Wow… I suck.

It’s always a little depressing when you remember that you have a blog and realize the last posting was for New Years… and here we are in October.  Oh well.  I’m at work, so I really don’t have the time to blog about anything interesting.  Really haven’t brewed as much this year as I would have liked to.  The summer was way too hot.  However, with Fall in the air, I have been much more motivated lately.  Currently have a Saison and Pumpkin Ale that are ready to be moved to kegs, and I have a few recipes I’ve been throwing around in my head.  Oh, Julie and I did make it to the NHC in Seattle this year.  Absolutely amazing time.  When I have a moment, I will do a NHC summary  post complete with some pictures.  NHC is where Julie and I acquired our addiction of sour beers… we tried so many different varieties… it was awesome.  Currently trying to put the equipment together so I can start brewing some sours myself.  Seattle itself was amazing.  I think Julie and I found our next place of residence.

Ok, that’s it for now… hopefully I will remember that I have this blog and makes some posts before 2013!  Cheers!

 

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Happy New Year!

Welcome 2012!  While personally 2011 was a pretty rocky year, I can’t ignore the fact that it was also the year that I got back into homebrewing, and learned more about this magical process of brewing beer than I would have ever imagined.  My total for 2011 came in at 75 gallons brewed.  I only repeated a few recipes, so it came out to be a total of 12 different styles brewed.  I only bottled my first batch, and quickly moved to kegging.  The year began with partial boils on the stovetop, then to full boils on the stovetop (my apologizes to my wife for the slight damage to the stove grates), and now to full boils outside.  I also made my switch to all-grain brewing about halfway through the year.  2011 also marked the first time I entered a BJCP-sanctioned homebrew contest.  While the marks I received on my Weizenbock were nothing to get excited about (avg came to 25), the great feedback on the judging sheets was so helpful.  For example, one of the comments was that it needed more body for that style.  So I did my research and learned that your mash temperature can make a big difference on the body.  Up until then, I had just been taking the mash temperature given to me by my Beersmith software.  When I brewed my Bust a Nut Brown Ale recently (sorry, never made a post about this one…) I mashed at 158-159… much higher than my usual 152.  The difference was incredible.  A lower ABV than most of my previous beers, but with a great mouthfeel.  This is what I love about this hobby.  There are so many little variables you can tweak and experiment with.

So what’s in store for 2012?  I have lots of ideas, so we’ll have to see how many get implemented.  High on my list is moving to 10 gallon batches.  I’ve acquired kegs to be transformed into keggles, and right now am looking into the Blichmann Top Tier system as my brew structure.  Also, I have a window unit air conditioner in my garage that I’m planning to use when building a larger fermentation chamber in the basement.  I want to move to using yeast starters this year, and finally building out my keezer.  As far as beers go, I NEED to do an IPA since I’ve been addicted to them recently.  However, my creative side has me itching to try some classic english style ales, but using Belgian yeast strains.  Also, thanks to some input from the head brewer at Lunar Brewing Company in Villa Park, IL, I will be trying a variation on the Raspberry Cream Ale I did this fall.  And by far my favorite plan for 2012, my wife and I will be heading to Seattle for the AHA conference in June!  Like I said, my list is long, and that’s only a few things I have floating around in my head!

Well I hope you had a great New Year, full of great craft and home brews!  Cheers!

~Fermented Ted

 

Welcome!

Hello, and welcome to the home of Fermented Ted Brewing Company! Never heard of us before? Yeah, that’s probably because there’s no such thing… it’s just the name I gave to the obsession that is my homebrewing hobby. I first started homebrewing in college back in 1995. It was the result of my roommate and I being underage and trying to figure out ways to score alcohol. We decided to ferment apple cider in glass, 1-gallon jugs in our dorm room, using bread yeast and filtering the end result through coffee filters. While the process was far from sanitary, the end result was actually pretty good, and was rapidly consumed by our friends (I personally refused to drink it myself). A couple years later my parents sent me a Mr. Beer kit. I brewed up every recipe I had and they all turned out very well. But the task of cleaning everything up, particularly the bottles, was far too demanding at the time, and I let my interest slip away.

Thirteen years later I read a Facebook post of a friend who was homebrewing down in Austin, TX. Everyone was commenting on how great the beer turned out and I starting thinking back to the fun I had with my Mr. Beer kit in college. After some questions to my friend, and research online, I went ahead and ordered a homebrew kit from Austin Homebrew Supply. After brewing that first 5 gallon batch, I knew I was hooked and haven’t looked back since. In just 8 months I have brewed twelve 5-gallon batches, and have transitioned from extract brewing to all-grain with a kegging setup. While I feel like I’ve learned a lot over the last 8 months, there is so much more for me to experience.

I have learned the most from reading posts at homebrewtalk.com and other homebrewers’ personal blogs, and thought that it’s only fair that I contribute back by blogging about my personal experiences as well.   While the design of my blog is still somewhat of a missmash in my head, I expect to include topics such as equipment and ingredient reviews, DIY equipment projects, craft beer tasting reviews, and of course my actual brewing experiences.  Oh, and just a quick note about me… I love feedback.  If you are looking for something here and don’t see it or the information is not clear, please let me know.  I am always interested in improving what I have and making the blog better.  I hope you find something interesting here eventually!  Cheers!

~Fermented Ted