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What kind of beer should we taste at the February CDBC meeting?

10 Feb

This month’s meeting is coming up on Wednesday Feb. 15th, there has been discussion for a theme for beer tasting.

Please make a selection by Tuesday Feb 14th so we have a day or so to find beers.

Of course if you have homebrew to share, that trumps the Beer Theme.

See you at the Brewery!


CDBC looks into the future, all the way to the year 2012

27 Jan

Now that we are getting back on track after the holidays, things at the brewery are going to start heating up again.

Some upcoming items:
  • We are picking up something like 1300 pounds of grain this weekend. That should get us at least a couple brews.
  • We will have a monthly meeting, the third Wednesday of every month at 7:30 to taste beers and welcome people who want to learn more. This is in addition to our brew days.
  • Next Brew Day is tentatively set for this Sunday, January 29th.
  • We hope to put together a schedule of brew days for the next few months.
  • The National Homebrew Conference is in Bellevue this year! June 21–23. (They say Seattle…but really it’s across the lake in Bellevue.) The CDBC plans to be there somehow. Maybe just pouring some beer, maybe some in competition, maybe just there to drink everyone else’s beer.

We had our first meeting of the new year on Thursday, January 26th. We tasted a lot of homebrew. We also set up more of a structure to hopefully get more people into the collective and brewing beer. 2012 looks off to a good start!

See you at the Brewery!

Next brew day is November 19: Espresso Stout

7 Nov

Next brew day is November 19, starting at 11, we’ll brew an Espresso Stout and probably another beer (the Espresso is an extract batch).

Recent Beer News:
Our Pumpkin Stout is tasting pretty good, the spices are little too forward but hopefully that will mellow with age. It’s been in the bottle almost 2 weeks now.
The Black Butte Porter Clone has been kegged and bottled. It attenuated a little less than we would have liked but came in around 5.8% ABV and has a nice roasted chocolate flavor that I am hoping only gets better when fully carbonated and conditioned.
The Scotch Ale has been bottled, or “rebottled” with carbonation drops since the simple syrup was inadvertently left out of the bottling procedure.

Fermentation Chamber Update

25 Sep

We’re (I’m) building a fermentation chamber. There’s a lot of options out there, from buying old fridges or freezers, to building your own. I wanted the flexibility of building your own, with hopefully some of the cost savings. My goal in particular was to build a chamber that could be used for 2 purposes: one chamber to ferment ales in, and one chamber to lager beers and cold-condition kegs. Rather than hunt for 2 freezers or fridges, I’m hoping that I’ll be able to make it work by building a single chamber with dual temperature controls.

I also wanted it to be big enough to be able to fit up to 4 carboys and/or buckets, and I also wanted it to be tall enough so that it could fit a 14 gallon conical fermentor down the road. Lots of people cool their boxes with refrigerators, but that takes up a lot of space, and the compressor on a fridge might not be able to handle a bigger box. I’d read about people using window A/C units for their fermentation boxes, and since summer was ending I thought I’d be able to get a good deal on one.

So the final design is two separate boxes made out of 2×4 framing and plywood sheathing that will be insulated with 2″ foam sheathing, tape and spray foam. It’s around 45″ high and 35″ by 35″ , a little bigger than I was thinking but it’s going to be perfect to ferment and store lots of beer. The side with the A/C unit will be the cold side, and I’ll find a way to bypass the A/C’s thermostat to be able to bring it down to lagering temps. The second box will be hooked up to the first, and connected with air baffles and computer fans that’ll be activated to pull cold air in as needed.

This weekend I build the first (the cold side) box. I haven’t insulated it yet, but the box is in and the A/C unit is in place.

Pretty exciting!

-The Brewmaster

The frame with the A/C unit installed

This is the frame I built, out of 2x4s

And finally, the fermentation box waiting to be sealed and insulated. And to get a door, of course.

Updates from the Brewmaster

14 Sep

Every once in a while (especially when I’m trying to put off other work), I’ll try to update you all on what I’ve been doing with the brewery when you’re not around.

Adventures in Dry Hopping with Simcoe: Tragically Hopped Amber Ale

We’re lucky enough to live in a part of the country that is really close to where the majority of hops are produced. That means that when the hops are harvested, we often get first dibs on the hops, and can make “fresh hop” beers more easily than almost anywhere else.

So I ordered a pound of fresh Simcoe hops (because they are a CDBC favorite). You’re supposed to use them within a few days of when you get them. Unfortunately for me, Mountain Homebrew emailed me to say that my hops would be arriving on Friday, 9/5, the exact day I was leaving for a trip to Winthrop. Luckily for us, you can dry-hop with fresh hops, and we’d just brewed round #2 of the Tragically Hopped Amber Ale the week before. So, BLAMMO, those hops got pwned right into the Amber:
One half pound of fresh Simcoe awesomeness. Apparently the water content of fresh hops makes them equivalent to about 20% the same weight of dried whole or pellet hops, so this was like adding around 2 ounces of dried Simcoe.

Kegging Update

I spent some time cleaning the whole kegerator system and the kegs themselves.

I also kegged the amber ales (coming in at 7% ABV)  last night so we can bottle them off of the BeerGun, and added a half gallon of “hop tea” to one keg. I did this by making a light wort with 6 ounces of DME and a half gallon of water, boiling it, and then adding 1 ounce each of Amarillo, Warrior and Centennial to the “tea” in a hop bag after I turned the flame off. I let it steep for about 10 minutes, then cooled the wort and added it to the bottom of the keg before filling the keg up. This may add some nice hop aroma to the beer, or it may completely kill the beer. We’ll see!

