My name is Bean and this is my blog. Hence the name. If you have comments or questions, just leave them in the comments area.
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Stef got me a nice blanket/quit made out of a bunch of my old college and post-college t-shirts. It's mostly fraternity, beer, and running.

What a great gift! Special thanks to Miranda Henry for the mad sewing skills.
And So It Goes..
Posted November 07, 2011 at 06:37:13 PM by Bean in the Beer category
I spent a good portion of the evening in the basement trying to catch up on various brewing chores that have fallen by the wayside. The key word in that first sentence is "chores". Until recently, I looked at my time spent maintaining my brewing gear and fermentables as part of the hobby.. preparation if you will. But with increased responsibilities (and stress) at work and a mobile one-year-old roaming the rooms at home, I'm finding it harder and harder to put a lot of effort into my brewing - let alone the tedious maintenance tasks that go along with it.

My kegs sit empty (or full) for months on end. There's mold forming in a few spots inside my cold room. IBADS is a fond memory. My AC is about to go out... and I'll have a heck of a time replacing it in the fall and winter. The beer lines are all crusty with the dregs of beers long drank. There's a leak in my CO2 line that I can't seem to track down. I no longer have the drinking capacity (or friend capacity) to keep 4 taps in regular service, so my faucets get crusty with disuse. I've had entire batches of beer (30+ gallons!) go bad simply because I didn't have time to nurture them along the path to drinkability.

It's with a heavy heart that I admit it, but I have to make a major change - I have to scale back. If I don't, I risk ruining this hobby for myself once an for all. No more 30 gallon batches... no more lineup of taps... no more Schy's Tavern in the basement. As much as I love brewing beer, I just can't drink enough to support my current brewing habit. I'm tearing out the cold room, taking down the bar, and selling off my large batch equipment. Until I'm able to take the big leap into real deal commercial brewing (when I retire), I'm turning my attention to the things that really matter to me... now.

Game Of Thrones
Posted June 25, 2011 at 11:13:30 AM by Bean
Highly recommend this HBO show. That is all.
Lillie's First School Picture
Posted March 28, 2011 at 11:59:40 AM by Bean
Superbowl Brew Day
Posted February 07, 2011 at 02:56:55 PM by Bean in the Beer category
Since I'm not really a fan of watching any organized sport, I decided to take this past Sunday as an opportunity to break my brewing fast and try out some of my new brewing gadgets - all while avoiding watching Super Bowl 45. I decided to brew 10 gallons of Sprout (extract with specialty grain) and 15 gallons of St. Chucks Porter (all-grain).

I started prepping Saturday night by filling up my HLT with about 30 gallons of strike/sparge water and dialing the heater in to 175F. This is a huge time saver when the actual brew days comes. I also measured out 3 pounds of pale malt and used Brian Richards' method to create my own home-roasted brown malt (part of the Sprout recipe). It took a few hours, but it was really very easy and filled the house with a delicious aroma.

I woke up Sunday morning and put 12 gallons of water in my boil kettle. I crushed the brown malt, put it in a grain bag, and dropped it into the water to steep as I turned on the flame. While that was coming up to temperature, I crushed the grain for the porter and dumped it into my mash tun. I mashed in used my handy dandy pre-heated water and setup my recirculation loop at a set point of 152F. About that time, the water in my kettle hit 170F, so I removed the brown malt and cranked the heat to high. It didn't take long for the water to come to a boil, so I added in my extracts and first set of hops and stirred it all up with one of my Christmas Gifts: a giant stainless steel paddle. Once all of the sugars were dissolved, I used my refractometer (another gift) to take a gravity reading. 1.039, with some room to grow as volume boils off - perfect!

Then I took a break and drank a beer. At 9:15 in the morning... but it's okay, it's Super Bowl Sunday so I am sure I'm not the only one.

45 minutes later, it was time for the second and last hop addition to the Sprout, so I chucked them in and started prepping my chiller/pump by running sanitizer through it. I also got 2 sanitized carboys out and turned the temp of my porter mash up to 170F to prepare for mash-out.

At 10:15, I drained the boil kettle through my counterflow chiller and filled up 2 carboys. The cold weather makes this process go very fast, since I can run my pump wide open. Another refractometer reading put the starting gravity of Sprout at 1.043. I pitched some dry yeast and turned my attention back to the porter.

The mash had made it up to about 170F, so I began to run some of the sweet wort off and slowly add hot sparge water to the top. For the next 45 minutes or so, I rinsed the grain and filled the boil kettle once again with the runoff. I accumulated about 17 gallons with a specific gravity of 1.057 and then fired the burner up again.

