Homebrewing: Gratis Brewing

Gratis Brewing

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.

7 gal whiskey barrels

Gratis Brewing whiskey barrels

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.

Honey Badger of Oats Stout

Honey Badger of Oats Stout

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.

loaner 7gal Gratis Brewing whiskey barrel

loaner 7gal Gratis Brewing whiskey barrel

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!

Posted on September 19, 2011, in homebrew and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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