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.

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Brew Day: Barry Mangilow (formerly “beer.”)

Well, helllllooooooooo there.  It’s been a while.  We took a short hiatus at the end of 2015 and beginning of 2016, but are now back to brewing, and to start the year off we decided to do something different.  I wanted to do a beer that is very complex, and counterpoint that with a name that is very simple.  What we ended up making is a Mango Triple IPA named “beer.”

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Just a little Repo Man influence on this one.

EDIT! We served this beer to some people and our buddy Augie came up with a MUCH BETTER NAME because this brew is sooooooooooooo mango.  So beer. no more (I’m sure we will re-use that one at some point later for a complex brew), intoducing: Barry Mangilow!

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Barry Mangilow has left the building.

Manny and I got together and first off we had some cleaning to do.  A lot of the equipment had been sitting for a while.  I spent Saturday cleaning out the garage, and then before we got started together Sunday morning we cleaned (and pressure washed) the equipment to get all the dust and whatnot out.

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Got to try out our sweet custom-made brewing paddle FINALLY!

So once we got everything cleaned up and ready to go, time to start the brew.  beer. is a big brew, with 15 pounds of grain for the mash tun and then another 6 pounds of light malt extract in the boil.  We wanted to make something big and complex, so we used lots of tropical hops (Simcoe, Citra, and Hull Melon) and we are going to balance them with mango puree in the secondary.

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Mashing in and it smells so good

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Putting the paddle to good use

Once we get through our primary fermentation (with Conan yeast), we are adding 5.25 pounds of mango puree.  This will add additional sugars and should send the beer in to even bigger territory.  If we hit our expected final gravity, it’s already going to be about 11.5% alcohol BEFORE the mango gets added.  This will be a sipper fo’ sho’.

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1.112!

We played a few games of Yahtzee and drank some beers like we usually do, but we added in The Oatmeal’s Exploding Kittens (NSFW Edition) to the mix and that was a lot of fun.  Hopefully one of these brew day sessions soon we will get a few guests so we can see how the game plays out with more than 2 players.  Overall, it was an incredibly smooth brew day and we could not ask for much more than that.

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Awaken the Narnope!

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It’s cloudy and cool as we get the transfer to the carboy going

I am really looking forward to sharing this beer with you all.  Hopefully we will have some events getting set up sometime soon that you can come out and get a taste of some BBxB beers, including beer., sometime soon!  Who knows, #150 (our bourbon barrel aged barleywine) might even make an appearance! …no guarantees…

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Such a pretty color

 

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Happy yeasties doing happy yeasty things

Brew Day Playlist:
Atmosphere: God Loves Ugly
Kendra Morris: Mockingbird
Eagles of Death Metal: Peace, Love, Death Metal
Atmosphere: The Lake Nokomis Maxi Single
Puscifer: Money Shot
Incubus: When Incubus Attacks, vol. 1