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DavidW

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DavidW last won the day on October 22

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About DavidW

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    Look Out Ernest & Julio
  • Birthday 02/14/1964

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    http://vermonthardwoods.com
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    Rockingham, VT

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  1. Decided to do my first IPA. It was supposed to be an IIPA, but my 5 gallon mash tun really limited my efficiency (67%). I guess I could have boiled all afternoon to get the gravity down but really didn't feel like it. At 1.066 it will make a nice upper end straight IPA. During the course of mashing and boiling I also bottled (15) and kegged (a full 5 gallons) my Hefeweizen, as well as harvested two more batches of yeast from it. I think that will be the last from the 3333 German Wheat - it's in the 5th generation now and it hold me through the summer. I think next time I'll they the Weihenstephan strain. Grapes are supposed to arrive this weekend at M&M. Perfect timing - I'm going to PA for my daughter's graduation Saturday and was worried they'd come in this week and have to figure out some way to keep them... Now I just need to bottle my Island Mist Strawberry White Zin and the Skeeter Pee before it's time to press so I have enough carboy space.
  2. Summer is coming, time to get a Hefe going. Brewed up an all grain batch Saturday, using 35% German Pils and 65% German Wheat. Sparge didn't stick, but it was slooow even with my SS braid. Guess I should get some rice hulls for the future.... Two additions of Hallertau - at 45 & 15 minutes. Made a total of 6-3/4 gallons and canned two one-quart jars (diluted to 1.040) for future starters. This should give me a pretty solid six gallons of finished product - 2 six-packs for gifts and picnics and almost a full keg. Used some yeast harvested last September from my last batch, a Wyeast #3333 German Wheat. Pitched at 68°, within 12 hours it was chugging away. In my 61° basement the ferment kept it about 68-69 until it slowed down after about three days, perfect temps for this yeast. Now it's just burbling, and about 61-62°. Two weeks and this puppy should be ready to bottle/keg. Ah, summer.
  3. DavidW

    Chilean Plans 2010

    Well I got a huge tax refund this year, so I am taking that as a sign that it's time to pick up where I left off last August when a leaking water heater thwarted my fall plans. After putting away the bulk of it for a new roof this spring, property taxes this fall and next year's heating fuel (did I mention it was a huge refund?) I am planning on sending a good chunk of change to M&M. In addition to the Chilean fruit (8 lugs each Pinot Noir and Cab Sauv, 3 of Chard and 2 of Cab Franc), I'm ordering a manual crusher-destemmer(!) and a 40L bladder press(!!) not to mention a few more carboys and and 10 cases of bottles. Guess I better get to "work" bench trialing the blends of my spring 2009 wines to make room...
  4. DavidW

    Brew Day

    It's March - time to start a Marzen/Oktoberfest! Made 6.25 gallons (at 80% brewhouse efficiency!) this afternoon. I was shooting for 6 gallons at 1.052 and ended up with 6.25 at 1.057. By the time I added my half gallon starter (I didn't feel like waiting for it to settle out), I had 6.75 gallons at 1.056. The basement is just a bit too warm. So I've got it in the garage (about 35) with a brew belt and blanket to hold it at 50. Will have to keep a close eye on it to make sure it stays around 50-53. While I was waiting for the mash, boil and chill I also prepped and kegged/bottled my Black Pearl Porter from a month ago. I know - not the best timing, I need to work on that. I had about 5.25 gallons so I bottled a six pack and kegged the rest. Spring (fall) is coming, so now we have to wait and see what happens with the Chilean grapes. I'm itching to get last year's wines bottled to make room for some more. I'm thinking around 10-12 gallons each of Pinot Noir and Cabernet, and 5-6 gallons of Merlot and maybe a Pinot Grigio.
  5. DavidW

    Kegged The Pils

    Well, after lagering for about two months I kegged my first all grain pilsner. I did a step mash using my new steam infusion method which makes use of a pressure cooker. Once I figured out you need to really crank the valve open to get enough steam out it worked great. So anyways, this is actually the very first pilsner of any sort that I've made and I think it's going to be pretty good. Even though my water is not the greatest for light beers (8-12 SRM is the best fit without modification according to Palmer's chart), I didn't actually know that when I brewed this up and so I didn't add anything to my mash water. It's pretty light and has a beautiful crisp taste. Can't wait until it carbs up! Next project - build a collar for my keezer so I can hook all three kegs up to gas at the same time, and then put some taps in so I don't have to open the top and use the picnic taps any more...
  6. DavidW

    Brewery Update

    Today I brewed up a batch of Black Pearl Porter. I ended up having to do a thick mash and double batch sparge in order to fit 13# of grain in my 5 gallon igloo. It came out decent though - I got 72% brewhouse efficiency and put about 5.25 gallons in the primary at 1.063. I was worried about my yeast - I did a starter on a batch of Irish Ale yeast I had harvested from my last batch of Oatmeal Stout. It never really seemed to take off, though there was some sign of life in the 12-24 hour period. No krausen though, and no foam at the 36 hour point when I pitched it. But after 12 hours the thing was chugging to beat the band, so I guess you just never know. Now I need to hit my hefeweizen so I have an empty keg when this puppy gets done. I think I'll invite the guys from the shop over after work on Friday...
  7. DavidW

    Getting Up To Date

    Well, we all have to start somewhere... Here's the status of the cellar ATM: WINE Bottled: I've got (the remains of) seven kits bottled and in my new wine rack: My very first kit - a Washington Reisling is down to the last bottle. I stuck in in the back to save for another year or so... The California Trinity Red has also been a big hit, and as it was one of the earliest ones I made it got hit pretty hard early on. Almost out of Strawberry White Zinfandel "Mist Kit" that the ladies seem to looove, so I just ordered another one to get cooking before summer hits. The Merlot is finally getting somewhere. It was kinda flabby and "kool aid"-y for a while but it's not half bad now. Rosso Fortissimo (full "grape pack" high end kit) is quite good - maybe half gone already tho... Old Vine Zinfandel has been really nice all the way through with one exception maybe two-three months after bottling. Pomegranate Zinfandel (Mist kit) is so-so. Prolly won't make it again, though maybe it just needs some more time. Got spoiled by the SWM. Bulk aging: '07 Suisan Valley Malbec is due to be bottled before too long - started in March of '09. '09 Chilean Cabernet and Merlot also close to done. These were started in Spring 2009. Will probably blend most of the above - find a percentage that tastes good and bottle all I can that way, with the remains bottled as varietals. BEER Bottled: Well, now that the Dunkelweizen is almost gone (I think I have about two sixers left) it's all of a sudden coming into its own. I actually like it now! Kegged: The Smooth Oatmeal Stout was awesome. Unfortunately it's almost all gone. Prolly 3-4 pints left, plus a few bottles. Gotta make some more, or maybe a Porter. Bavarian Hefeweizen never cleared. I know, it's supposed to be cloudy, but it's VERY cloudy. And earlier batches have cleared enough so that you have to shake it up to get any sediment back. I suspect I didn't get complete conversion - will be doing the iodine test in the future. Irish 70 shilling is just tapped. It, too, is a bit cloudy, even though it was in primary for like four weeks and it's been in the keg for over a month waiting for a tap. See above. In process: I've got a German Pilsner lagering. It could be kegged by now, but I don't have an empty... When I had it in primary it looked like it was going to be a real nice light straw color, but in the Better Bottle it looks kinda dark and not very clear. This is the first batch I made with my bulk grain and new mill. Guess I'll see when I get it into a keg and tap it out.
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