Archive for July, 2008

One Guy Brewing

Sunday, July 27th, 2008

So this weekend we went ‘up the mountains’ with some of our friends to their mountain house in Eagles Mere, PA.

One Guy Brewing

The long weekend break at the mountain house was great; nice weather, good company, lots of laughs, long walks – – all that happy mountain stuff. BUT I’m not really about to write about that, I am about to write about a quick stop we made on the way home.

One down side to going up the mountains is that there is no where close by to buy good beer, actually beer at all. There used to be a small shack that sold cases and thirty packs of mass produced BudMillerCoors and of course Yuengling (the best they had). Now there is a time and place for these beers, but when you want something better, well, you want something better. So I started searching the InterWebs for something reasonably close that had decent beer. My options were either 45 minutes further than we were going in Williamsport or 60 minutes before we would reach our destination in Berwick. Since I was really the only one concerned with beer I decided to bring a case up with me of a mixed variety and try to stop by the 60 minute away location since it was sort of on the way home.

The name of the place is One Guy Brewing, and it is just that. It is in a small town called Berwick and Guy Hagner is the owner/operator/brewer. Guy runs the show on his home-made custom two barrel system. Yes, you heard that correctly, two barrels at a time – that’s only four full size kegs! I asked about distribution and he said he only sells out of his place though he has sold a couple kegs for special friends. He is only open two days a week, Saturday and Sunday from like 1-6PM. He says he brews once or twice a week. His prices were fair and the beer was good. He also had enlisted a B.Y.O.F. policy in his tasting room (maybe 25ish seats), that’s Bring Your Own Food – which I wish I would have known about. Karen and I stayed for a couple beers and chatted Guy up since we were the only two in there until the end. We tried the Pilsner, Hefeweizen, and Stout. The Pils was good, clean, and crisp. The Hefe was good, real mild on the clove and banana thing which is the way I like it. And the Stout was OK, a little bit  of light carbonation and body, it could have really been helped out by a nitro pour in my opinion. Anyway, we left with two growlers, one of the Pils and one of the Hefe. He also had a Lager and a “Christmas in July” kind of Wheat Beer thing that I never asked to try, should have.

It was a pretty easy detour that ran parallel to the highway that would probably add 15 minutes plus however long you stay at One Guy’s. Next time we go up I’d consider stopping again and I suggest that other do too. One Guy Brewing, 328 W. Front St, Berwick, PA 18603, (570) 709-1056.

Fool’s Gold Follow-Up

Monday, July 21st, 2008

So I guess this is the follow up of what’s happening with the Fool’s Gold, the first chosen beer to be on tap.

Fool’s Gold Bottling

So the Fool’s Gold was the first beer I put on tap, I thought it appropriate with my name in it (Fool) and some positive affirmation action (Gold) – – or something like that. Anyway, to no big surprise to me, I was having constant trouble with this beer on tap. It was a slow pour, it was foamy, the faucet was having some trouble, it wouldn’t pour at all, you know all sorts of newbie issues. Sure I was a little pissy and a little disappointed thinking there was something wrong with the kegerator, but I was willing to accept there would be a learning curve. One thing I really wanted to do but never got the opportunity was to play with my new Beer Gun and pull off a few bottles, partially just to do it, and partially to put a few aside for the 6th Fool Circle beer tasting (whenever that finally happens).

Well, I put a second keg in the kegerator last night to put on tap today to see if the pour problem was an obvious kegerator or keg issue, or obvious at all. I cleaned out the line and put keg number two on tap, the RYPA. It poured, period. It was foamy, and a little wild also, so I may have both kegerator (balancing) and keg issues, we’ll have to see. So I pulled the keg of Fool’s Gold into the kitchen and basically said “F-it” and decided I was going to bottle what was in the keg the “normal” way or at the least dump out the contents and see if I could tell what was happening.

The beer poured out with mad sediment, I was actually quite surprised. I guess I transfer more hop debris than I realize after dry hopping, yikes! I know I probably oxidized the hell out of the beer and knocked out most of the carbonation, but screw it, I’ve got five bottles out of it – waste not want not – if it tastes like ass I’ll dump it. After seeing how much debris was still in the beer I was guessing that I may have clogged the out-spout, which I actually had guessed since the beginning that it could have been a partially clogged spout causing some of the foam and the slow pour.

