So, since my last post, I've brewed, bottled and started drinking an AHS Belgian White; and I also brewed and bottled an AHS Smoked Porter that I got for Christmas. The Belgian White turned out great. It's brewed with bitter orange peel and cracked coriander. I over-carbonated it just a bit, so it pours with quite a bit of head, but it still tastes awesome. The Smoked Ported I bottled this past weekend, so it still has a couple of weeks of bottle conditioning before it's ready to drink. I made sure to use the Priming Calculator over at Northern Brewer to calculate how much priming sugar to use, so I don't over-carb again. I forgot to do that for the witbeer, and just used the whole package that came in the kit from AHS.
Speaking of Christmas, it was very good to my homebrewing hobby this year. In addition to the Smoked Porter, I also got a new bottle drying tree, and vinator bottle sanitizer, and a wort chiller! The wort chiller cut down the process of cooling the wort after the boil tremendously, just using water from the spigot outside. In the summer it might be different, but right now, the water is plenty cold coming out. The bottle drying tree and sanitizer also saved alot of time during the bottling process. Maybe next year I'll see about trying to start getting all the stuff I need for all grain brewing. In the meantime, I might start trying out doing Brew In A Bag all grain.
As you can tell from above, I've started using recipe kits from Austin Homebrew Supply. They have a great selection of beers to choose from, and I'm not quite to the point where I can craft my own recipes. My wife and I are headed down to Austin for a Super Bowl party, and plan on making a trip to AHS to get stuff for my next batch(es). I would like to do another IPA next, my first one turned out so good. I might ask the guys at AHS to help me convert my extract recipe to all grain, and see what it would take to do a BIAB brew. After that, who knows. I'll see what they've got while we're there.
Also while we're in Austin, we're going to try to swing by the Jester King Brewery. I've heard great things about their beer from friends who live in Austin, and from people over at HomebrewTalk.com. From looking at their menu for this weekend, looks like they're going to have some good stuff available in their tap room. My parents live out near there, so they might join us as well.
This is a short one, but remember....relax, don't worry, and have a homebrew!