This post should have been written in January so blame the lack of funniness on my procrastination. Oh wait... that still puts the blame on me, damn. School, I can blame school!
Mostly interesting books, so many papers! Yay anticipating graduation!
Almost two months ago now, Geoff & I brewed our third beer. I wouldn't say we are cocky about it, but we seem to think our beers have been pretty tasty so far. We cleverly named our brewery Raise Your Glasses, some puns are way better than others like this one! We both wear glasses, we both drink beer out of glasses, come on, people, catch up!
The first two beers were El Hefe, a pretty basic Hefeweizen and JedIPA, an Imperial IPA. (Oh! How funny we are...)
Our labels so far and me goofing off with glasses.
For our third beer we wanted to try a darker beer, so we opted for a Mocha Coffee Porter. I decided I should write my take on the brewing process, because as with most things I make up my own language or just to be annoying I say ridiculous things and ignore science and math. I get the real brewing process by now, obviously, or I wouldn't be much help in the kitchen... brewery, but you can find articles on that anywhere.
Now, I took notes on this beer making day, but um I honestly can't decipher half of my shorthand anymore so let's see how this goes!
Step One was to CLR clean the immersion chiller (aka spirally doodad) and the gloves were tiny so guess who got to smell the wonderful smell of CLR?! Seems like a ploy to get me cleaning... grr.
The real Step One was to sanitize everything, which I guess is still cleaning so let's call this Step One B. We switched the type of sanitizer we were using from powdered stuff to liquid concentrate stuff that looks like Cool Brew (except not in color, so don't worry I didn't mix it with milk and think that was a good idea or anything).
Yummy! No. Wait.
This is where I shouted, "How can we brew beer if we're not drinking beeeeeeer, jeeez?!" So we opened an Optimator because that's what we had in the fridge and then for some reason I drew a snake in the notebook. Yeah, I'm a doodler on notes not related to school too, go figure.
OH! I know why I drew the snake! The heating mat. Let's backtrack a little, like a week or so, still in January, don't get confused. The plan was to always brew after the New Year, but we were hoping to start a week or so earlier than we had when we realized because outside was pretty cold (I mean, not really in the grand scheme of things, but cold enough to give us this problem) the problem was the fridge is in a shed on the cement and other excuses and the fridge was too cold. We fixed this problem by buying an aquarium heating mat and that's why the snake.
Anyway back to brew day (which I totally wrote 'bake' because I'm usually writing about that) I'm not really here to teach you how to brew as I was sort of saying above (that would be ridiculous), just here make you read my words because for some reason you cared enough to read. I, by the way, thank you for that.
We get the water hot, add the grains, I wrote "nom nom nom" so they either smelled good or I ate a few, like a bird, I think both of those things are true. I know some of the grains had a coffee scent or flavor, perfect!
We didn't have anymore beer, what?! We moved onto White Russians, still with theme because coffee.
Always safely store your belongings.
We get the pot to boiling or as I so eloquently put it "boilz 212°." Then we add the malt, which we also try, I don't believe in not trying your ingredients. Then my favorite part HOPNOMS. Then more hopnoms and malt. "After forever!" Yep, another random note, near a really simple doodle of a TARDIS.
Nom + hops = HOPNOMS (that math adds up I swear.) Also, shh my name being in this picture was totally on accident.
My notes stop for a little while because this is where a big freak out happens. We run out of propane! It was cold outside, we couldn't tell how low we were, also we are really bad at having everything double checked and prepared. Geoff has to carry the billion gallon pot, 5 gallon, to the stove... inside the house! Then lift it and keep it at a boil on our stove, yep that was fun. YAY LEARNING EXPERIENCES! Check your propane, kids!
This all seems really safe.
Yeah, you totally fit on the spoon rest. *giggles*
The curly doodad (oops... spirally) is ready to cool down our beer and water our backyard! We add the yeast and the stopper with the vodka... THAT KEPT POPPING OUT, what a bratty beer. *Whine* *Whine* "I don't like vodka!" "Deal with it, beer!"
Mr. Spirals doing his thing.
Time passes, it's still January, time to bottle and add the priming sugar (simple syrup), cocoa powder, and coffee!
It's right on the label!
We made the coffee in the French Press a day or so before bottling day and we didn't make it strong enough (getting to that in the review). For those curious and not here to judge because I don't care, we used Starbucks Komodo Dragon Blend, because DRAGON ON THE LABEL. ROAR.
The lime green cutie.
This beer must have known that if it wasn't a pain in the butt, this blog post would be super boring. (Hey! Be nice!) Geoff usually fills the bottles with the cool push button-y thing magic wand (y'know the bottling wand bottle filler, duh) because I like capping -- me and Cappy are good buds. I've forgiven him for now for this next part of the story. Cappy did not like the caps or the bottles or was drunk! I'm really not sure. Anyway, he gets stuck on the bottle and grumble grumble Geoff unhooks it from the bottle and it cracks the glass! Breaks the top clear off, that makes it sound like a cleaner break than it was, but whatever it broke and it was weird and annoying. Every four or so get stuck like this, but no more break, but it's certainly not as easy and painless as it usually is. I do eventually figure out that it's not meeting up evenly when being push together to cap it tight so I work slower, which I do not like. C'mon, Cappy, you sound old by name but you're not! Guess Geoff is really going to push to keg now. ;)
Because of all the craziness with the capping, Geoff and I switch for a little while and after a few fills or so the little button pin breaks off the magic beer wand and beer spills EVERYWHERE! What even is this beer? Haunted? Grr.
We get the beer cleaned up -- there's only a little left -- we fill the rest of the bottles. Phew! Sigh. Of. Relief.
THIS BEER BETTER TASTE EFFING AWESOME. Yeah, that was the consensus. Of all of us. All two of us.
Don't worry we marked the ones we aren't sure if we lost glass or pieces of equipment in (and the first one bottled of course).
Is this a secret code? Yes, yes it is.
And that is how Frothy Coffee Soup was made! Frothy Coffee Dragon Soup. Frothy Coffee Chocolate Dragon Soup. Angsty Rebel Cruella de Ville beer. Okay I'll stop, except to give you the story on the name of the beer, which I promised last post anyway. Our friend gave us a coffee maker and an immersion blender for our wedding shower and I got excited because I always wanted to play with an immersion blender or what I call a "frothy soup maker." He doesn't really care for coffee so I said I'd make him frothy coffee soup one day and instead we made this beer, but with a French Press, the coffee not the beer, YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN. Maybe we can blame him for the beer being an annoyance. Yeah, no blame on me, just the way it should be.
Aaaand now some final notes and what I think of the beer itself. Frothy Coffee Soup was originally undercarbed, we let it condition longer and voila! CARBONATION! The beer has a great flavor, the chocolate stands out, we could've (should've would've) made the coffee stronger for that flavor to really come through, we know this now for whenever we may try a coffee beer again in the future. As a whole, with all the learning experiences and stresses and silliness, the beer is a success!
One of these things cut my finger once.
Cheers! And more pictures of course.
Our most recent and prettiest pour.
Bonus feature, because what you want is another picture!
Doodles for label ideas, see 2nd picture in post to see the final label.