Tag Archives: easy

Thai Tea Pale Ale (extract)


A good friend of mine wanted to get one more batch of brewing in before he moves far far far away to Mississippi and becomes a father.  In a recent adventure, he stumbled upon a thai iced tea that was simply splendid.  He decided to brew an extract pale ale with the thai tea.  A pretty straight forward brew day, with only 1 hop addition of Galaxy at 60 min made this one of the easiest brew days I have had in a very long time.  The tea went directly into the secondary fermentation after we brewed a strong cup of the tea.  We brought it up to a camping trip and the keg went quickly.

Thai tea pale ale

appearance: a light orange brown color that is hazy. poor head

nose: a bunch of esters, but also a lot of tea and mint scents, kind of twangy

flavor: an earthy flavor that is a combination of the full flavored tea and the Galaxy hop bitterness, while dry, it is pleasant.

mouth feel: the tannin pushes the bitterness to a bit of astringency, but is still a very drinkable beer.  medium bodied and needs more carbonation.

overall: not bad for an extract brew. next time, I would like to dry out the beer, ease up on the tea, and hop with an english hop like Willamette. 6.0 / 10

Congratulation Kolsch! a retirement gift for my Dad


The one on the right is done with work!

My father recently retired from his job of 39 years and a congratulations are in order! As a gift, I brewed up a batch of Kolsch, which was my second, and much improved, stab at this style.  Here are the tasting that my father and I wrote with my muse of a girlfriend.

Kolsch 1.0 on the left, Congratulation Kolsch on the right

kolsch 1.0 (old write up)

Apperance: cloudy and straw yellow

Nose: corn with lemon citrus

Taste: an easy drinker with a lemon taste

Mouthfeel: smooth and low carbed. very light bodied

Overall: much nicer now, the lemon flavor is well muted and very easy to drink

Congratulation Kolsch 2.0

Appearance: Completely clear (I love using Whirfloc) light yellow color

Nose: Very light, with a slight sweetness in the background

Taste: nearly perfectly balanced, an easy round flavor

Mouthfeel: easy drinking summer time light beer

Overall: Really well done, but kinda boring beer.  This beer got it right! 8.9/10

Cheers to my Dad and anyone else who parents worked for too long!

The Great Heat Wand

Being stuck in Brooklyn in a third floor walk up has really hindered my ability to brew 10 gallon batches of beer.  I do have a propane setup and a back yard (more like a cement pit) but i have to walk up and down the stairs way too many times, and then walk around my block to get to the back yard.  I’ve done it a couple of times, but I tell ya, carrying all that beer, all that equipment, and dealing with the yummy in my tummy, have all contributed to me having bad experiences with the whole outside brew day approach.
doing a test run!
Frustration can be the biggest turn off about brewing in Brooklyn (yeessss) but luckily solutions can come from all different areas.  An answer for my problem once again came from BASIC BREWING RADIO, which I think is one of the best resources I have found on the Internet.  They did a whole episode on electric brewing a few years back and in the video section, they got to play with a portable heat wand .
check under electric brewing april 29 2010
A heat wand sounds nightmarish and dangerous, but, after researching, I found out that there are really only a few things scary about it, and those are posted very clearly on a BYO article on the bottom. (here is another helpful link,  http://www.3d0g.net/brewing/heatstick) So I decided to build one with the help of my very handy friend,BULLWINKEL


The set up was really simple honestly. Just follow the directions found on the website (http://www.3d0g.net/brewing/heatstick)  and everything comes together very well.  I was unsure what to do with the ground wire, but i simply cut it and taped it very well with electrical tape.

now that is a rolling boil!

Using this is wonderful.  For a 10 gallon batch, my stove top simply couldn’t maintain a boil, but when I use the heat wand, my boil is a vigorous as a propane brew day, and I usually boil off about 2 gallons in a 60 min brew.  This tool is also wonderful for heating up mash water and striking water.  Without the wand, my burners raises temp at about 2.7 degrees per minute.  but with the heat wand, its about 3.3 deg/min.  which adds up very quickly when making these big batches.
In summary: while I was scared in the beginning, doing 10 gallon batches is absolutely fantastic and is really allowing for experimentation in my brewery (apartment).  This is one of best investments i have made in my brewing lifetime. you should do it!