Brew Day: Inked and Canela de Vainilla Inked

Today we took step 2 of 7 toawrds prepping for our hopeful investor’s dinner in the spring.  Today we brewed one of our standard beers, Inked (an oatmeal stout), and one of its Brazen counterparts, Canela de Vainilla Inked (cinnamon vanilla).  During this brew session, we worked some on our business plan, and it is getting closer to being done.  We are hoping that before the end of 2017 you will be able to buy a pint from us!

The brew day wasn’t as great as we had hoped.  First, it was actually cold in San Antonio.  Not complaining… because I complain about the heat most of the year, but still.  Cold.  Made all the hot liquids look cool, though.  Secondly, we ended up low in both our volume of beer and our Original Gravity (potential alcohol).  So, likely, Inked and CdV Inked are going to be lower than their original expectations, unless the Final Gravity ends lower (and dryer) as well. These issues of small variations will be less problematic when we have a more automated system.  As of now we are a very manual process, which means lots of opportunity to introduce human error.

We are going to be brewing a lot, and brewing more than we can serve at one investor’s dinner, so we intend to have some tastings this spring as well.  If you have an idea of a place we can serve homebrew (the rules per TABC: the location must not have a license to serve alcohol, and we need to be able to give it away in return for a “review,” so we will be asking for feedback) please email ryan@brazenbexarbrewing.com and we’ll be best buddies.

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Ryan, checking Inked on the refractometer.

Looking forward to see how these turn out… 🙂

Brew Day Playlist:
A Tribe Called Quest: We Got it From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service
Beastie Boys: Ill Communication
CZARFACE: A Fistful of Peril
Dangerdoom: Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid
Deftones: B-Sides and Rarities
Devo: Freedom of Choice
Alice In Chains: Nothing Safe

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Brew Day: Nebula (v.3) and Supernova

After many, many, many years of refusing, I finally gave in and bought a setup to keg my beer.  I gave in for a few reasons… I have WAY too many bottles cluttering up my garage (and found a broken bomber out there just before we started brewing, no bueno), a lot of the more popular competitions here in town require kegged beer and Manny and I want to start competing, and it’s just sweet to be able to go pour yourself a draft at home.  If I want a 1/2 a glass, I can do that and not have to worry about wasting the rest of the bottle.  So I went on Craigslist and found a good double-tap kegerator, and got all the fixings to make it work with some corny kegs.  So now we have this.

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Yes, I made a chalk board tap list. Shut up.

So of course, since there are kegs to be filled, we needed to fill some kegs!  I decided it was time to try our nearly traditional tripel, Nebula, again.  In the past it has been too hop forward, so I dialed down the bitterness and got rid of the dry hopping.  We still use Magnum for the bittering (which is pretty traditional) and Galaxy for the aroma (which is not), but no dry hopping on Nebula this time.  Also, we switched yeasts and are experimenting with Northeast Abbey Yeast from the Yeast Bay (aka the Ommegang house yeast strain, supposedly).

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Mmm hops

However, since Manny and I are both fans of hops, we made 2 batches of Nebula, and are dry hopping one of them.  Dry hopped Nebula has been dubbed Supernova.

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Nebula (L) and Supernova (R)

So we decided we’d make a big double batch of Nebula and have them side by side for the first tapping of the kegerator.  While our mash tun fit the 26.5 pounds of grain, the 8.5 gallons of water to go on top was a bit of a stretch!  We only got about 7 in, so we had to make our first sparge a bit larger than normal.  I was actually surprised, we didn’t lose very much efficiency even with the unintentional changes… the recipe was slated to hit 1.083 SG and we got to 1.080, so if the yeast ferments out as much as it should, we will be sitting at about 8.27%, only about a 1/4 of a percent lower than expected.  C’mon yeasties, do your thing!

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Popped a bottle of the #150.

We had a pretty packed brewday, as there were the most guests we’ve ever had in one day. Which made for some fun rounds of Exploding Kittens (so much better with 5 people instead of 2!) Overall, besides the mash tun issue, everything went pretty darn smooth.  Two brews in a row of smoothness.  I could get used to that.  I PROBABLY JUST JINXED IT.

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Manny stirs as Mike adds some sugar to the brew.

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Exploding…

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Kittens!

So in about 10 days we will keg these, and not long after we will have the reveal party!  Woot!  Until next time, cheers.

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Smellovision needs to be invented. Please scratch your screen… and imagine.

Brew Day Playlist:
Smashing Pumpkins: Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness: Dawn to Dusk
Mega Gem: Colors of the West
Propellerheads: Decksanddrumsandrockandroll
Queens of the Stone Age: Era Vulgaris
Incubus: Fungus Amongus
Prophets of Rage: Zen Gravy
Primus: Suck on This
Beastie Boys: The Mix Up
Pearl Jam: Vs.