Sep 142016

My friends, I have strayed…

Over the last few years, my brewing became more and more sporadic, evidenced by the lack of posts on this site. Increased work responsibilities and other interests were competing for my time and energy and brewing became… a chore. I made a handful of batches to try and stay current, but the brewery gradually fell into disarray. My brewday documentation became non-existent. I stopped reading (and writing) beer articles. The beer, while still drinkable, suffered greatly. I had fallen from grace.

But O! I am nothing if not resilient! The fire was rekindled this weekend when I was convinced by The Hammer to enter my first homebrew competition. The only beer I had available was a Heady Topper clone I brewed a few weeks ago. Everything that could’ve gone wrong with this beer did. First I unknowingly bought an extract kit instead of all grain — oh well, roll with it, it’ll cut a couple hours off the brewday, right? Boil and hops additions went well, until I realized I forgot to use my hop spider — a huge mistake when using a plate chiller. When it came time to chill the beer, my chiller got clogged and I was dead in the water (worter?).

Five gallon Torpedo kegI wound up throwing the wort in the fermentor and leaving it in my basement overnight to cool. Pitched the yeast the following day, then ignored the beer for a month. Did not dry hop it, did not take gravity readings, I couldn’t care less about this brew. Until this competition deadline was looming.

Somewhere on Sunday, as I cleaned my kegs and racked the beer and fought a CO2 leak… as I gazed over the dust-covered, neglected collection of my brewing equipment, I got mad. I was pissed that I had let things go like this. Pissed that I let the world take the fun out of brewing. Pissed as I watched the beer world explode around me, breweries opening every day, homebrewing equipment and ingredients and techniques reaching never before seen heights…pissed at myself that I wasn’t a part of it all.

The next day I went online and ordered the ingredients needed to brew one of my favorite old recipes, Engine 57 Steam Beer. They arrived today, along with a gleaming new keg (pictured above). I’ll be brewing that beer this weekend. Next up is my IPA recipe. Then on to some other styles. I’m not stopping until I have all five of my kegs full of beer. I’m entering these beers into competitions, and I’m going to win medals. I’m getting my brewing mojo back, dammit!!

That Heady clone? Not ready to be competitive yet, and it might never be. It has a harsh hop bitterness in the finish that might mellow with time in cold storage, or might be a result of staying on the trub too long and never fade. Don’t get me wrong, it’s tasty, but I don’t expect a high score from it. It doesn’t matter, though — I entered it anyway. It was more of a symbolic act — atoning for my sins, getting back in the scene, and making some amazing beer.

Aug 182011

So, last time I posted here (ahem…cough…almosttwomonthsago!… cough cough) I spoke of rushing a beer and going from grain to glass in one week. Well, the experiment was a smashing success! I decided to go with a nice American wheat flavored with some boysenberry extract.

The beer was definitely green, but it was surprisingly drinkable. I told everyone at the Fourth of July gala that it was an experimental brew, so I figured people would stay away from it. Boy, was I wrong! I heard from several people that this beer was their favorite of the three (the others being an IPA and a Kölsch), and it was the clear favorite of the ladies. So, brewers, never again let your procrastination and poor time-management skills stop you from your mission!

In other news, I have finally decided to change the name of this blog to something more beer specific. Coming this fall, I will be re-launching the site at This dovetails nicely with some other beer-related programming projects/websites I am working on, and I’ll have more news on those as they develop over the coming months.

Finally, I wanted to give a shout out to another Connecticut brewer I had the pleasure of meeting recently. My friend Jeff and I were able to spend a great Saturday assisting Brewmaster Dan of Two Beagles Brewing with a batch of American Pale Ale. Dan is an extremely knowledgeable brewer and a great host, and I was able to see the Sabco Brew-Magic in action. I’ve been considering upgrading to a system like this for awhile, and this brought me one step closer to pulling the trigger. It was great to watch another brewer in action, and I was able to pick up a lot of tips and tricks I’ll be applying to my own process. Many thanks to Dan for his hospitality, and the great Vienna Lager and Maibock he allowed us to taste!

Aug 042008

The Session logoThe Session is a monthly event for the beer blogging community which was started by Stan Hieronymus at Appellation Beer. On the first Friday of each month, all participating bloggers write about a predetermined topic. Each month a different blog is chosen to host The Session, choose the topic, and post a roundup of all the responses received. For more info on The Session, check out the Brookston Beer Bulletin’s nice archive page. is pleased and proud to announce that Session #19 will be hosted right here! In honor of the start of Oktoberfest, I’ve decided to make September’s topic Deutsches Bier – German beer. I want you all to focus on the wonderful contributions our German neighbors have made to the beer world. You can write about a particular German style you really enjoy, a facet of German beer culture which tickles your fancy, or any other way in which Germany and beer have become intertwined in your life. Bonus points for Bavarian-themed posts.

