Holy smokes it's been awhile since I've written anything. We had some company from out of town and I had a few deadlines in school but even still, there was certainly time to write. 

This past weekend I finally got to brew (the weather is warming up!) the West Coast Brown Ale recipe from Brewing Classic Styles by Mike McDole, dubbed "Janet's Brown" in memory of Mike's late wife. 

This beer is technically a part of the American Brown Ale category though slightly out of style guidelines being ever so higher in bitterness and hops than prescribed. As with all things over the top hoppy, they get dubbed 'West Coast' varieties. 

The increased hops in this brew were actually something I was greatly looking forward to working with as I just purchased a new piece of equipment called the 'Hop Stopper' from The Electric Brewery's website.
Hop Stopper from The Electric Brewery setup
Hop Stopper having filtered out 6 ounces of hops from a 5 gallon batch of Janet's Brown
Essentially this is a medium-sized saucer-shaped screen that is affixed over a dip tube which sucks the wort from the bottom of the kettle. I'm using a gravity feed right now and didn't have my kettle high enough to make things easy on myself, but as you can see even with a sub-optimal setup I only left about .25 to .5 gallons of liquid/hops behind. I just started using a convoluted wort chiller so the wort hadn't been chilled at this point. I would say virtually no hop matter got into the carboy. Overall I was really pleased with the performance of the hop stopper. For reference, this was approximately 6 ounces of hops in a 5 gallon batch.

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