Cobra’s Hopped Challenge (Thistle Dew) Update

Most of the challenge competitors merely gave a “wink” ūüėČ to the supplied ingredients, using them for yeast starters, and showed up with all manner of IPAs and other pale beers. I felt that we did a great job embracing the ingredients in the spirit of Chopped or Iron Chef and Continue reading “Cobra’s Hopped Challenge (Thistle Dew) Update”

In the Beginning

I got a gentle nudge into home brewing. On several occasions, my loving wife, Silvia, said to me “Honey, you should start home brewing”. After about the fifth suggestion, I started trolling Craigslist for used home brewing equipment.


Our all grain brewing rig.
After about two months of looking, I found what I thought was a reasonably priced all grain setup. It consists of a pair of ten gallon coolers, one acting as a hot liquor tank and the other equipped with a false bottom for a mash tun. There is also a ten gallon kettle with a propane rig for heating water and boiling the wort. The deal also included a pair of plastic carboys and a lovely copper wort chiller.

On December 13th, 2014 Silvia and I brewed our very first beer. Since we are both fans of oatmeal stouts, that was the first recipe that we tried and our first go turned out quite well, but the flavors weren’t as complex as we would have liked.

Our second attempt was with an award winning recipe from the American Homebrewers Association. This attempt got better reviews from friends, family, and unsuspecting homebrew club members.

In the year ¬†since firing up the kettle for the first time, we’ve put out quite a few beers. Austin Home Supply¬†was the source of¬†our first two kit beers, a Fat Tire clone and a Pliney the Elder clone. Both of these kits were awesome and the beer turned out great and further fueled my brewing ambition.