Friday, December 10, 2010

Nilrod: Introduction

Dec. 10th 2010


    Home brewing has something in it for just about everyone. Cooking, chemistry, art work, music, design, podcasting, history, fabrication, math, tonka toy trucks, and more. If you are on this blog then you already have some interest in Home Brewing. To me and my fellow home brewers that is enough in itself. Nilrod is the brewing name that I have given my home brewing operation. In conjuction with Backwards Brewery a not quite so modest home brewery operation in Ellensburg, WA being conducted by Kevin B. We hope to answer all the mysteries of home brewing in the years to come. As of today we have successfully brewed 100gals of brew between the two of us and the number keeps growing. Although the beer in itself is rewarding enough, this blog will be a journal to our ups and downs as we progress in our operations.
    Already after a few posts I've realized that a lot of the blogging here is going to be a little more technical and suited for the somewhat experienced home brewer. The articles will have jargon that isn't well known. If I mention Wyeast #1056, don't worry too much, next time your at the home-brew shop take a look at their liquid yeast selection. You'll most likely find it, there's a few yeasts that work really good for home brewing and you'll start to recognize them after a while. The really nice thing about Nilrod brewing is that every once in a while I'll throw in a blog about something that has nothing to do with brewing. It might be a blog on Washington State liquor laws, Nilrod bottle labels, or a good tasting beer I just discovered. I think that just about everyone I know who's made a batch of beer hasn't expected their first batch of beer to workout. There's so much involved in making beer that it's hard to know exactly what's going on during that first batch. However once you get your procedure down you can start understanding the process. You can even experiment with different process like mashing.
    There are a lot of reasons to get into brewing. One of them happens to be saving money. Since I started brewing I've found that you can save a lot of money, but there are some things that will help out when doing it. You have to make full mash brews, get pelletized hops in bulk, or pick your own hops, and repitch home grown yeast. These are the challenges that a home brewer has to overcome in order to make cheap yet tasty homebrew. I personally havn't done all of these things yet, I got 3 of the 4 down. As far as the repitching my own yeast, I just don't have the right equipment. Having the right equipment is sort of vague, since it is really how good you are at useing your equipment that matters. If you have 4 small pots on 4 burners for your brew kettle, you can still get some fantastic brew out of it. Why not you're doing the exact same thing that other people are doing. Your boiling wort. I don't see the problem. If that's the equipment you have and you get good results and you like using it (and can afford to use it) then your set. Personally I like to have a larger scale operation with mostly DIY equipment. That is all part of my identity as a brewer. I tend to keep the process simple, and the brewery more compicated. As opposed to vice versa.
     I also like to market my beer. Sure I don't sell it, but I'm a firm believer that people eat with thier eyes first. In the case of drinking beer, they drink and taste with their eyes first. It's later that they drink with their mouth. I name my brews as well. brewing for me is a social thing and I'm lucky to have a girlfriend who is very artistic. I wouldn't be very smart of me to leave her out of the brewing process just because she doesn't want to brew beer. There's plenty of work for her in Photo Shop, or on the screen printer. If I play my cards right I might even get her to make some Nilrod T-Shirts. Time will tell, but I think I could talk her into it.
     I brew from the heart of Seattle, WA. I'm fortunate to have several micro breweries around, and also several home brewers. The others that I have met here are welcoming and open about their operations and recipes. My brew shop Larry's Home Brew in Kent even keeps a file cabinet with famous recipe clones near the cash register so that if you mention Mac and Jacks or any other local favorite she will pull the recipe for you before you leave. I encourage everyone to look into what resources you have locally for knowlegde and information. Those things are really helpful, and always appreciated. I tend to be on the recieving end quite a bit, so this blog is just my way of giving back to whoever might find it useful. With that said, Please enjoy all the resources found in my Blog.

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