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MoreBeer Flash Sale for 15% Off

MoreBeer.com Flash Sale Promo Code - Save 15%

MoreBeer.com Flash Sale Promo Code – Save 15%

 

Promo Code Description: More Beer just launched a Flash Sale that will save you 15% on nearly everything that they offer!  Click the link for all of the details.
Promo Code Date: 6/17/2019 to 6/20/2019
MoreBeer Promo Code: FLASH15 MOREBEER PROMO CODE
MoreBeer.com Promo Code Type: More Beer Coupon Codes for June, 2019

MoreBeer Click For The Promo Code:MoreBeer.com Promo Code Link

MoreBeer.com Promo Code Found At: HomebrewingPromoCode.com

MoreBeer Beer Brewing Kit Promo Code

MoreBeer Promo Codes
Promo Code Description: Save 15% On Select American Kits with this MoreBeer.com Promo Code!

MoreBeer.com Memorial Day Promo Code

Promo Code Description: Save 15% On Select American Kits with this More Beer Promo Code. Click the link to see all of the home brewing beer kits that qualify for this limited time MoreBeer.com coupon code.
Promo Code Date: 5/23/2019 to 5/28/2019
MoreBeer Promo Code: HONOR – Click for Promo Code Offer 
MoreBeer.com Promo Code Type: MoreBeer Coupon Codes for May, 2019

MoreBeer Click For The Promo Code:Save 15% On Select American Kits with this MoreBeer.com Promo Code!

Electric 5 Gallon Homebrewing Systems

Electric Home Beer Brewing Systems

Electric Home Beer Brewing Systems

 

 

The Best Electric Home Brewing Systems Under $1,000

There are two main methods of home brewing beer. One is called extract and the other is known as all grain home brewing. With extract, you use either powdered malt sugar or malt syrup that has been extracted for you. With all grain home brewing, you extract the starches from the grain yourself and then convert them to sugar during the mashing process. All grain home brewing is considered to be more advance than extract brewing since it is more complex and you have greater control over the beer you make.

If you have tried extract home brewing and are ready to move to all grain, I have created a list of my top 3 all in one turnkey all grain home beer brewing systems. For my list I have chosen 3 affordable home brewing systems that will allow you to brew 5 gallon batches of beer.

 

RoboBrew Home Brewing System

RoboBrew Home Brewing System

#1 The RoboBrew Homebrewing System $479

The RoboBrew v3 is an electric home brewing system costs $479 and comes with everything that you need to start brewing all grain beer recipes. The RoboBrew features a built-in magnetic drive pump to recirculate the wort during the mash for high efficient brewing. The RoboBrew also features dual electric heating elements run off of a single 110 volt plug and has individual switches allowing for more control over the heating process.

The RoboBrew’s digital control panel makes it easy to see the temperature as you brew. The Robo Brew’s digital temperature controller is also water resistant so you don’t need to worry about spills or some water dripping down the side. The Robo Brew home brewery includes a stainless steel malt pipe with false bottom allowing you to quickly shift from mash tun to boil kettle. The Robobrew v3 even includes a stainless steel wort chiller is shipped with bare ends so you can set it up for your situation.

The RoboBrew costs $479 and can be purchased here.

Information on the RoboBrew was found at HomebrewingCoupon.com

 

GrainFather Homebrewing System

GrainFather Homebrewing System

#2 The GrainFather Home Brewing System $998

The GrainFather home beer brewing system is an electric home brewing system costs $998. The Grain Father home beer brewing is an all in one Brewing System with a hefty feature set! The Grain Father has a small footprint and uses standard 120 v power. Mashing in the Grain Father takes place in the inner Stainless Steel brewing basket. The wort recirculates through the perforated plate. This Grain Father electric home brewing system includes a counter flow homebrewing chiller for cooling wort post boil. Best of all, the Grain Father uses the Connect Control Box in conjunction with the Connect App for the ultimate home beer brewing experience. The control box has Bluetooth connection to your mobile device so it can be controlled remotely making your brew day a snap.

