30 gallons of great beer? Yes please!

Woot!

So the NFBL brewers made a strong showing this past Sunday - brewing a total of 30 gallons that'll ultimately be donated at the Pints for Paws event coming on May 21st (4-8 PM at the Tallahassee Market Square Pavilion - stay tuned for more info). Not the only 30 gallons, but 30 gallons nonetheless.

30 gallons may not seem like all that much, but it was a blast to participate in this event and have a great time with fellow brewers. Off the top of my head, the following batches were made:

5g Black Miccosukee IPA with a Belgian yeast strain 5g Black Miccosukee IPA 5g Milk Stout 5g Amarillo IPA 5g Smoked Maple Brown Ale 5g Bavarian Hefeweizen (GrassLands)

On what seemed to be the most humid day of the year to date we successfully navigated all obstacles and got it done. To see more of the day's action, follow GrassLands' flickr stream here. Of interest - I ended up with a much higher gravity beer than I originally anticipated - so we'll see how much alcohol gets created during fermentation and then I might change it up a little. If you need an explanation on what gravity means to beers, make sure you click here. High gravity beers are usually beers that start with a gravity of 1.060 and higher. Starting gravity ranges for Hefeweizens are in the 1.040-1.055 range, mine ended up at 1.068! What that means is that I was able to extract much more sugar from my crushed grains (during the mash) than I had originally expected. That's not a bad thing, just something I need to account for in future batches on my system - I can actually save money on grains because I can get a better and more consistent efficiency out of my system (doesn't take as much grains to attain a desired gravity). I might even add in something to make it a Weizenbock...something I've never done before.

Additionally, the NFBL thought it'd be fun to host its own "Crappy Beer" blind tasting challenge involving six lite beers from the big guys: Natty Light, Miller Lite, Bud Light, Coors Light, Busch Light, and - get this - Keystone Light.  I was only able to identify one - yes - one beer correctly, and it was a guess at that. The winner of the challenge? Only three correctly identified guessed. What's that tell you? More taste or less taste? How about this: advertising doesn't change the flavor of fermented corn and rice. Even though I didn't necessarily need it, yesterday's Crap Beer blind tasting challege served as a great reminder of why I'm going through with GrassLands Brewery. Why subject yourself to such bland taste when there are much better options out there - and even some (wink wink) that have a specific cause in addition to brewing great and unique beer?

All in all, it was an awesome day and I can't wait to see the fruits of our labors - as well as those smiling faces enjoying our creations for the first time - and think about all the animals we've helped just by doing what we love doing.

Prost!