Homebrewing: Gratis Brewing
Most men turn their hobbies into a way of life. I’ve done this numerous times. Racing dirt bikes from a kid into early adult years. Toward the end of that hobby, I picked up golf. All of these brings it own group of friends or acquaintances. Both of these were in some what competitive environments. So when I began homebrewing I was positive again I’d meet all new people. It’s non-competitive, even during a competition. It’s relaxing, except during bottling maybe. Think about it. A bear and a rabbit could sit down and have a good conversation over a couple of pints, talking about pints of course.
So meeting Brian and being invited to a brew day at Gratis Brewing would prove to be pivotal. It’s a newb brewer’s dream set-up. It’s a 13 gallon all-grain system with a RIMS pump for constant circulation. Three burners can supply heat to any stage of the process all at once, or whenever you like. Complete that with a 14 gallon conical fermentor, keg fermentor and a combination of newly acquired whiskey or dark rum barrels for aging.
My first invite was back in late winter on a sudden cold snap that ended up being a very cold day. See a great production video of that day here. Yeaster Sunday We brewed a beer that is still talked about today. Maybe because I just opened the last growler in existence when I started typing this blog. But quite possibly because it was just that good. It was a Belgian black IPA with a massive amount of Belgian sugar and loads of hops. I think someone told Brian to go big or go home, so he went home and went big.
On a not so recent (now) brew day I was tasked with coming up with a recipe after being asked what I’d like to brew. First, my lack of remembering that the last brew was an oatmeal raisin stout that is now happily aging away in a dark rum barrel. So what do I recommend? An oatmeal stout nonetheless. I was trying to make it similar to Southern Tier Oat which is awesome. I recall falling asleep as I was trying to write the recipe in BeerSmith 1.4, so it’s possibly not the best recipe ever. A recent thiefing of the fermenter gave us a nice sample of what could be a very good stout. Now we wait on the final product and a cold autumn/winter night to fire up the camp fire.
Which reminds me that I need to finalize this double rye imperial IPA recipe so I can get it into the loaner whiskey barrel. If you get as excited about other people brewing as I do, you don’t have to be in attendance to enjoy their day. Check out the Gratis Brewing Facebook page to see what’s brewing, fermenting or aging.
Let’s raise a glass of homebrew to Brian. Pints Up!