The GrainFather Home Brewery Can Be Purchased Here

Information on the GrainFather brewing system was found at HomebrewingCoupon.com

 

Brewers Edge Homebrewing System

Brewers Edge Homebrewing System

The Brewers Edge Electric Home Brewing System $299

If you are looking for the most cost effective all grain home brewing system available, look no further. The Brewer’s Edge plugs into any 110 volt GFI household outlet. The Mash and Boil features double wall stainless steel construction. This design enhancement conserves heat and lets you reach a boil faster! You can achieve a rolling boil with only 110 volts and 1600 watts! The Brewers Edge’s precise thermostat and internal sparge basket lets you mash and boil in the same vessel.

The Brewers Edge Home Brewing System Can Be Purchased Here

Information on the Brewers Edge home brewing system was found at HomebrewingCoupon.com and https://homebrewingbeer.quora.com

 

 

New Hazy Session IPA Recipe

West Coast Brewer Hazy Session IPA All Grain Recipe

West Coast Brewer Hazy Session IPA All Grain Recipe

I recently transferred my Hazy Session IPA to the keg and let it carbonate. I was really pleased with the results and figured I would post the recipe in case anyone was looking to brew one. I did my best to keep the ABV right at or slightly under 5%. Since session beers tend to be a little thin on body, I tried to round mine out by adjusting the mineral profile of the water. I also loaded my Hazy Session IPA up with Citra hops to give it that lush and juicy taste that you come to expect with a Hazy IPA.

Hazy Session IPA All Grain Recipe

Beer Name: Murky Depths Hazy Session IPA
Beer Style: New England Style Hazy Session IPA
Recipe Type: All Grain
Batch Size: 5 Gallons
Mash Type:
Infusion
(60 Min) 152F
(10 Min) 169F Mash Out
1 tsp Calcium Chloride
.5 tsp Gypsum / Calcium Sulfate
Grain Bill:
9 LBS Pale 2 Row US
1 LBS Flaked Oats
1 LBS Caramel / Crystal Malt 40L
Hops:
.5 oz Centennial – 60 minutes
1 oz Cascade – 20 minutes
1 oz Cascade – 10 minutes
2 oz Citra – 0 Minutes & Whirlpool
Yeast:
London Ale III Wyeast #1318
Fermentation:
2 Week Primary @ 70F
– I ferment this at a slightly higher that usual temperature to increased ester production
and to create a more active fermentation)
On day 3 of active fermentation make the following hop additions
2 oz Citra
On day 7 of fermentation make the following hop additions
1 oz Cascade
2 oz Citra
Once fermentation has completed cold crash and transfer to keg or bottle.

I hope you like it and happy brewing!

Home Brewing A Hazy Session IPA Tomorrow!

It feels like it has been way too long but, I’m brewing up a new batch of homebrew tomorrow! For this batch I’m converting one of my old session IPAs into a hazy. I’m excited to see how it turns out.

One of the modifications is using Wyeast London Ale III for the yeast. I’m also adding a pound of flaked oats, and making modifications to the hop additions, especially during fermentation.

I will be sure to post the recipe if it comes out well!

For the yeast starter I also used Fast Pitch canned wort.  It certainly speeds up the yeast starter process since I do not need to spend the time boiling and chilling the wort. I open the can, place the wort in a sanitized flask, add the same quantity of water, pitch the yeast, placed the sanitized stir rod, place it on the stir plate and that is all she wrote!

MoreBeer.com Promo Code – Save 25% On Pliny the Elder Homebrew Kits

Pliny the Elder Home Brewing Kits

Pliny the Elder Beer Kits

 

More Beer Coupon Code Date: 8-27-2018 to 9-2-2018
MoreBeer.com Promo Code Details: Save 25% On Pliny the Elder Beer Kits
More Beer Promo Code: KOTW – CLICK HERE
Availability: In Stock
MoreBeer.com Coupon Code Description: This week at MoreBeer, they have an incredible new promotion running that will save you 25% On Pliny the Elder All Grain and Extract Home Brewing Beer Kits! In order to take advantage of this limited time More Beer deal on Pliny the Elder homebrew kits, make sure that you enter the MoreBeer.com promo code KOTW at checkout and save 25%! Click the link for all of the details and to take advantage of this homebrewing deal from MoreBeer! Don’t forget, you will also get FREE SHIPPING on orders over $59 at More Beer. This is perhaps More Beer’s best beer kit in my opinion and I have brewed it many of times.

