Brewing My Wife’s Wit Beer

It has been in the fermenter for almost a week now. One more week and it should be done. I brewed this all grain beer on one of the many crappy wether days that have been far too abundant over the last few months. Not horribly cold, but very wet. How wet? Nearly 20 inches over the past several months. Not any gully washer rains, but far too many wet days.

Let’s talk beer and brewing. My SMaSH IPA, made with Mosaic hops and Marris Otter malt, is conditioning in the bottle as I Wait! Sometimes waiting is difficult. I now wanted to brew a beer that would match something that my wife would like! Brewing is good for her in that I manage to mop some and sometimes all of the kitchen floor during the beer making machinations. I found a very interesting Vanilla Cream Ale recipe and sent it over to Preston at the Grain Cellar in Humble, Texas. FYI, for non Texans, the “H” is silent in Humble. By the time I had arrived, Preston had reviewed the recipe and noted that he’d had all the ingredients on hand that I needed.

As I visited with Preston, I notice on the chalkboard was listed a beer callled, Wife’s Wit. Well, I cancelled picking up the Cream Ale ingredients and went with the Wit. Preston tells me it is very popular and one of his most frequently brewed beers. I liked the grain bill and the additions, excepting the coriander!

The citrus added an amazing aroma. The lemon was off of my backyard Meyer Lemon tree. The grapefruit off of a tree in a yard where I keep a number of hives. The grapefruit came off of a tree visited by my bees kept on the property. The orange, sad to say, was a store bought blood orange.

Brewing day always calls for savoring some excellent beverages. First up……..

To the best of my knowledge I have never partaken in Strain G13, nor have I ever sampled this IPA.

Although not winterish in Houston, I did go with a winter beer as the grains steeped.

This is a familiar Ale, I last had one this past October while visiting Portland.

Lastly, before all the work of boiling, chilling and racking into the fermenter, I enjoyed a non beer beverage.

2.65 fingers of Woodford Reserve Bourbon. In the background is tire with a little sleigh attached. In December my daughter drug it 13.6 miles, a half marathon, just because!!!

After 14 days fermenting I will bottle this brew and then wait another 30 as it conditions….that will test my patience!

Drink Local and Drink Responsibly



Naked – Bonde Ale

Beer1Now that I have your attention let’s talk beer. I just received a note from WordPress identifying a new follower. He is brewing a Naked Blonde Ale with oats as an interesting add to the grain bill. I do need to brew a lighter and less hoppy beer for the bride so this looks like the recipe, besides, the kitchen floor looks like it needs to be to be mopped again so that is my cue card to make a mess and clean it up for my darling wife. Below is a link to the inspiration and recipe.
Hey guys, don’t get confused like I typically am. Yesterday my wife mentioned going out for lunch and a movie on Valentines Day. It sounded like the perfect solution so I agreed. I have been making some plans, went out and bought her a couple of bags of little Dove chocolates to fit into her pure…we are candy smugglers, for clandestine consumption in the theater. I shifted some of my errands around for the week and brought a hot lunch home for her today, Thursday, the day before our planned rendezvous! Yes, I was making major points! Then the problem……. just a moment ago she mentioned a glitch in my plans….she said, “You are working next week. We can’t go to movie and lunch for Valentine’s Day!”
I quickly replied , before engaging the brain, “Yes that’s right we are going tomorrow!”. All of a sudden it dawned on me…..I thought Valentine’s Day was tomorrow! I blame it on the retailers – they have had the displays out for weeks now. Just begging procrastinators like me to do the right thing and do it on time! I did and I planned a daytime event that could be fun……avoiding the crazy evening crowds! Yes, you da man! Bishop………I am just a full week early! Now….the dilemma. Stay tuned, I will see how I can manage this minor screw up.
Brew some beer and mop the floors – that may help!
Drink Local and Drink Responsibly

Homebrewing & Mopping the Floor

My wife is usually pretty happy when I brew beer because, due to my messiness, I have to mop the kitchen floor after each of the several steps in the process. I think it is only right that I take care of my duties and I can’t think of a woman who would not be happy with her husband mopping the kitchen floor!

Last night I was at the bottling stage and as always I had planned on mopping up the few spills and drips that are common to the process. Well, the task of mopping morphed into a industrial clean-up due to an unusual string of clumsy moves on my part! The mess started small and manageable. My 6 gallon priming tank that you can see in the picture below, had a loose connection at the outlet spigot….I didn’t check it before I began to fill the tank. The drip was slow…I attempted to turn the spigot to tighten I but to no avail. I really needed to hold the inlet side, now under about 3 gallons of beer, in order to properly tighten it…..I opted to manage the very small quantity dripping with an absorbent towel….no big deal. I did not want to potentially contaminate the beer by sticking my arm in the brew.

The first bottle to be filled was the 6L plastic mini-keg bottle from my Tap-a-Draft set-up. I got it filled and set off to the side as I switched to filling the 12 ounce bottles – 29 of them! The 6L bottle sat with the chilled beer in it and developed a wet surface due to our humidity and the condensation on the outside. (Note: I had crashed to temperature to 34 degrees F to drop out the sediment and help clarify the beer)

Once the glass bottles were safely filled I decided to pick up the 6L bottle and dry it before moving to the location I use while the beer conditions. I wanted to make sure that it didn’t slip out of my hands…….noble thought but poorly executed. Beer weighs about 2.2 pounds per liter or 1 kg per liter. ( Just gotta love the simplicity of the metric system!) That would be 13.2 pounds or 6 kg! I was amazed at how high it bounced the first time it hit the tile floor. The second bounce had me in motion to capture the precious container, filled with my lovingly crafted beer. At age 62 I was just a little too slow. I captured the container when it hit the tile floor the third time, popping the cap off and spraying beer across the kitchen floor. I did manage to slap my hand over the opening after at least a 12 ounce bottle’s worth covered the kitchen floor. (355 ml)

I had no idea where the cap had shot off to and hollered for some help….I tried not to look my wife in the eye when she saw my predicament! I needed that cap and had to ask for help…..well, she found it off into the dining room on the carpet.  My tragedy was growing. The cap had broken but fortunately I had a spare in my kit in the kitchen and a bowl of sanitizing solution to dip it in before capping the bottle. I think I saw a look of disgust on her face, not sure though… she gave me some very specific clean up instructions!

When we were first married some 30 years ago, we found fun things to do while the floor dried after mopping…..She wasn’t in the mood this  January 14th of 2014. I was nearly done with the mop up when “Murphy’s Law” kicked in…As I was moving some things out of the kitchen I bumped the graduated cylinder holding the sample I collected for checking the final gravity – I had read and recorded the gravity so that wasn’t so bad, but I did lose half the sample….I wanted more of a taste. My other fear was breaking the hydrometer but I was quick enough this time to catch it before it hit the tile floor.

After mopping, wiping down the cabinets, cleaning the rugs and counters I managed a taste test. The aroma is great and the bitterness is nice….Now I just have to be patient for a couple of weeks to allow the beer to condition and mellow.

I am so glad she loves me!

Transferring from the secondary carboy to the priming tank/bucket.

Transferring from the secondary carboy to the priming tank/bucket.

Drink Local and Drink Responsibly

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