew Supply again since they have a large selection of recipe kits. The beer was interesting, peach, ginger, and sour notes!

Style: Extract Brew
Sub-Style: Bitter Ale (23 A)
Malts: Acid Malt
            2- Row Malt
           Flaked Wheat
Hops: Bittering - Progess
           Flavoring - None
           Aroma - None
Other Additives: Ginger Root
                             Peach Extract
                             BrewVint Yeast Fuel - a nutrient to help fermentation
Yeast: Wyeast - London Ale III 1318 Activator
Number of Bottles: 28 (12 oz. bottles), 12 (22 oz. bottles)
Original Gravity: 1.050 (75°F)
Final Gravity: 1.012
Percent Alcohol: 4.98% by Volume
Comments: Overall comments - AHS makes good beer recipes. We liked the beer; it is a nice refreshing summer beer that I think would go well with a spicy dish. You taste the peach a lot in the first sip of the beer, and then the ginger & acid malt gets you on the subsequent tastes.  The peach definitely came through in the aroma. This batch was not as watery as our first batch.
Personal Ratings: Karari: 39.5/50, Andy: 39.5/50

Batch #1 - El Jefe (Bavarian Hefeweizen)

Our first batch done as Foothold Brewing. To get our feet wet, we started with doing some extract based brews. We ordered from Austin Homebrew Supply since they had a good selection. The beer came out good for our first attempt together.

Style: Extract Brew
Sub-Style: Hefeweizen (15 A)
Malts: Cara Pils Malt
            German Pilsner Malt
Hops: Bittering - Hallertau
           Flavoring - None
           Aroma - Hallertau
Yeast: Wyeast - Weihenstephan Weizen 3068 Activator
Number of Bottles: 50 (12 oz. bottles)
Original Gravity: 1.050 (76°F)
Final Gravity: 1.010
Percent Alcohol: 5.24% by Volume
Comments: The beer had a pleasant taste and overall feel.  There was a subtle banana flavor on the first part of the taste (which came from the yeast), followed by a subtle clove taste at the end.  There wasn't much aroma. We first tasted the beer 4 weeks after brewing (2 weeks after bottling) and it had a much more pronounced 'creaminess' to it. This went down slightly after 5 weeks, but there was more carbonation at this time.  The beer is good chilled with a slice of orange in it. It tastes like a traditional wheat beer, although the biggest flaw that we noticed was a slightly 'watery' taste to it.
Personal Ratings: Karari: 37-38/50, Andy: 36/50


I am creating this page to chronicle the exploits of a couple of homebrewers (Karari & Andy) from Monroe, Louisiana.  I have brewed in the past while I was living in Atlanta, and have always wanted to get back into the process.  I met Andy when he was Julian's soccer coach. As we got to know each other, we realized that we both like good beverages. We started brewing together over a love of quality beers and our desire to see if we could make some darn good beer of our own.

In terms of Andy of why we are called Foothold Brewing "It resonates with of our past (younger body, pre-kids, and different place of residence) pastimes of hiking and 14ers.  It also describes what making the beer does for us in providing us a good beer to drink along with our venture into exploring/creating our own recipes along with the possibility of getting more out of brewing".