Click the link to take advantage of this More Beer limited time promo code offer.  This is a limited time and limited quantity promo code and items commonly sell out very quickly!

PLINY THE ELDER HOME BREWING KITS

 

The New RoboBrew v3 Electric Brewery Is Now In Stock And SHIPS FREE!

robobrew home brewery promo code coupon

robobrew home brewery promo code coupon

RoboBrew v3 Promo Code Link: ROBOBREW PROMO CODE LINK
Right now, while supplied last at More Beer, you can get FREE Shipping and A FREE Wort Chiller when you purchase the all new Robo Brew 3 electric home brewing system.  The RoboBrew home brewery is an all in one electric and digital home brewery. It features built in electric heating elements for heating and boiling water and wort. It also has a built in home brewing pump for recirculation! The onboard water resistant control panel allows for setting and monitoring brewing temperatures, making for a simplified homebrew day!  The removable grain basket makes cleaning the RoboBrew a snap and a built in spigot makes transferring your wort easy. The RoboBrew v3 Electric Home Brewery is loaded with high end home brewing features.  Here are some of the specs on the New RoboBrew 3 home brewery:

Robo Brew Home Brewery

Robo Brew Home Brewery

ROBOBREW 3 HOME BREWERY

  • Stainless steel construction
  • Large 9 gallon total capacity with a finished beer output of 5-6 gallons
  • Digital temperature controller
  • Standard 110 v power
  • Dual heating elements for total control (1000 watts and 500 watts)
  • Stainless steel 1/2 inch ball valve
  • FREE Immersion wort chiller included
  • Stainless steel malt basket
  • Volume markers
  • Glass lid
  • Magnetic drive pump for recirculation
  • Recirculation arm
  • Temperature reads in °F or °C
The Robo Brew 3 All Electric Home Beer Brewing System is the ultimate portable all grain home brewery! The RoboBrew uses standard 110 v power so you can brew beer anywhere. The built in magnetic drive pump easily recirculates the wort during the mash. Dual heating elements run off of a single 110 volt plug and have individual switches allowing for more control over the heating process. One element is 1000 watts and the other is 500 for a combined 1500 watts! Use both when you need to ramp up the temperature quickly either at the start to get to your mash temp or to go from your mash temp to boiling.

Click the following link to take advantage of this More Beer Coupon Code:

ROBO BREW FREE SHIPPING PROMO CODE LINK

RoboBrew 3 Electric Home Brewing System

RoboBrew 3 Electric Home Brewing System

West Coast Brewer NEIPA Hazy IPA Version 2

West Coast Brewer NEIPA – Hazy IPA Recipe v2.0

We just finished brewing our most recent batch of beer!  For this one, we took another crack at a Hazy IPA. Hazy IPA’s have quickly become one of my very favorite styles to both brew and consume.  The combination of tropical hops and fruity esters from the yeast end up creating a hoppy fruitiness that is difficult to resists!

Just a word of caution, if you choose to brew this recipe, beware that there is a good deal of oats and wheat in it and depending on your system it could cause sparge and recirculation issues.  I personally experienced that with this batch.  It may be wise to add some rice hulls to the mash to help prevent it from sticking. It did finally clear, but it was a struggle for a little while. I ended up adding an extra gallon of water to the mash to help clear it.

Ss BrewTech Stainless Steel Conical Homebrewing Fermenter

Ss BrewTech Stainless Steel Conical Homebrewing Fermenter

Sanitizing the stainless steel Ss BrewTech conical fermenter. I ended up chopping the feet off of mine and using a flat top so that it fits inside my cest freezer for fermentation. I also traded out the racking arm for More Beer’s Ultimate Racking Arm solution. I am super happy with it and also have a 14 gallon version.

 

Here is the post boil whirlpool after I added the additional hops in at flame out!  I let it whirlpool for approximately 15 minutes. I added a weldless stainless steel whirlpool arm from More Beer and it has worked out really well for me.  It was easy to install into my kettle and has been completely leek free!

