Tag Archives: Homebrew

We need to post more…

We really need to post more on this… I certainly do.

So, here’s my resolution. I’m gonna try to post once a week.

My current plan, is to start developing stuff for New World of Darkness games. Today’s contribution, Homebrewed Keys and Manifestations for Geist: the Sin-Eaters

Geist has Manifestations (the sin-eaters special magical powers) associated with 7 of the 9 core attributes. Naturally for me, I would like manifestations for the other two attributes.

Also, Keys bend how a manifestation works, flavoring how the power works. I’ve started work on several new keys, to add new flavor to the powers.

Here’s what I have so far.

New Keys and Manifestations.

Manifestation 1 – Dexterity based – The Fetter – Imposes penalties, binds target
Cold Wind Fetter – Cold disables target, may create Ice to bind
Grave Dirt Fetter – Zombie hands grasp at targets legs – Try to grapple/Trip
Pyre Flame Fetter – Flame Lashes parry, drive back enemies
Tear Stained Fetter – Target is affected as if moving against water.
Industrial Fetter – Conjures rusty chains. Binds and slows target
Passion Fetter – Emotional bindings, Fear and Sorrow
Phantasmal Fetter – Illusory chains
Primeval Fetter – Vines and or other plants
Stigmata Fetter – Open pseudo wounds, no damage (til rank 4) but cause wound penalties.
Stillness Fetter – Locks targets Joints
Widow’s Kiss Fetter – Venom disables target, Shuddering/shakes.
Dirge Fetter – Wraps target in metaphysical bounds of words. Target becomes socially awkward, confused, and says wrong words or odd things.
Phlogeston Fetter – Strangles the enemy with tendrils of nothingness.

Manifestation 2 – Composure based – The Pall – Provides Social Defense, Hides intentions.
Cold Wind Pall –
Grave Dirt Pall –
Pyre Flame Pall –
Tear Stained Pall –
Industrial Pall –
Passion Pall –
Phantasmal Pall –
Primeval Pall –
Stigmata Pall –
Stillness Pall –
Widow’s Kiss Pall – q
Dirge Pall – q
Phlogeston Pall – q

New Key 1 – The Widow’s Kiss – Poison focus. Both physical Poison and Emotional poison
Widow’s Kiss Boneyard – Grants additional power and insight over poisonous things in area, works best in poisoned land/wastelands.
Widow’s Kiss Caul – Changes body to be toxic to others, adapt to poisons. Also take on aspects of Venomous spiders or reptiles. (Especially Black/Brown/Red Widows)
Widow’s Kiss Curse – Target gets poisoned by incidental contact with normal things. Salmonella from eggs, Mercury from his fillings, his mail is contaminated with Ricin or Anthrax, Etc.
Widow’s Kiss Marionette – Creates a poison that does will damage. If will <= 0, then subject is bound to the sin-eater's will. Widow's Kiss Oracle - Drink poison to gain ecstatic visions, forsight. Also allows you to 'see' poison in things. Widow's Kiss Rage - Each use creates a single dose of poison whose damage and toxicity is based on successes on activation. Lasts for a length of time based on rank. Widow's Kiss Shroud - Bonus defense against Poisons and Disease. New Key 2 - The Dirge - Tilts all manifestations to the Social, All word related. Dirge Boneyard - Constant Chanting, Boneyard extends to all in earshot. Extra effects in locations associated with Oratory or Amphitheaters, or where a Eulogy was recently given. Dirge Caul - Changes the body to become a better orator, more impressive, better manipulator. Dirge Curse - Target suffers various mental disorders that cause social problems. Especially Aphasia and/or Tourette's syndrome. Dirge Marionette - Subject believes the Bounds words are his own thoughts, behaves appropriately. Dirge Oracle - Automatic Writing, Bibliomancy. Dirge Rage - Can be used to inflict damage as an area attack instead of single target. Dirge Shroud - Adds to social defense, confuses others socially(Manipulation). New Key 3 - The Phlogeston - Aethir, Fifth Element, Void. Creates vacuums? Any manifestation where Elemental Keys function the same, Phlogeston key follows the same functions. Phlogeston Boneyard - allows them to force other elements out of an area. Works best in area's that are devoid of most of the classic elements. Works exceptionally well where non-breathable gasses are prevelant, or in outer space (unlikely but hey, it could happen) Phlogeston Caul - Become an archon of nothingness Phlogeston Curse - Phlogeston Marionette - Phlogeston Oracle - Must suffocate self with smoke or inert gasses to activate. Phlogeston Rage - Damage from Vacuum Suffocation, causes perception problems Phlogeston Shroud -

Building a Malt Cider – Part 1 – Malt

As I sit here drinking a bottle of h3lldr0p’s homebrew, I’m reminded of this cider project mulling around the recipe book. Thoughts on what types of ingredients to use keep popping into my mind. Different types of yeast, styles of malt, little extras like fruit, spices, and back-sweetening quickly come to mind. But where to start? Well, before I start let us explore the major components first, and what better place to start than malt.

First things first, if you’re going to make a Malt Cider, you’re going to need some malt. Now I’ve never been a big fan of DME. Granted there is now real reason for my dislike, I would just rather deal with and handle LME. I find that the flavor and over all results just work out better for me.

In the world of malt, I’m leaning more into the area of something light. I want the overall flavor of this brew to come out being cider and not beer, so something light seems the way to go. Now, with that said what exactly to go with?

