Yesterday was my first 10 gallon batch. Greg and I have been using our keggle mash tun for awhile and we broke our boil keggle in last week, so we gave it a full run for it's money yesterday. This batch of Honey Blonde is destined for the East Valley Crossfit Iron Fest. Same exact recipe as my earlier post here, only doubled for 10 gallons, and I used WLP007 rather than US-05 this time. Should be mighty tasty by January 14th! If you're going to be in the area, drop by. It's going to be fun!

Image courtesy of EVCF

Last night I picked up the specialty malts for my next 6 batches:

Robust Porter
American Amber
Furry Penguin DIPA
Pale Ale

I'll be making my first 10 gallon batch this weekend with a Blonde Ale. My gym (East Valley Crossfit) is hosting a lifting event called the East Valley Iron Fest in mid-January, and I agreed to brew a keg to serve there. Nothing like mixing alcohol with lifting heavy weight, right?

But anyway, I find it really easy to buy my specialty grains several batches at a time, and store them in gallon zip locks. Then when I'm ready to brew, I measure out my 2-row, and just dump in the bag.

Today I brewed a special bitter. Just about any one living in the Phoenix area is familiar with Four Peaks brewery. They make a special bitter called 8th Street Ale that I am just obsessed with; it's a lower gravity session beer that just hits the spot. It has a big pronounced hop aroma, more so than you'd expect for a bitter, but the flavor is mostly malty sweetness. Today marks my second attempt to clone it.

I purchased a bunch of hops in bulk this fall from the 2011 harvest, and I just finally got around to breaking them down into 4oz packs. If there are any hop-heads out there that don't buy hops in bulk, you should strongly consider it. Pick up a foodsaver and some vacuum bags because the savings are huge. After shipping I paid an average of 81 cents per ounce. This years hop harvest smells absolutely incredible: very oily, fragrant, and pungent. Looks like it's going to be a very hoppy 2012 at my house!

Here's the rundown:
2lbs Amarillo
2lbs Centennial
2lbs Citra
2lbs Simcoe
1.5lb Warrior
1lb Styrian Golding
1lb EKG
12oz HBC 342
8oz Cascade

So Yummy!

Like many other brewers I often stare at my mash tun wishing I had a useful way to utilize the spent grain that's left over from brewing. It always seems like such a waste to throw away. Since I don't have a farm or a compost bin, using the grain to bake bread seems like as good of an idea as any. The results were delicious, and there's abosuletly nothing like the smell of fresh baked bread coming out of the oven.

 I suppose it's fitting my inaugural post is about my favorite style of beer, a Double IPA. Some people like to call them all Imperial IPAs, but personally I think there is a difference between Doubles and Imperials. I think of Doubles as bigger, hoppier IPAs, but still dry and not overly-malty. I think of Imperials as big malty hoppy IPAs. Maybe I'm crazy, but that's my belief on the nomenclature. Anyway... Here's my most recent Double IPA, the Furry Penguin:


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