 

The TrubTrapper Post Boil

The Trub Trapper Post Boil

This is probably my best recent purchase! The Trub Trapper did an incredible job on this batch and really exceeds expectations when I use it in conjunction with a whirlpool process.  It captures 90%+ of the hops and trub so that I can draw in clean wort to my fermentor with out worry!

Here is my West Coast Brewer Hazy IPA v2.0 beer recipe!

If you brew it, please let me know how it turns out for you!

Beer Name: West Coast Brewer Hazy IPA v2.0Beer Style:New England IPA / NEIPA / Hazy IPA / Vermont Style IPARecipe Type:All GrainBatch Size:5 GallonsMash Type:Infusion
(60 Min) 150F
(10 Min) 169F Mash Out
1 tsp Calcium Chloride
1/2 tsp Gypsum / Calcium SulfateGrain Bill:12 LBS Pale 2 Row US
2 LBS Flaked Oats
2 LBS Flaked Wheat
1 LBS Flaked Malt
1 LBS Honey MaltHops:1 oz Mosaic – 60 Minutes
2 oz Citra – 15 Minutes
1 oz Mandarina Bavaria – 5 Minutes
1 oz Citra – 0 Minutes – Whirlpool for 15 Minutes
1 oz Mosaic – 0 Minutes – Whirlpool for 15 MinutesOther:DO NOT USE A CLARIFIERYeast:London Ale III Wyeast #1318Fermentation:2 Week Primary @ 72F
– I ferment this at a slightly higher that usual temperature to increased ester production
and to create a more active fermentation)
On day 3 of active fermentation make the following hop additions
2 oz Mandarina Bavaria
On day 7 of fermentation make the following hop additions
2 oz Mandarina Bavaria
2 oz Citra
Once fermentation has completed or on day 10, cold crash and transfer to keg or bottle. 

Installed New Blichmann RipTide Home Brewing Pump Upgrades

 

I initially purchased my March home brewing pumps about 7 years ago, well before stainless steel homebrew pumps were really a thing. Once stainless pumps became more popular, I considered upgrading, but my existing pumps worked fine and I could not justify the cost.  Then Blichmann released their RipTide home brewing pumps which feature a tri-clamp attached head!!! In my opinion that is a big deal because it allows you to easily gain access to the pump cavity for easy cleaning.  As it stood, I had to rely on hot water and PBW to do all of the cleaning unless I wanted to spend an extra 30 minutes breaking down, clean and then reassembling each of my March pumps; which is really not something I wanted to do after a long day of beer brewing.  The one down side was that a new Blichmann Rip Tide home brewing pump will run you $199+. So I waited…..

Then, Blichmann release the RipTide Upgrade Kit! The Rip Tide Upgrade Kit allows you to upgrade some of the most common existing home brewing pumps to a Blichmann Rip Tide, for just $99. With this RipTide Kit, you can upgrade your March or Chugger pump with the Riptide’s Tri-Clamp housing.  The RipTide’s head is made from stainless steel and can rotate 365 degrees to fit almost any home brewing setup. The kit also comes with Blichmann’s  integral linear flow valve, which provides superior control and eliminates the need for an upper ball valve in must situations.

 

Blichmann Rip Tide Home Brewing Pump Upgrade Kit

Blichmann Rip Tide Home Brewing Pump Upgrade Kit

Here is a list of home brewing pumps that the Blichmann Riptide upgrade kit is compatible with.

More Beer Homebrewing Pumps:

H340, H331, H332, H315HF, H350 and H375

Chugger Homebrew Pumps:

CPSS-CI-1 (115V),CPSS-IN-1 (115V), CPSS-IN-2 (230V), CPSS-CI-2 (230V), CPPS-IN-1 (115V), TCPSS-IN (115/230V) and TCPSS-CI (115/230V)

March Home Brewing Pumps:

809-SS-HS, 809-BR-HS, 809-PL-HS, 809-BR-HS-C, 809-PL-HS-C, 809-SS-HS-C, 809-BR, 809-PL, 809-SS, 809-BR-C, 809-PL-C, 809-SS-C, 815-BR, 815-PL, 815-SS, 815-BR-C, 815-PL-C and 815-SS-C

The Blichmann Riptide Upgrade Kit Can Be Purchased Here for $99

 

After verifying that the Blichmann RipTide Upgrade Kit would work with my current March homebrew pumps, I place my order for two of them.  After placing my order, it took about 8 days for them to arrive. I purchased them from More Beer, but the pumps were shipped directly from Blichmann.