I’m going to ask that no one submit an actual Oktoberfest trip report unless it really had some profound impact on you – the goal is to dig a little deeper and write about how German beers and beer culture have worked their way into your life (and hearts). Oh, and if you absolutely hate all beers German, that’s fair game, too – tell us why!

So, crack open that Märzen, Kölsch, or Weizen and put some polkas on the iPod – get to writing, and I’ll see you back here in a month!

To participate, simply write up your post on Friday, September 5th, 2008. You can leave it as a comment here, or drop me a line!

German flag

Deutsches Bier!

Jun 122008

This is pretty cool – Adam at Beer Bits 2 (now an official Friend of Lootcorp!) has started up a new, um, “beer blogging community day” – for lack of a better term… You know, where beer bloggers agree on a topic and all post about it on the same day every month.

We have The Session, started by Stan Hieronymus of Appellation Beer back in early 2007, where all the bloggers post about a particular beer style or beer-related topic on the first Friday of every month. However, Adam thought it would be cool to have a beer-blogging day just for homebrewers and homebrew-related topics, and I couldn’t agree more. He has hereby designated the last Friday of every month “Fermentation Friday”, the homebrew blogging day, and I am happy to say that has already signed up as a host! Many thanks to Adam for the opportunity!

Now, the bad news…this idea was such a success that the host roster filled up pretty quickly, and I’m going to have to wait until January 30, 2009! So, for now, just mark your calendars, and drop me a comment if you have any suggestions for a good early winter homebrewing topic. In the meantime, I’ll be participating in Fermentation Friday every month – this month it is being hosted by Travis at, topic TBA (check out the list of scheduled hosts for future months). I can’t wait!

May 232008

As we head into the long Memorial Day Weekend, I’d like to reflect on this past week of beer and brewing blogging fun and talk about some things I have planned for the site.

First of all, the page layout. I’m using a pre-coded theme to get up and running, but am working on making my own custom layout for the site. I like the clean look, but it is a bit visually boring, so I’m going to try and jazz it up a bit while keeping it clean and simple. I doubt I’ll have anything ready to roll out for quite awhile, but if you detest this layout, relief is on the horizon.

Next, the page needs a logo and more appropriate title (something that indicates that is actually a beer-related site). I’m thinking of running a contest (perhaps giving away the current hottest commodity in brewing, hops?) for a new title and logo design, but until I have some regular readers it’s a pointless endeavor. So, I’ll be working on putting something together, but if a few people leave comments that they’d like to have a go at it, I’ll make an official contest announcement.

I’ve been busy writing some articles covering various brewing topics – you may not have noticed the articles section…it kind of gets lost in the sidebar. Check it out, and I’ll keep adding to it as time goes on.

Finally, if anyone wants to contribute any articles, posts, or other material, I’m certainly open to it. If you’d like to send me some beer you’ve brewed, I’ll review it on the site. If you’re using some clever gadget or interesting technique you’d like to share with other brewers, let me know. If you have a question or comment about the site, I’d love to hear it. Leave a comment or send me an email!

I hope everyone enjoys a safe, happy, healthy, and beer-filled holiday weekend!

May 152008

Welcome to lootcorp. This was a finance blog a few weeks ago, but I just couldn’t keep it going. Finance may be my profession and I love it, but after working all day the last thing I want to do is write about it. Since I just renewed my domain for 2 more years, I figured I’d better find something to be passionate and write about. Or, turn this into a free porn site.

So, brewing. It’s something I am ridiculously passionate about. I started a few years ago and have invested countless hours, tons of cash, and a bit of blood and tears into this “hobby” (don’t worry, it didn’t get into the beer). I am now at the point where I can brew some consistently great beers (IMHO), and my next steps will be entering competitions and trying to build up some credentials in the homebrew world.

I’d like to bring back the old Lootcorp (which you can read about on the history page), but I feel like the “stream of consciousness blog” idea is overdone. When I feel I will be able to produce some good content, I’ll expand this site to include some other stuff, but let’s keep it simple for now. Simple will be complicated enough, and you can quote me on that.

So, let’s try a brewing blog. Not sure how this will play out, but it’s damn sure more interesting than finance – and if you follow along at home, you get to drink the results. I’ll take some pictures of my equipment and describe my current system. I’ll tell you some tales of woe from the early days, and tales of triumph as I gained experience. I’ll share some recipes and tips to get people started in the craft if they wish. And we’ll see where it all goes.

Alright? Alright. See you on the other side.

(To all the people who found this page searching for “free porn” – sorry. There is none here. Really. You can leave now.)