- I started brewing beer in 2014 with the Mr. Beer starter kit. This was one of the best gifts I ever received.
Over time, I began learning more about the process and gradually started to replace Mr. Beer equipment with small batch equipment to make 5 gallon batches. I’m by no means an expert, but I’m getting better!
In January of 2016, I brewed my first all-grain batch. Later, I started making labels and custom bottle caps. In the summer of 2016, I entered my first competition and got fourth place in the Wheat Beer category. In March of 2018, I entered 4 beers in the Iowa Brewer’s Union Open Competition and ended up getting two golds and two bronze medals. My Scotch Wee-Heavy Ale scored 45!
I learned almost everything I know from youtube, reading brewers blogs and from getting advice from friends, especially guys in the Iowa Brewer’s Union. John Palmer’s book, “How To Brew” is my instruction manual. I’ll try to share all the tricks I’ve learned here too. Some things you just have to screw up and try to find the solution later. I hope you can find the solutions here before you make some of the mistakes I did!
Mike’s Basement Brewery is not a real company or brewery. It is seriously just me making beer in my basement. I don’t sell beer, but I give a lot of it away! For some stupid reason it’s illegal to sell beer without a license.
I hope you’ll like using my blog and you’ll give me feedback and advice and possibly share your favorite recipes!
2018 Goals and Progress
Here’s a quick list of the goals I set for myself at the beginning of the year. I’ll keep this list updated as I reach my goals all year long!
- COMPLETED: Get a third place ribbon or better in any category at the Iowa State Fair Oenology Competition or the IBU Open Competition.
- I sent 5 beers to the IBU open. St. Stremph and Just For Gordon both got FIRST place medals. Dead Philistine and Ironman got third place medals. Just For Gordon scored 45!!!
- COMPLETED: Set up a tap on my mini-fridge with 2 kegs and 2 tappers.
- I have a double-tap kegerator in the dining room now, and it’s working! The first batch to be kegged and tapped was Dead Philistine Double-Dry Hops with stolen yeast.
- COMPLETED: Join Untappd and rate 10 beers.
- I’m on and have rated a lot more than 10 beers. I even added Mike’s Basement Brewery as a Home-Brew brewery!
- COMPLETED: Supply (2) 5-gallon kegs of beer for the 2018 Block Party!
- Planning 1 keg of SouthEast Woodcreek Pale and 1 keg of Dead Philistine IPA.
- Both beers were a huge success!
- ONTRACK: Brew a Barley Wine over 1.090 original gravity, and over 9% alcohol.
- I’ve had the label designed and found a good recipe. I’ll be planning to brew in April.
- Beer is brewed. OG was 1.106. It should be 10.3% ABV and ready in December.
- ONTRACK: Brew a batch of Revenge Amber Ale using only hops from my two second-year hops vines.
- Let’s hope those two vines come back and produce some hops.
- Brewed August 25 with 2 ounces of Cascade from the garden!
- COMPLETED: Plant 4 more hops rhizomes, 2 in front and 2 in back.
- I ordered 5 Comet Rhizomes and the planters are built.
- The two Comet plants in the front did great! Only 1 of the 3 in back came up, though.
- ONTRACK: Bring a keg of beer and a case of beer to a Jimmy Carter Happy Hour event at El Bait shop.
- I think the October JCHH will be good to share some Dead Philistine.
- BEHIND: Brew one batch of every recipe I have.
- It’s March. I’ve brewed two of my 14 recipes. Need to step up a bit.
- April: I’ve brewed three. Time to get hot!
- August: I’ve brewed 12 of 19 recipes this year. Still need DiWiarts, Arminivus, Ironman, Spleipner, Tyrannicide, Thirteen, Cort’s, Just For Gordon.
|Member of the Iowa Brewer’s Union Non-profit club.|
|Member of BrewToad Online Recipe sharing service.|
- 2016 Iowa State Fair Results.
- 2017 IBU’s Annual Open Competition Results
- 2018 IBU’s Annual Open Competition Results
- 2018 Iowa State Fair Results