RipTide Homebrew Pump Upgrade Kit

RipTide Homebrew Pump Upgrade Kit

Blichmann RipTide Upgrade Kit Installation Instructions

Next step was to read the instructions (which were relatively simple), make sure I had everything needed (which was just a screwdriver, a couple of wrenches and some PTFE thread seal tape. The instructions from Blichmann came in black and white and unfortunately the contrast made it so that it was difficult to see where the washer was supposed to go, so I included some color photos here to help you out if needed. I began by breaking down my existing march pump per the instructions and removing my existing fittings.  It is important that you just remove the pump head and NOT the magnet collar! The pump head was held on by 4 stainless steel screws in my case.  Here is an image to help:

Blacihmann RipTide Upgrade Instructions

Blacihmann Rip Tide Upgrade Instructions

Next I mounted my home brewing pump on to the included stainless steel pump riser. This was not required in my situation but I like the idea of it because it raised my pump up a couple of inches, bringing it close to my kettles, reducing the amount of tubing that I needed and giving me a little more space to empty the pumps when I had to clear wort from them.  Everyone’s situation is a little different, but it works well on my home brewing rig.  After that you will want to mount the Tri-Clamp adapter bracket on to your pump.  Blichmann includes two sets of screws to use, so make sure that you select the appropriate screws for your pump. Be careful not to over tighten the screws; doing so could crack the bracket or damage the pump. Next, place the impeller housing and the impeller into the pump magnet as shown in the following images:

 

Blichmann Rip Tide Homebrewing Pump Upgrade Instructions

Blichmann Rip Tide Home Brewing Pump Upgrade Instructions

Next is where I nearly had a problem.  Install the pump head o-ring and washer to the stainless steel RipTide pump head.  My first kit was missing the washer and the photo quality on the instructions that came with the kit were so bad, I could not tell if I was suppose to use one of the mounting washers.  Something did not seem right and I would have then been missing a mounting washer, so I checked my second pump kit and could see that there was a smaller washer that was intended for the pump head. It thankfully had two in that box, so all was good.  Here is an image to help you see where to place the o-ring and washer into the Blichmann RipTide pump head:

RipTide Upgrade Kit Installation Photos

RipTide Upgrade Kit Installation Photos

Lastly mount the Blichmann RipTide pump head on to your pump using the include stainless steel 3″ Tri-Clamp and attach any fittings that you may have. The entire process took me approximately 30 minutes per pump to upgrade an re-install onto my home brewing stand. Except for the issue with the washer, it was very painless.  Here are a couple of photos of the Blichmann RipTide homebrewing pumps after they were installed on to my homebrewing rig.

 

Finished Images Of The Blichmann RipTide Pump Upgrade Kit

Blichmann RipTide Home brewing Pumps On My Homebrewing Rig

Blichmann RipTide Home brewing Pumps On My Homebrewing Rig

Close up Image of the Blichmann RipTide Home Brewing Pump

Close up Image of the Blichmann RipTide Home Brewing Pump

After that I tested the RipTide home brewing pumps for leaks and checked to make sure all of the ball valve connections were free from leaks as well.  All was good and I also took a short video in case anyone was curious about the type of pressure or flow rate that you could expect from the RipTide upgrade kit.

Blichmann RipTide Pump Video

 

If you are looking to purchase a Blichmann RipTide Home Brewing Pump Upgrade Kit, they can be purchased here for $99

 

Portland Beer Tour

Portland, Oregon Beer Tour

Portland, Oregon Beer Tour

I just got back from a trip to Portland, OR with a few of my friends and just wanted to post a few comments and suggestions of places that you may want to visit in case any of you are heading up there in the future.  If Portland is not on your beer radar it probably should be.  While we were up there, a Lift driver mentioned to us that Portland now has 98 breweries, which is the most of any city in the United States.  I am not sure if either of the statements that he made were true, but I can tell you this, Portland has A LOT of breweries! If you only had time to see one of them, I would suggest that you visit Great Notion Brewing!

