Visiting my friend Roger at Café Proviant (brew pub)

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Today I went to drop of a hop plant at Café Proviant in Stockholm where my friend Roger brews beer every Sunday. It was the first time i visited during a brew day and they have a nice little setup with a 200 liter Braumeister brew system and four (If I remember correctly) temp. controlled fermentation tanks. They also have a 50-liter pilot/yeast starter system which they use to brew batches for growing yeast. The small batch beers are also served to the customers.

Today they brewed a pilsner with 55% munich malt, a bit unorthodox if you ask me but Roger is not known for following the rules. He gave me sample of 100% brett from the fermentation tank and it was great! Super clean with ripe mango fruit notes.

Another beer I tried was the bitter which is a 2.9% beer and it was just amazing! I really do enjoy great session beers. Thank you for the pint Roger!

Here’s some pictures and the restaurant is well worth a visit, not just for the beers but their menu looks tasty as well. The address is Arbetargatan 33.DSC07889-2 DSC07890-3

The 200-liter system (I guess the 500 as well) has a manometer showing the pressure inside the tubes pumping wort. According to Roger sometimes the pressure has to be corrected.DSC07891-4

Pilot brew working on a wit. (I named it wits and tits, I don’t think they will use it though)DSC07893-5

Bitter and hop plant. I hop it survives!DSC07895-6 DSC07896-7 DSC07897-8 DSC07899-10

 

Kegerator build: The tap

UPDATED 2015-05-23 / check bottom

I’ve come to the conclusion that the only way my home brewing hobby will keep me interested is if I solve the dispensing problem. Here’s some background for y’all. I brew at my mom and dads place. They have a big house and a garage where all the stuff fits very well. Since I live in a small apartment brewing at home is not worth the hassle since my parents only live 15-20 minutes away. See this intro as the reality for people with a brew club with their own brew house.

Even though it’s very nice to have a place to brew it comes with some problems:

  1. I can never monitor the yeast activity as detailed as I want. I have to disturb my dad whenever I wanna check fermentation status. I’m lucky he is very ambitious and committed to home brewing.
  2. Spontaneous brew session seldom happens. I know would happen if I still lived at home, since that was what I did when I lived there.
  3. The third big down side is what this post is all about. Since we don’t bottle much these days I have to bring home keg to enjoy beer. This is not a big problem during late fall and early spring since I can keep the beer cool on my balcony. But during winter and summer it’s either too cold or too hot to keep the kegs outside. Therefore even when I have finished beer I sometimes can’t enjoy it.

The solution to all this is a new way of dispensing. A kegerator! I have a great girlfriend who have a high tolerance for my crazy ideas. I live in her apartment which makes me not wanna modify stuff too much since. Even though I want, it doesn’t feel right to tear down walls and install fossball tables (all original ideas of mine). But one thing we’ve decided on is to install another fridge where I can store and dispense my beer from.

About two weeks ago I order a beer tower from aliexpress.com and it arrived today. Pretty nice since I was expecting it to be way longer delivery time. Here’s a series of unboxing photos:

Chinese package, a bit rough upped. (compulsory unboxing knife pic)

Chinese package, a bit rough upped. (compulsory unboxing knife pic)

Lots of bubble wrap.

Lots of bubble wrap.

4 pieces. The bubble wrap between the two white boxes was just filling.

4 pieces. The bubble wrap between the two white boxes was just filling.

Two taps with springs. There were no instructions so I haven't got the faintest idea what to do with the springs. For now I put them into the taps...that was the only place they fit.

Two taps with springs. There were no instructions so I haven’t got the faintest idea what to do with the springs. For now I put them into the taps…that was the only place they fit.

Gasket, bolts and tool for tightening. The tool is "ikea-tool"-quality so for more then installation a new tap wrench is probably necessary.

Gasket, bolts and tool for tightening. The tool is ”ikea-tool”-quality so for more then installation a new tap wrench is probably necessary.

PVC tubing pre-installed.

PVC tubing pre-installed.

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Lot's of tubing. Smells very plasticy...

Lot’s of tubing. Smells very plasticy…

Insulation inside the tower.

Insulation inside the tower.

Pic 1 inside the tower from the top.

Pic 1 inside the tower from the top.

Pic 2 of the inside of the tower from the top.