Fool’s Gold Clog

So I took the keg down stairs and began cleaning it and taking it apart. What I found was one clogged-as-shit out spout. There goes my ideas about keg hopping, well except maybe with whole hops. Speaking of which I may need to switch to whole hops for dry hopping too. So the good news is that I definitely had a clogged keg which I will say was why the pour stopped on the kegerator. The other problems (foamy, slow pour) I’m not sure if they were directly related. But the bad news is that I just discovered that you really need to be careful with transfers, and I have five other kegs awaiting to be drank before I realized this, ugh. Off the top of my head I know three of them were dry hopped, which may be my down fall. We’ll have to see how this all pans out. More news at eleven 😆 .

Gas Manifold

Saturday, July 19th, 2008

So I went to go hook-up my 4-way gas manifold in preparation of outwardly pimping my kegerator today.

Kegerator Dreadlocks

Seems like all went well with setting up the manifold. I cut all my gas lines, one shorty coming in, three medium guys going out, and one biggie going out. The shorty supplies the gas for all four outgoing gas lines, the three medium guys go to the three kegs that will be in the kegerator, and the one biggie will be permanently hooked-up in preparation for use with another new toy, a Blichmann Beer Gun.

Unfortunately, after all went well setting up the manifold in preparation of switching over the tower to three taps and getting ready to fill a few bottles off the keg, things stopped going so well. I went to hook everything back up to the keg and gas first and pull a pint to make sure all went well. Turned on the gas, opened the valve on the regulator to let the gas out, opened the valve on the one gas line on the manifold to let the gas out, checked it was set to 10 psi, hooked it up to the keg and … nothing. No beer would come out. I lifted the keg and it felt pretty light, so I thought maybe I kicked it and didn’t realize it. Released the pressure on the keg, looked inside with a flash light, still like 3/4 to 1 gallon of beer. So now I have everything still hooked up with no beer coming out. Obviously I don’t want to fool with the Beer Gun until I get this in order.

To say this put a slight damper on my Saturday afternoon is an understatement. I really like the idea of having a kegerator, but I am not sure I am comfortable with the process of owning a kegerator yet. After homebrewing now for almost 9 years and having the idea of my own beer on tap be part of the whole grand scheme of things, and then to keep running into obstacles is extremely frustrating. I know I will figure it out, and I know it will be OK, but I just wish it wasn’t an issue in the first place.

  Gas Manifold Close-Up

Close-up of the gas manifold itself. 

Chocolate Porter 3

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

So I transfered the Chocolate Porter off the cacao nibs and vanilla bean the other day.

Chocolate Porter 3

 It was weird, I’m assuming it was the cacao nibs, but there was a brownish film that was left behind on the carboy that was kind of gross. No problems with racking as others have indicated with the nibs. The beer smelt lightly of dessert and tasted more of a dessert (chocolate/vanilla blend). I was pleased with the results of the nibs and bean, more so than the actual underlying beer. If the beer was better/bigger I may have waited longer before racking, but in this instance I think two weeks was fine. Now it is in a third carboy, not really necessary for conditioning I just need to get my kegs in order. I have three beers ready to be kegged and only one keg ready to go. I have another keg that is available but the pressure-release valve is broken, and seems to be a weird size. Dunno … beer!

First Pint

Thursday, July 10th, 2008

So I pulled the first pint(s) from the kegerator last night.

First Pint(s)

Right now things are pouring slowly and with a lot of foam. Hopefully I will be able to balance the system without too much trouble. As of now I do not know where the problem lies: the tubing, the keg, the beer, the gas, the temperature – lots of variables to figure out. Once things are up and running smoothly I’ll post some more pictures.


Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

It’s coming, it’s coming, it’s coming…

Washington, Washington

Well, actually it arrived today, but it isn’t ready to pour beer yet. Actually, all I really need is gas and it’s a go. Very exciting!