 

Great Notion Brewing, Portland, OR

Great Notion Brewing, Portland, OR

So why Great Notion Brewing?  Well, for the beer.  Their beer is so good, my friends and I visited the brewery 3 times and we were only there for 4 days. For a brewery with such a small brewing space, they push out several great beers.  If I recall correctly, when we were there they had at least 8 of their own beers on tap, plus 2 from other local breweries. They had everything from a super juicy NEIPA to a Maple Syrup Stout that was just incredible.  I personally got hooked on their “Cuddle” NEIPA. To top things off, the folks who work there were helpful and friendly and the crowd was relaxed and down to earth. The only bad part about the brewery is that they are so small that they do not have any distribution in California and I am unlikely to try it again until I have the chance to visit Portland next.

 

Stammtisch, German Beer & Food

Stammtisch, German Beer & Food

Another great destination on my list is not a brewery, but you will find excellent beer there. It is a German Restaurant / Bar called Stammtisch.  I happen to enjoy German Beer and German Food and was excited to visit their location. If you do as well, this is a great spot to add to your list.  After a failed hike attempt at Multnomah Falls, due to last years fires in the Columbia Gorge, we headed back to Portland for lunch at Stammtisch.  It had just opened, so there we were some of the first people to arrive and we got a great table.  The people who work there were supper friendly and happily recommend some of their favorite beers for us to try. Everything from the beer to the chicken schnitzel sandwich was fantastic!

 

Bridgeport Brewing, Portland, OR

Bridgeport Brewing, Portland, OR

Bridgeport Brewing, is another notable destination that we visited while there.  They had a giant beer selection and a large / beautiful establishment.   We unfortunately did not have much free time to spend there and for that reason could not take advantage of all of the beers they had to offer.  That is why they are on my list of breweries to check out again when I am in Portland next. Bridgeport had a wide variety of IPA’s on their menu, from straight up West Coast to New England Haze.

 

Culmination Brewing, Portland OR

Culmination Brewing, Portland OR

Culmination Brewing is a smaller sized brewery in Portland, but they are putting out some great  beers.  I sampled a variety of them, including a super clean table saison featured in the image above, a Marrionberry Sour and a NEIPA. All of them were quality beers.

When it boils down to it, with approximately 98 breweries in the area, you can’t really go wrong.  If you do not like the beer at one brewery, walk a few blocks down the street and you are sure to find one that has something you will like. While we were there, we hit Modern Times, who now has a brewery in Portland, and we also hit up Cascade which is a sour beer lovers dream. So if you love beer, I suggest you book a plane ticket to Portland as soon as you have the chance.

 

Portland, OR Beer Trip

Portland, OR Beer Trip

Pliny the Younger Review

Pliny the Younger, if you are not familiar with it, is one of Russian Rivers most elusive beers and by many, considered to be one of the worlds best examples a West Coast IPA \ Triple IPA. Many of you may be familiar with Pliny the Elder. Well,  Pliny the Younger is the Elder’s bad ass offspring. Where Pliny the Elder is a double IPA clocking in at 8% ABV, Pliny the Younger is a tripple IPA with an ABV of 10.25%. Pliny the Younger is not sold in bottles, you can not get a growler of it, and to make things worse it is only distributed by keg to a limited number of breweries; most of those are located in California. Ohhhh and did I mention that they only brew it once per year? The good news for me is that one of my local breweries, Tustin Brewing Company, out of Tustin, California is one of the distribution points in California for Russian River beer and Pliny the Younger. That being said, I have been trying to get the beer for 8 years now and not until yesterday had I succeed. The problem is that as it turns out, I am not the only person interested in having a glass. Every year at about this time the Tustin Brewery celebrates Russian River week! They bring in a wide array of Russian River beers including some of their most prized sour and wild beers like Consecration and Supplication. They also offer some of Russian Rivers best pale ales and IPA’s like Blind Pig and Pliny the Elder; but the crown jewel is Pliny the Younger. In order to secure yourself a pour of Pliny the Younger, you must line up in the parking lot at approximately 9-10:AM on a Wednesday morning.  If you are one of the approximately first 70 people in line, you are provided with a wrist band that will entitle you to a 8 oz pour of Pliny the Younger once the brewery opens at 11:AM.  Unfortunately for me, I have a job with a not so flexible work schedule that has not allowed me to take the time off for this event. This year was no different. As my hopes had all but faded, the Tustin Brewery sent out a tweet late yesterday afternoon.  It turns out that they received not 1 but 2 kegs of Pliny the Younger this year. If you were one of the first 70 to claim a ticket, and could reach the brewery by 6:PM, you could receive a pour from their 2nd Pliny the Younger keg. The process was a little confusing, and I was not certain that I had properly claimed my ticket, so I raced to the brewery. It felt as though I was competing in some form of craft beer Olympics. I had to accomplish a variety of tasks, and only the fastest participants would receive the prize.

