Techs & Tappers
First Pour, West Coast Pale Ale

We have Beer!  


This is the first pour of my WCPA.  Like a typical rookie I had to try it before it was 100% ready.  Really good head retention and well carbed. This was after 2 weeks Fermenting, 1 week carbonating.  Tasted great!  Everything I have heard about this one tells me that this will taste  much better 3 weeks from now so I plan to let the rest of them sit and condition for a few weeks.  

Tomorrow is bottling day for the Witty Monk, which I am very much looking forward to.  After that, next in the pipeline is a Linebacker Dopplebock with a Creamy Brown UME.  MUST, KEEP, PIPELINE, GOING!!!  

We…have… KRAUSEN!!

It took this little bugger a few days to get going, but I noticed a bit more activity yesterday afternoon.  Woke up this morning to a nice ripe orange smell surrounding the LBK and about a quarter to a half inch of Krausen.  I am very much looking forward to trying this.  

I also went out and purchased a cheap fermometer from Northern Brewer yesterday to make sure my fermentation temps in the basement were solid.  They are pretty steady around 68 degrees which should be perfect for Ale yeast to eat away.  

As I walk through the valley where I harvest my grain…

I take a look at my beer, and realize it’s very plain!  

Oh Weird Al.  You is a crazy mother fucka.  

So for those of you who don’t know (both of you following me do know), a few months back I won a competition at a Milwaukee Mustangs Arena League Football game.  In this competition, I kicked my friend Brian’s ass and made an Extra Point, which allotted me 12 cases of Coors Light and a years worth of Rocky’s Pizza.  Slowly, but surely, over the past few months we made our way through all of that Coors Light and it is finally GONE.  I would like to formally apologize to anyone who I forced to drink it.  That list exhaustively includes pretty much anyone who has been in our house since the end of March.  

Basically, for the past year I have been seriously contemplating starting to home brew.  I love Beer, I love Beer too much.  It just makes sense for me to start making my own, and for the first time in a long time, I don’t have any beer in the house.  What better time to get this party started?  

As lame as this sounds, I decided to get my feet a little wet in the home brewing genre by purchasing a Mr. Beer kit from Woot!  during a Woot off.  Twenty bucks for 2.5 gallons of whatever I ended up creating, I figured what the hell.  For any current home brewers out there, or any that will end up reading this in the future, please classify this as a beginner’s jump into the brewing world, and forgive me for the simplicity of the Mr. Beer process.  

After I received my kit I decided to sit down and read a bit more about the brewing process and then get the fermentation started on the included WCPA (West Coast Pale Ale) Kit that comes with the Mr. Beer.  Everything seemed to go well, and fermentation kicked into high gear the next day.  Mr.  Beer recommends at least 7 days in the fermenter (14 days for improved taste), but after 12 days I didn’t notice any real signs of fermentation occurring any longer so I went ahead and bottled it last night.  I did notice a slight cidery taste to the sample I took, which I guess usually means fermentation isn’t quite done, but it tasted like flat beer.  We will see how this batch turned out in a few weeks while I wait for them to carbonate.  

I cleaned that baby right up and got the fermenter ready to go for batch 2, which is Mr. Beers Deluxe Kit Witty Monk, which includes 2 HME cans (Hopped Malt Extract).  This Beer should turn out similar to a Blue Moon with a Citrus/Wheat flavor so I am very much looking forward to that.  I will try to post some bottling photos for the Witty Monk as well as some Pour photos of the WCPA in a few weeks when they are ready to roll.  

By September I hope to be upgrading to a full home brewing kit and start working 5 Gallon batches.  My goal here is to stop paying for commercial beer and only drink what I make, which may also be a calorie saver too because I can only brew so much!  We will see!  

Skillet - Awake


So, I have been lazy, pretty much neglectful with updating this thing.  For some reason I seem to have a hard time finding time to do things lately with everything going on.  Sometimes it’s probably not even that I am actually busy, I just FEEL incredibly busy all of the time.  Lately I have been commuting to Madison from Milwaukee every day for a work project, so that takes up a lot of my days, but it’s still not a valid excuse.  

Marauder (the band I play in) is prepping for a show this Friday, so I have been working on prepping my stuff for that.  It reminds me how much I feel like I miss music a lot of the time.  Awhile ago I started listening to some harder Alternative music and one of my favorite bands in the genre is Skillet.  

I was driving home the other night and an acoustic version of their song “It’s not me, it’s you” came on Octane (satellite radio).  I have heard this song a million times but it never quite caught me the way it did that night.  

Great song, great album, and a great artist.  Check em’ out if you have a chance!  

New Beer - Big Flats (Rochester, NY)

Hi All, 

I know this is late, but here goes nothing!  

So I decided to start off my first beer review with a bang… or a light beer whimper. I’m travelling for work again currently and I decided to pick up a sixer of something unique and unflattering at the local Walgreens.  Sure enough I find this little gem: 

Big Flats is your typical light beer, 100 calories, 4g of carbs, but this stuff is actually GOOD.  It is definitely not GREAT, but If I was going to drink light beer (which I rarely do, and probably should more often than I do) I would choose this stuff over Miller Lite, Coors, or Bud Light any day.  It has practically no bite, and is extremely smooth.  A lot of people relegate light beers to “water” which I’m sure many would say about this beer as well.  It does have that “watered down” taste to it, but what else can you expect from a light beer?  They have to replace the calories with something.  In my opinion, Big Flats would make an amazing beer pong beer based on how smooth the beer goes down, and the decent flavor.  I would highly recommend this stuff for your next pong party.  

The best part about this beer?  

$2.99 for a six pack.  Can’t complain about that!  

That’s it for now, but I promise, there are plenty more reviews, and posts, where that came from.  

People and Things

Jack’s Mannequin — oh how I love you.  

It’s funny how a certain musical artist or singer can make you feel right at home. The past few weeks are the longest I have been away from home in awhile. Reason being, I finally decided to take my life in another direction and change careers.  I know, it’s not the best economy to be making life changing decisions, especially when they aren’t being forced upon you.  I’m also not the kind of person that likes to take risks.  I like my routine and the safety and comfort of knowing what I am doing, where I am going, where I need to be.  

I received an offer from a large, unnamed company, that included a pay bump as well as the ability to train, get certifications, and work from home.  It was simply an offer that I could not refuse.  Right now I am experiencing a lot of different emotions because of it, the most prominent being excitement.  However, like any life changing decision, it’s scary.  The past few weeks I have been going through orientation programs, which are unfortunately in a different state, so I’m away from family, friends and my own bed.  This is especially difficult because I am away from my wonderful fiance’.  I can always tell how much I love that girl when we are apart.  Not that I don’t know it all the time, I guess I just don’t realize it until I don’t have the ability to be around her.  We will officially be married on October 6th, 2012, and I could not be looking forward to it more.  

When Jen and I first started dating, the very first concert we attended was a Jack’s Mannequin show.  It’s one of those bands that from that point forward, I have always associated with her.  Every time I hear Andrew McMahon sing I think of that night, and where it helped lead my life and the two of us.  That girl can read my racing thoughts.  

I love you Jen.  

Enough of this mushy crap though… here’s to the new Jack’s Mannequin album. This new album is phenomenal and if you like piano rock, there is no one better. I highly recommend checking out track 10, Restless Dream (link below).  If it wasn’t for the sad lyrics, it’s something I would love to have played at my wedding.

That’s it for post number one, but this should be the first entry of many!