The Chronicle is currently on hiatus as I prepare for my wedding in September, but will be back as soon as the craziness dies down! In the meantime, enjoy the archives, feel free to leave comments and check out the links page to find more websites you might enjoy. Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, May 31, 2013

Removing Screen Printed Labels: Experiment 1

The used bottle collection has been growing, thanks to some generous donations and a bit of personal effort, heh. Among them are a number of Corona bottles. Beer usually needs to be stored in colored bottles to avoid going skunky in a reaction to sunlight, but cider has no such limitation. I love the idea of bottling in clear glass to show off the color of the cider but the screen printed labels of the Corona bottles presents a challenge. Fortunately, I’ve heard that an extended Star San soaking can take care of that!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Basic Fermenter Comparison

I’ve come to the point in my brew-mania where I’m ready for a real fermenter! The gallon glass jugs are great for getting your feet wet and mine will definitely continue to see use, particularly for experimenting before committing to a big batch, but I’m ready to move to a standard 5 or 6 gallon size. There are several basic styles of fermenter to choose from, each with advantages and disadvantages. Discussions can even get heated as homebrewers champion their fermenter of choice. Likely I will eventually own examples of each before my homebrewing career is done, but to start out I’ve made some general comparisons to help decide on my first grown-up fermenter.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Bubbling Away

Just a brief update today as I’m busy celebrating my birthday (and, yes, I’m hoping plenty of cider will be in my future, hee hee).

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Cider, Drink of Choice

I’ll admit it, when deciding on an alcoholic beverage to enjoy, neither health nor ecological ramifications are on the forefront of my mind. Primarily, I’m thinking of taste! Alright, and maybe a buzz, but mostly taste. It’s certainly a great feeling, though, when your taste buds line up with your conscience for a tasty, healthy and eco-friendly drink.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Homebrewing Now Legal Across the U.S.

Fancy a Drop? from Museum of Hartlepool on Flickr
Sounds like time for a pint!
Homebrewers rejoice! On May 9th, Governor Bently signed HB9, legalizing homebrewing in Alabama, the last state in the country where the hobby was illegal.

When Prohibition banned booze in 1920, homebrewing, of course, also became illegal. When the “Noble Experiment” failed, however, re-legalizing homebrewing somehow fell to the wayside. It wasn’t until 1978 that President Carter re-legalized homebrewing on the federal level. Then, there was each individual state’s laws to contend with. Some states were quicker than others to rectify the situation.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Second Cider On The Way!

With the juice jug we had used as a fermenter for our first batch vacated, it was time to get our next batch of cider underway! With the prep we had done by yeast rinsing, the additional equipment we'd picked up and the experience of the first batch under our belt, getting our second batch going was incredibly easy.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Hornsby’s Hard Crisp Cider

While I’ve named this section “reviews”, it’s intention is more along the lines of a cider tasting journal. My aim is less to critique the cider’s featured here, as it is to practice a critical tasting analysis in order to improve my own brewing (plus expand my cider horizons). This amounts to about the same thing, but with the goal being for my own edification rather than claiming any authority as a critic.

While it’s easy enough to say “I like this” or “I don’t like it”, discerning different features of a cider to say why I like or don’t like it is a whole ‘nother barrel of apples. As a novice to this skill-set, I thought it best to warm up with some broadly available commercial ciders before working up to the craft goods. First up, possibly the first cider I ever tried, Hornsby’s Crisp.