When I finally arrived at the brewery, the parking lot was a mad house. It was packed with beer lovers and moms dropping off kids with colorful belts to Taekwondo practice. I drove to the furthest reaches of the parking lot and found one of the only available parking spots. It was hidden away behind all the buildings far from the brewery. I speedily walked towards the Tustin Brewery entrance with other middle aged men all thirsty for a taste of this rare beer. I narrowly avoided being struck on the sidewalk by a man apparently not familiar with how to park his over sized truck in a sub compact parking space; I was almost to the door. This was clearly one of those situations where nobody was going to hold the door open and let you go in ahead of them. I entered the brewery behind a chubby man who was huffing and wheezing from his long brisk walk from his parking space. The brewery was packed and energized with the voices of hundreds of patrons reveling in the atmosphere and drinking their beers.

At first I was a little overwhelmed. Trying to take it all in, I thought to myself; shit, this is a lot of people, how do I get my Pliny the Younger and I hope this ticket thing worked. Thankfully a couple of the girls who work at the brewery, Krystle and Rachel were kind enough to help me figure out where to go and what to do. I proceeded to go to a table where they verified my name on their list, collected my cash and provided me with a red ticket!

Pliny the Younger Beer Ticket

Pliny the Younger Beer Ticket

From there I was directed to a sign hung high on the wall of the brewery near the bar exclaiming  “Redeem Ticket Here, Pliny the Younger, Tustin Brewery Loves You”! I walked through the crowded bar, and stood behind another man as we waited for them to tap the Pliny the Younger keg and begin serving. Finally I could begin to relax; my beer was nearly in hand.  I heard one pub patron complain about Russian River Week as he awkwardly tried to move around the crowded bar to get a refill of his mug with Golden Spike Blonde Ale. He was clearly not impressed by the rare keg that was now being connected just feet from him. Others were just happy that Friday was upon us and that there were so many hard to find and great beers available this week. I stood silently, waiting in anticipation.  Finally, after 8 years, the moment had arrived. The man in front of me, received his Pliny the Younger and it was my turn.  I handed the bartender my ticket and he pulled back the tap handle, like some form of epic beer slot machine and filled my glass!

Pliny the Younger Animated Gif

Pliny the Younger Animated Gif

I grabbed my beer securely and began to walk to the patio. I took a quick sip; just in the off chance that an earthquake would strike and cover me in falling beams, I was at least going to get one mouthful of Pliny the Younger first! I did my best to move through the brewery, avoiding the mobs of people and avoid spilling even a drop of this rare and special beer. Thankfully there was no earthquake, but there was Juan. Juan is one of the best things about the Tustin Brewery, he is always wearing a smile, cracking a joke and slapping you on the back with the strength or Hercules and Oden combined as his way of saying, great to see you, let me rearrange your vertebrae for you. As he turned and saw me approaching, I remember thinking f#&k, here comes Juan.  A smile came to Juan’s face and I knew exactly what was next. I grabbed my Pliny the Younger as securely as I could with both hands; all I could do was hope that the collateral damage would not be too severe. WHAPPP, the shock of Juan’s hand on my shoulder sent reverberations down my arm, to my elbow and finally to my hands.  As hard as I tried, I could not stop the glass from bucking. A small wave of the cold beer rolled over my hand and slapped the hard tile floor. Juan just smiled and laughed as he saw dismay form on my face. He was right, it was a little funny. After all, I still had a nearly full glass and this was a time for celebration. After saying hello to Juan, I quickly made my way to the patio before he could shake any additional beer from my glass.

