Monday, May 24, 2010

Ahhh...Screw It!

Yes, screw it. As in screw-top bottles. I'm building up my collection of empty bottles because I'm going to bottle my first brew in the Redondo Beach brewery instead of kegging it. We had a little shindig here, a housewarming party if you will, and I bought an assortment of beers for the guests. I thought I could save the bottles and use them to bottle the first brew.

Well, I thought wrong. It turns out some of the craft/import beers I bought use screw top bottles. Screw tops are not recommended for bottling homebrew because of breakage and sealing issues. So now I'm screwed. Well not really. I'll just recycle the screw top bottles and build up my stash some other way.

Just as a point of reference, so I don't buy them again, at least when I'm short on bottles:


I'll add to this list as I run across more. Of course I'm not even going to list BudMillerCoors, because all their bottles are screw tops. Ahhhh...Screw It!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Redondo Beach Water Update

It looks like I wasn't looking at the full report, viewable here as a PDF, which does have most of the information necessary to brew. The only data point missing, alkalinity as expressed by ppm of CaCO3, was provided by Jackie, my helpful California Water Supply water quality specialist.

So here is the relevant data on Redondo Beach groundwater (ppm):
  • Calcium: 150
  • Magnesium 38
  • Alkalinity 153
  • Sodium 120
  • Chloride 348
  • Sulfate 150
According to the CWS website, the high Sodium and Chloride levels come from seawater influences. Seawater is salty? And it influences the groundwater supply in a beach town? Who would have guessed?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Water, water, everywhere...

So now that Noble Square Brewing is in a new location, we have to take in consideration our new environment. And for brewing beer, that means water. Señor Brew™ checked out the California Water Service Company's website to see what the water chemistry in Redondo Beach looked like.

The report on the site says our water is a mix of groundwater and purchased surface water, and gives different readings for each. Unfortunately, it doesn't say what the mix is, and doesn't say if it changes throughout the year. Luckily, the Noble Square Brewery is now located right next door to a well, and the storage tanks for the well (pictured in the title photo for this post). The water guys stop by next door regularly, and Señor Brew™ was able to confirm that my water is always 100% groundwater, except for the rare occasions that the well is shut down.

Unfortunately, there are a number of "not applicables" listed for important chemical components of the groundwater, such as calcium. Señor Brew™ has been playing phone tag with a water quality specialist for CWS, and has yet to determine what the chemical composition of our water is. Once we find out, we'll post it here, so other brewers in Redondo/Hermosa Beach that are on groundwater don't have to jump through hoops to find out, like Señor Brew™ has.

One thing we are able to determine from the site is that we are super high in chlorides, with an average count of just under 350 parts per million. It looks like we're going to have to purchase water that is free of chlorides, and dilute the tap water to get that count down. It also looks like we're going to have to treat the water to get rid of the chloramine used to sanitize it.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Noble Square Brewing is Back!

Yes, after a five month hiatus, Noble Square Brewing, the blog and the home brewery is back. I apologize to all the dedicated readers (I think we were up in the double digits), but as often is the case, life intruded on brewing and blogging about brewing.

While I was gone, it appears that blog became an interesting place for some of our Asian readers to post comments. (I'm going to clean those up, once I remember how--I have a feeling they contain links to sites you don't want to visit).

So what happened? Why did Señor Brew™, and Noble Square brewing take the hiatus in the first place? Well, a whole lotta stuff happened:

  1. New Baby on the way-- My wife, who you may have seen in such ads for my brews such as Red on Head, is 7 months pregnant. This will be our first child, and I'm already a super proud papa. She's due on Father's Day, June 20th, so if the baby arrives on time or early, I'm going to have the best Father's Day present ever.

  2. New Job--I switched careers to a related field, but it's still a big change, and I'm now a rookie in the new job after being a veteran in the old. I feel like I know what I'm doing about 90% of the time, which is way better than how I felt a few short months ago.

  3. New City--Yes, Noble Square Brewing has pulled up roots from the Noble Square neighborhood of Chicago to move all the way across the country to lovely Redondo Beach, California. No, we are not changing the name to Redondo Beach Brewing, for a couple of reasons. One, the name is already taken. Two, we're staying true to our roots, and remembering where it all started. I have changed the "Is it brewing weather?" section in the sidebar to reflect the new location, and the logo might change. Stay tuned.

With all of these changes going on, I don't know how often I'll be brewing in the future. I do know that I'll try to post here at least once a week, and I do intend to get have a brew ready by the due date so I can give it out instead of cigars. Thank you if you were still following this blog in the hopes that it would be resurrected. Noble Square Brewing is back.