Right now we have 4 kegs of beer in the kegerator, almost all of which are scheduled for bottling: the Brown Ale and IPA from the Pork n Pie (ready to bottle this Saturday), and the 2 kegs of Amber Ale.

The Count’s Red Ale

Finally, we’ve been commissioned by The Count vonAbbittstein himself to brew a beer for his annual Halloween Spooktacular (or something). Scott and I met last Wednesday to conduct this mission, trying out a new Red Ale Recipe (adapted from

The brew went well, with no major hiccups. We achieved an efficiency in the low 70s, and hit most of our targets spot on. It’s fermented quite nicely already, and is in the final week or so of conditioning before it’ll be ready to be kegged.

Recipe: The Count’s Red Ale (Mojave Red)

Brewer: Central District Brewer's Collective
Asst Brewer:
Style: American Amber Ale
TYPE: All Grain
Taste: (35.0) 

Recipe Specifications
Batch Size: 6.00 gal
Boil Size: 8.24 gal
Estimated OG: 1.057 SG
Estimated Color: 18.8 SRM
Estimated IBU: 39.7 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Amount        Item                                      Type         % or IBU
11 lbs 5.0 oz Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM)            Grain        83.54 %
11.0 oz       Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L (40.0 SRM)     Grain        5.06 %
11.0 oz       Caramel/Crystal Malt - 80L (80.0 SRM)     Grain        5.06 %
5.5 oz        Munich Malt (9.0 SRM)                     Grain        2.53 %
5.5 oz        Special B Malt (180.0 SRM)                Grain        2.53 %
2.7 oz        Carafa II (412.0 SRM)                     Grain        1.27 %
0.53 oz       Warrior [18.20 %]  (60 min)               Hops         28.6 IBU
0.53 oz       Columbus (Tomahawk) [13.00 %]  (10 min)   Hops         6.7 IBU
0.53 oz       Amarillo Gold [8.50 %]  (10 min)          Hops         4.4 IBU
0.60 oz       Citra [12.00 %]  (0 min)                  Hops          -
0.60 oz       Columbus (Tomahawk) [13.00 %]  (0 min)    Hops          -
0.60 oz       Amarillo Gold [8.50 %]  (0 min)           Hops          -
2.68 gm       Salt (Mash 60.0 min)                      Misc
8.05 gm       Epsom Salt (MgSO4) (Mash 60.0 min)        Misc
13.41 gm      Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Mash 60.0 min)  Misc
10.73 gal     Randy Mosher Adjustment to Seattle Water  Water
1 Pkgs        American Ale (Wyeast Labs #1056)          Yeast-Ale                  

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 13.54 lb
Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Step Time     Name               Description                         Step Temp
60 min        Mash In            Add 16.93 qt of water at 165.9 F    154.0 F

Brew Day: September 17th: Now Tripel-Dubbel Header Day!!

9 Sep

Just a little update, we will be brewing a Pumpkin beer. I don’t think we have the final recipe yet. Brew day is Sunday September 18th, Saturday, September 17th at 11am.  it’s a Sunday during football season, but we all have smart phones to follow the games right?

Let’s celebrate (or mourn) the end of summer and the coming of Fall and Winter with a festival of beer, cornhole and soccer.

This Tripel-Dubbel Header Day will try to combine sports AND beer.
This includes:
1. Backyard Cornhole Tournament. Set up teams, keep score, try to keep Indy from eating the bags.
2. Belgian Beer Tasting. Go to the store and find any Dubbels, Tripels, Quadruppels, and any other Belgian Beer that you think looks interesting. Bring a bottle or two to share. As always, there will also be CDBC beer on tap, and possible some Lucille IPA if enough people RSVP.
3. Sounders Game. We can all bus or cab or drive to the Sounders game around 5:30pm

After that, in the following weeks we are looking to brew a porter and some high gravity beers. If you haven’t brewed for a while, you really should come on by and checkout our full stationary system. No more lifting pots of boiling wort!

Post Sounders FC Match Brew on Sat. August 27

23 Aug

Fredy Montero rejoicing after drinking a pint of our Amber Homebrew

We’ve planned to brew after the Sounders game this Saturday. Remember that keg of amber we powered through at Pork ‘n Pie? That’s what we are brewing. It was so delicious we want to recreate the magic.

Brewing Plans

22 Jul

We have plans for a few beers coming up.

Next up: an IPA and a Pale. These should be ready for drinking at the Pork ‘N Pietacular in August.

After that:

  •  A Porter. Hopefully a clone of Deschutes Black Butte Porter.
  • There are  rumblings of a Pumpkin Ale.
  • Another CDBC CDA.
  • A Winter Warmer


Any other thoughts? Wants? Needs?

July 23rd – CDBC Brew & BBQ

13 Jul

Our next brew day is scheduled for Saturday July 23rd. We need to start brewing for the Pork ‘n Pie Porktacular — we’ll need brew on tap and ready to go when start kickin’ kegs! Nothing makes you more thirsty than pork AND pie.

Welcome to the CDBC Blog!

8 Jul

I would like to start using this space as a place where we can post pictures, announce new beers and what we have on tap. It would be supplemental to the email group and available publicly so we can share what we are doing.

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