There was a small table available on the crowded patio; I set my beer down and took a seat.  This was it. I braced myself for disappointment. Recently I had watch the movie Dunkirk. I had heard so many wonderful reviews and yet when I watched it I was left so disappointed. It looked great, but there was not much to it. Was Pliny the Younger going to be the Dunkirk of beer I wondered? 8 years is a long time to wait for something, I have had Pliny the Elder probably 40 times in that time period, was this really going to be any better? Often times, Triple IPA’s are terribly unbalanced and sometimes painful to drink, would that be the case with Pliny the Younger?

 

Pliny the Younger

Pliny the Younger Russian River Beer

I am not one of those people who likes over the top beer reviews. You are no going to hear me say things like it washed my taste buds with the pleasant essence of virgin pine drippings, or the mouthfeel is reminiscent of  water from pristine deep water brackish caves. So here it goes.  I rate Pliny the Younger a 100 out of 100. I was not let down in anyway. I had extremely high expectations and it exceeded every one of them. Pliny the Younger is hands down the most well balanced triple IPA I have ever had and more importantly the most well balanced beer I have ever had.  Simply put, it was perfect. This sounds a little lame as I write it, but the mouth feel was exceptional.  As I slowly drank it, trying to appreciate every sip, I analyzed it; wondering if they added salt to the mash and how much; what hops were in the boil and what did they dry hop it with. I wanted to make it or myself!  The volume of my glass kept being depleted with each taste and I just kept hoping I would not have to wait another 8 years for my next glass.  If you have the chance to get some, even if it will be a pain in the ass, in my opinion it would be well worth it.

All The Small Things – Notch-Yo Lid

Like with many hobbies, home brewing has a learning curve.  Initially there is a lot of information to take in and many processes to keep track of. In time, you gather knowledge and experience and you master the fundamentals of brewing.  Where home brewing differs from many hobbies is that once you have done so, there are a variety of tangents that you can pursue. For instance you can explore water chemistry and the impacts on different styles of beer, design your own beer recipes and figure out which hops best compliment a specific yeast strain, try different mashing techniques and focus on boosting your brew house efficiency or even build and customize your own brewing hardware. At some point along the way, if you home-brew long enough; what makes your beer unique is all of the small things that you learn, apply in your process and customize along the way.

On the topic of all of the small things, one of the things that I should have done long ago was place a notch in my mash tun lid to accommodate my sparge arm. Prior do doing so I had to leave my lid ajar, allowing heat to escape from my mash tun, requiring my RIMS system to use more energy to compensate.  I am not going to lie, any upgrade or project that requires me to drill into or cut in to one of my stainless steel Blichmann kettles make me a little nervous. After all, the last thing that I want to do is ruin one of my vital pieces of home brewing hardware. The good news is that I almost never use a lid on my Boil Kettle, so if I jacked up the mash tun lid bad enough, I had a backup!

I used three tools for this project, an angle grinder (costs about $30 if you do not already have one), a file to clean up the rough edges and sharp spots and a dremel (or drill) with a fine grinding bit to shape the groves more precisely so that the lid would fit snugly against the sparge arm. Although initially intimidating, it really was not so challenging.  My best advice is to measure conservatively for your initial grinder cut and use the dremel to remove any excess metal. The vertical cuts are easy with the grinder, but the horizontal cut can be challenging if you are not careful. As a final touch I may add a silicone stopper and trim it to fill some of the small gaps that still exist; but even with out that I am very happy with how it turned out! Also, if you are looking for an incredible stainless steel sparge arm, I can not recommend the More Beer Ultimate Sparge Arm highly enough.  I have used it for around 3 years now and it had performed flawlessly.

More Beer Stainless Steel Sparge Arm

More Beer Stainless Steel Sparge Arm

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