Posts Tagged ‘morebeer’

san francisco brewcraft

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

sf brewcraft front

a lot of homebrewers urge you to “support your local homebrew store!”  In fact, I am forever indebted to robert over at fermentation frenzy (now moreflavor! after it was consumed by morebeer!), my original LHBS, for showing me the ropes and setting me up with some great first recipes that sold me on homebrewing.

  • as of late, though, cost has dictated my homebrew vendor, and I have been mostly ordering online via william’s brewing to save a few bucks on my LME and hops (they’re in san leandro – that’s local, right?).
  • however, a few last-minute yeast problems have led me to sf brewcraft to get my brew day back on track.
  • sf brewcraft is on a quiet corner at clement and 17th, and seems to have everything you would need to get any type of brew going – they have everythign from bulk grains to CO2 refills (it takes a couple days), and even carry pot stills.
  • the owner, the infamous griz, and his posse seem pretty approachable.  according to their website, griz has a homebrew class monday nights at 6pm.  they also have a pretty entertaining blog.
  • will I make the switch to my closest LHBS for all my brewing needs?  I’m not sure, since online ordering does save me some cash and shipping is fast and reasonable.  however, I will be purchasing all my yeast from sf brewcraft from now on, and will get any glassware from them as well (to save on shipping costs).
  • also, I recommend sf brewcraft to anyone in the area thinking about starting out in the homebrew world – although there is a lot of information to be had on the internet, having a real person explain subtle brewing nuances to you and tell you your batch is not infected is well worth the slight LHBS markup.

yeast and hops at sf brewcraft

brew buckets and bottles

specialty grains

bulk grains in the front

misc equipment and griz in the back

side of sf brewcraft with hop barrel

all-grain brown ale brew day at CB’s

Monday, September 14th, 2009

3-tiered setup

early saturday afternoon I rolled over to CB’s to hang out and see his new all-grain setup in action.

  • he had saved the yeast cake from a biere de noel he had made about a week ago, and had made a starter with it the day before.  the starter was over 1000 mL and was showing heavy activity by the time I got there.
  • CB was brewing a brown ale, and despite the fact that I had a camera in hand pretty much the entire time I was over there, I didnt manage to get the recipe recorded.  I know it called for a few ounces of EKG hops…

the brew sheet

  • I got there about halfway through the sparge.  CB uses fly sparging, which appeared to work very well.

fly sparge

  • once CB reached a pre-boil volume of 6.5 gallons, he stopped the sparge and fired up the burner on his turkey fryer.  it took less than 20 minutes to get to a rolling boil (way faster than my stovetop method!).

boil kettle

  • after boiling down to 5 gallons, CB used an immersion chiller to get to pitching temps and pitched the starter.  the brew was on its way.

cooling the wort with an immersion chiller

pitching the starter

  • CB uses a custom 3-tier cooler system put together by the people over at morebeer! I’ll save my rant about them for another day, but CB has always received great service from those guys.
  • CB has his system pretty fine-tuned – he chalked up over 85% efficiency with this batch!  his OG was 1.067.
  • the best part about heading over to CB’s?  not only did TB and I indulge in some great beers, but we also had house-made salami, cheddar, and ricotta as well as some great veggies picked minutes previous from his garden.  what a spread!

kettle POV

the boil