A simple 2-row light malt might do the trick. It is light enough with a gentle flavor and a good sugar content. The only concern is that it might be to lacking in flavor. Even though, in the end, this product should have a great cider flavor, I would still like it to be unique with a an understandable difference from a straight cider.

Now a wheat malt should be a bit more stout. Granted such a malt is still light, but wheat has a great crisp and doughy flavor that it should blend well with cider. Besides many wheat malts are a blend with 2-row anyway. This will probably give a light yet robust enough flavor to accomplish the “malty” aspect of this project.

I’ve considered the possibility of using a bit of grain in this brew as well. Looking at it, it would definitely impart a wonderful flavor, but I fear it maybe too much. A grainy beer is a great thing in my book, but I’m not sure how it translates in the world of cider. Considering that the original “Snakebite” idea uses Harp, a beer not known for a very heavy grain flavor, this may be pushing it.

As for now, it seems that a good wheat LME is the way to go, at least for this experiment.

–Next time – Yeast–

Beer Update 1

So, the beer is boiling. Lets go quickly over what has been done up to now.

First, I put the Light Malted Barley and the Flaked Oats into the Mash Tun. Then I poured a little under three gallons of hot water in over them and mixed it together. I adjusted the temperature to 152 Degrees Fahrenheit, and let it sit for a little over an hour. Then I added the Chocolate Malt (Dark malted) Barley, and the Roasted Barley. I added about a gallon of boiling water to bring the temperature back up, and let it sit for another 20 minutes.

Next, I drained the liquid out and did what’s called “Sparging”. In this process, you add more hot water (175 F) to the mash as you drain it. I ended up adding around 5-6 gallons of water to the mash during sparging. Also, following some advice I got online, I poured the first half gallon I got out of the tun back in on top as part of the sparge.

It’s important when sparging to put the water in gently so as not to create channels in the mash. If you do it wrong, the water runs through the channels and doesn’t pick up as much flavor, sugar, or enzymes from the mash. I achieved this by simply floating a plastic potato salad container lid on top of the mash, and pouring the water onto it.

When all is said and done, you should end up with 7 gallons of liquid out of the Mash.

I put this in my big pot (it just BARELY fit), and set it to boil. From 160+ degrees, it still took nearly 45 minutes to come up to a boil again.

While it’s heating, and first boiling, nasty foam forms on top. Skim this off with a ladle or something, as it will make the beer really cloudy otherwise.

So, I let it BOIL for 15 minutes, then add the first set of Hops.

And that’s where I am now. It has to boil for ANOTHER 40 minutes before I add the finishing hops. So, a little more time to kill.

At first it smelled like cooking oatmeal cookies mixed with hot cereal, like cream of wheat. But within seconds of adding the hops, it smells like beer.

Anyway, when the 40 minutes is up, I’ll add the second set of hops, and a little Irish Moss, which is supposed to help clarify the beer. Then it will boil for 20 more minutes, then sit for half an hour to cool and settle, THEN once it’s cool enough (80 F) I’ll add the yeast and seal it up.

More as it happens.

Homebrewed Beer Log #1


Started this brew way back in September of last year. Due to a restriction in the number of bottles I had at the time, I could not get this bottled as quickly as I would have liked. The restriction was because I had and continue to have a number of my bottles holding the raspberry mead I started back in 2007.

The recipe I used is one of my own invention. It was not as cheap as it could have been due to using half grains and half malt extract instead of all malt. At the time the 2-row was going for about $3.50/lb., making it one of the cheaper grains I could get. Unfortunately for us brewers the price of grain has continued to rise making our once economically efficient hobby less so these days.

Here is my recipe:

2 lbs Rolled Wheat
4 lbs Bohemian Pilsen (2 row)
4 lbs Light Malt Extract
2 lbs Honey

1 oz Saaz
1 oz Kent Golding

The rolled wheat came in single pound plastic bags, I am guessing left overs from earlier shipments. I’m not sure how much these cost, but they could not have been all that much. I was doing my best to be as cheap as I could, retaining as much quality as I could. The Saaz were strong registering an AA of 7.5 that season. I hope that my supplier, Bacchus and Barleycorn, continue to get their hops that powerful.

I won’t get into detailing out the cooking experience except to say that it was one of the best, easiest times I have spent cooking a beer that I have ever had. Everything came together very nicely and I was able to hit and keep my target temperatures without any real trouble. I hope to be able to repeat it in the future.

On to a few pictures then.

The first is the anticipation shot of opening the bottle. I prefer the flip tops for their easy reuse and the ability to send some with friends when they want to try my brew out. The “C” you see on top of the cap is from an older, much older, attempt to add some cherry flavoring to a batch.

Getting ready to open and pour
Getting ready to open and pour

And this is everything freshly poured. I want to note here that I continue to have problems with over-carbonating in the bottle and that if I do not act quickly enough when opening the bottle, I will have a beer fountain on my hands. In fact, this last time around I lost one of my liter bottles to a minor beer explosion. I am not sure if this is because I am not getting enough of the sugars converted in primary fermentation due to a lack of oxygen or if I am using too much sugar when bottling. This past time I made sure to include extra head-space in the bottles to eliminate that as one of the factors which could be causing the fountains to happen. The upside is that it takes a long time for my beer to go flat.

A good pour
A good pour

This final shot is a close up to show just how nice and clear the brew is. I used some Irish Moss and made sure to strain my beer and capture as much of the particulates before primary fermentation. I personally like using a grain bag during the cooking and then straining the wart through that into one of my fermentation vessels a couple of times to get all of the flavor I can. The results is a crystal clear beautifully golden beer.

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