Heading to Vegas right now. Figured I might as well type up the start of a homebrew thread to document some of the brew stuff. I guess I'll start with my current setup.

For one gallon batches I have two small carboys and for five gallon batches I have two 8 gal. Spiedel fermenters. The spout on them are tapered out of the box so it's to easy for a house to slip off. So, I swapped them out with metal ones that aren't tapered.

Aside from that, I have a kettle i picked up from target. I think it'll hold about 8 or 10 gallons. I drilled out a hole in the bottom and added a ball valve.

Also, an immersion chiller hooked up to a bilge pump to make a recirculation chiller type of setup.

For temp control I use a brew bag inside of a insulated 55 gal drum. And yea... Aside from the normal accessory brew stuff, that's about it.
Last update on December 3, 5:11 pm by SoCalOCMatt.
Right now I am brewing an extract Bourbon Porter kit that I picked up from Northern Brewer. Opted for 002 English Ale yeast as opposed to 005. I debated a bit between the two. Might use 005 next time to taste the difference.

Today I transferred to secondary and added the oak chips with a couple vanilla beans that have been soaking in Wooddord for a few days.





OG is 1.064
Reading at secondary is 1.013

I figure testing the FG might be pointless since adding the bourbon would through it off.

Tastes from the primary and this will be a yummy one. Gonna let them sit in the bottle for about a year to marry it and let the bourbon mellow out.
Last update on December 3, 5:26 pm by SoCalOCMatt.
I'm gonna be attempting something like this here soon with vanilla beans and cocoa nibs aged in an oak barrel.
Sounds like a good recipe. I've never used oak chips before, so in a year let us know how it turns out. I love vanilla porters and stouts so I usually have 1 on tap. I've used cocoa beans in the past too, but I couldn't really taste them.
Cider was bottled today. I was texting with Brad and he suggested I use frozen apple juice (thawed) as the sweetener. Did that and it was tasty. A bit dry but I prefer that. Only got four big bottles and a glass out of the gallon batch which is fine for a test batch and for bringing over for Christmas at the in-laws.

Last update on December 10, 12:09 am by SoCalOCMatt.
My buddy recently did the same thing. While he said it had more of an apple taste then prior batches, it was syrupy... i should get to taste it soon and I will confirm.
Justin said...

My buddy recently did the same thing. While he said it had more of an apple taste then prior batches, it was syrupy... i should get to taste it soon and I will confirm.


This wasn't at all syrupy. Not sure if the type of concentrate used had a difference. I added a bit under 1/2 a can (about 5 oz) in the 1 gallon batch. Tastes like a apple chardonnay. Crisp and clean. Going do this one again for sure.
Getting ready to make some happy yeast for this year's herf brew.

Going to be adding WYeast 1214 Abbey.
Last update on March 25, 12:31 pm by SoCalOCMatt.
What are you making?
Yaaaaaaaay Beer!
Justin said...

What are you making?


A Belgian pale ale
Last update on March 25, 4:39 pm by SoCalOCMatt.
Brew day



Meow-Meow Blackbutt is acting QC manager.

Edit: OG is 1.054. Figure I'd log it in for sober me. And yes, I let shit settle before taking the reading.
Last update on March 27, 8:10 pm by SoCalOCMatt.
   likes this.
Is this a one off or can we look forward to more installments in the "Matt tries to..." series?

If you're looking for ideas, how about the following?

Matt tries to pole vault over a bonfire.

Matt tries to master sword swallowing.

Matt tries to stop a speeding locomotive.

I can think of lots of things for to Matt to try.

Go Matt!
Great minds think alike, and so do ours.
ea_man said...

Is this a one off or can we look forward to more installments in the "Matt tries to..." series?

If you're looking for ideas, how about the following?

Matt tries to pole vault over a bonfire.

Matt tries to master sword swallowing.

Matt tries to stop a speeding locomotive.

I can think of lots of things for to Matt to try.

Go Matt!


I won't deny that your suggestions are tempting.
SoCalOCMatt said...



I won't deny that your suggestions are tempting.


I believe in you, man.
Great minds think alike, and so do ours.
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