Pic 2 of the inside of the tower from the top.

Top lid and insulation.

Top lid and insulation.

Taps installed.

The Styrofoam piece inside the top lid.

The Styrofoam piece inside the top lid.

Taps installed.

Short about the first impression. The first thing I notices was how the tap handles didn’t fit very snug. The threads on one of the handles was way to big, i fixed it with some regular office tape. The second thing was that the taps didn’t open and close very smooth, this was not a big surprise. I did not expect Perlick-quality from a cheap chinese product. The rest seemed ok, I guess the threads on shanks will wear down if one would work on them too much.

The cost of this was about half of what I would have to pay for it in the home brew store. I don’t know about the quality difference with the ones you buy from Swedish retailers. What I know is that when I got the money I will invest in a Perlick tower, for now this is good!

I’ll link to the aliexpress-seller on request.

Ps. if it breaks down I’ll rant about it so you wont need to!

 

UPDATE! Today I connected the ball lock disconnects to the PVC-tubing that came with the tap tower. For a while I was thinking of using the harder tubing made of LDPE more commonly used by Swedish home brewers. But I decided to try the PVC tubing and see if it works.

Here’s some pictures and comments on how I went by doing this.

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First of I cleaned the disconnects in a chlorine batch to make sure they weren’t infested with spoiling bugs. Be sure to rinse well afterwards.

I bought these hose clamps (ss w4 10-12mm) at Clas Ohlson for 19 sek. I also bought a pack of smaller ones just in case, they didn’t fit. For a more permanent and more solid installation there is a clamp called Oetiker. They make a better seal and are more compact. They are also more expensive and you need a special tool to tighten them.

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To get the PVC over the barb on the disconnects I used a hair drier and heated the tubing for about 20 seconds. It didn’t take much but made it a bit easier.

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After I heated the tubing it was a easy install, just tighten the hose clamps using a flat screwdriver.

Tomorrow I’m going to buy a fridge. EXCITED!!!!

Recap: oven roasted malt porter-ish.

So I thought it would be good time to give you guys an update on the results of my roasted porter. I have to confess I haven’t done a great job of reviewing it while it was still existing. It had a short life span. Mostly due to a very successful wedding.

Since I can’t really write as I’m drinking it i’ll just do a all in one reflection.

Before mashing the grain had a very burnt scent to them comparing with commercial brown malt. The wet version was a bit sweeter, still a bit charcoaly tough. This carried through into the beer in some degree, it got a comment along the line: ”It’s has a very burnt flavor”. At first I was afraid it wouldn’t settle enough and be to overwhelming but it did in fact become very drinkable since it was so light in alcohol.

Sessionable yes, but it could have benefited from some more residual sweetness to balance the roastiness. I think it finished at 1.014 which isn’t that low but still not high for a beer whit a lot of roast character. So I would go a bit crazy with some light crystal if I’d do it again.

The color was light brown, similar to new castle, but did not match in flavor. It was packing more dark grain punch than what it looked like.

I probably won’t roast my own grains again, it’s not worth the time if you ask me. I have yet to master the commercially available malts. But for you brewers out there still interested in roasting your grains: go for it! My only advice would be, try to use them in smaller proportions.

My recipe was: 1.9 kg each of the two roast, 2 kg marris otter and 400 grams of caramunich I.
For hops I used just some First Goldings at 60, 10 and 5 minutes – around 25 IBUs.

Here’s some pics from the wedding party…

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Tasting notes on Every Brett You Taste

I wrote about my first brett beer in January (link to post here – http://www.beernakedblog.com/brews/every-stingy-farmhouse-police-you-smell/).

Now it’s time to taste it.

Appearance: A golden to amber color with a dense white head of medium size. A lot of bubbles rising fast through the beer, may be due to the little to warm serving temperature.

Smell: Very malty with a hint of barn funk and ripe apples. Not too many components.

Flavor: Pretty sweet, way to sweet for a saison, this may be the priming sugar and will probably be consumed by the brettanomyces during a longer conditioning. There is also a bit of tartness that will go well with the drier result i’m hoping for in time.

Overall: It definitely needs more time in the bottle to be at it’s best. Next time I wont add any or a lot less munich malt, it takes to much space in the beer and won’t let the yeast show enough. I’m looking forward to see how this ages!

And here’s your picture!

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