A few hop additions and another beer break later, I filled 3 carboys with 5 gallons each of jet-black porter wort with a specific gravity of 1.064. I pitched some yeast from a Wyeast smack-pack and called it a day! Well... not quite. There was still an hour of cleanup, but I wont go into details on that.

I was completely finished by 2:00pm. Heck, I even had time to take a shower, take a nap, and wake up to watch SuperBowl commercials.


For those interested in specifics, here are the ingredient bills for both recipes since they varied slightly from the online recipes:

3# home-roasted brown malt (steeped)
6# Northern Brewer pilsen LME
3# extra light DME
1# rice syrup solids
60 minute boil
1oz Hallertau hops (60 min)
1oz Willamette hops (60 min)
1oz Tettnanger hops (15 min)
Danstar Nottingham dry ale yeast

St. Chucks Porter:
22.5# 2-row pale malt
2.25# chocolate malt
2.25# 60L crystal malt
2.25# flaked barley
1.5# biscuit malt
1.5# special B malt
90 minute mash at 152F
60 minute boil
2.25oz Centennial hops (60 min)
4oz Willamette hops (10 min)
Wyeast 1728 - Scottish Ale yeast in 2 carboys
Safbrew S-33 dry ale yeast in 1 carboy
Lillian Marie Schy
Posted November 23, 2010 at 01:19:43 PM by Bean
Stef and I were thrilled to welcome our daughter Lillie into the world on November 11th at 7:28am. She weighed 7 pounds, 1 ounce, was 20.5 inches long, and 8 days behind schedule! Baby, momma (and daddy) are all happy and healthy.

More pics @

Drafts at NABC
Posted October 24, 2010 at 11:12:43 AM by Bean
I stictched together some pics of the NABC draft lineup from last night. Click it to read the details.

The beers on the left are brewed by NABC. The beers on the right are guest drafts... including 10 that are part of their annual hop festival.

Our refrigerator went out last night, so Stef and I decided to cook up all remaining meat (and some veggies).

That's: Grilled chicken tenderloins marinated and basted with Chef Walker's "World's Best Hot Wing and Cooking Sauce", honey-teriyaki glazed grilled salmon, pan fried pork chops, fresh roma beans (simmered in bacon and chopped onions), and griled squash, zuchinni, and red onions.

Soo good.
Knobstone - Take 2
Posted August 03, 2010 at 08:53:24 AM by Bean
A few days after our hike/camp excursion, I hiked from mile 0 back to to where we left my car at the Jackson Road trailhead. It was about a 6 mile hike, and I did it at a pretty good pace finishing in about 2.5 hours.

I tracked our hike in, out, and my hike back through using an iPhone app called Accuterra and was able to snap a few pictures along the way. I have created a Google Map that shows our paths, pictures, and an overview of the Knobstone Trail. I'm hoping to add to it as we continue to expand our hikes north.

Google Map: Knobstone Hiking

If anyone in the are would like to join us on our next excursion, let me know! We are planning a 3-day, 2-night hike from Jackson Road to New Chapel for September 3-5
Knobstone - Take 1
Posted July 20, 2010 at 01:57:07 PM by Bean
Lat weekend, Mothereffer/cuz and I decided to go hiking and camping along the Knobstone Trail. We took a minimal set of equipment (no tents) and hiked in from the Jackson Road trail head which is about a 6 mile hike from the Deam Lake trail head by my house, our final destination.

The first few miles were pretty rough. There's quite a bit of up and down as you hop from knob to hollow to knob to hollow. We stopped about 3.5 miles in (2.5 miles from the exit) and set up camp. We chose the bank of a dry creek bed as out site, as it had obviously been used before and there was already a fire pit with a few logs around it for seating. Brad built a small lean-to style shelter and I hung my hammock from some trees and got a fire going.

Then it started raining.

Then it started pouring.

Then the thunder and lightning kicked in... and lasted for about an hour and a half.

Brad's shelter kept the water from falling on him, but the rain was so torrential that most of bank pooled up with inches of water and soaked him from underneath. I had packed a poncho, so I put it on and sat in the rain and waited for the storm to pass. Our blazing fire got put completely out and the dry creek started flowing a little bit, then a lot. By the time the rain stopped, the creek was 40' across and not something I'd try to wade through. It was neat to see the water level come up so quickly, and then go back down just as fast.

After the rain, we dried off our stuff, ate some pudding, then tried to get some sleep. I can't speak for Brad, but I know that I got a solid 3-4 hour in before dawn woke me.

In the morning, we ate some granola bars, drank some water, and hiked out. The hike out, thankfully, was quite a bit easier than the hike in.

Good times! We will be back.
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