Thursday, January 18, 2018

80 Day Obsession - "Live" Blog

Welcome to my 80 Day Obsession "Live" Blog!

This is my real life, real world review and progression through the 80 Day Obsession program by Autumn Calabrese / Beachbody. Blogging it in this format helps keep me accountable and motivated to finish! I hope you enjoy, and I hope I get some great results! Cheers!

Full disclosure - I am NOT affiliated with Beachbody. I am NOT a Beachbody coach. I was not given early access to the program like some of the other reviews you may see. I was not given equipment, nutritional supplements.... I wasn't given anything. Just like most of you. And I'm ok with that. That's what makes this real!

The equipment - Bands (light, medium, heavy resistance), Dumbbell hand weights (light, medium, heavy resistance - I have 7lbs, 10lbs, 15lbs, and 25lbs), Sliders, and Yoga/workout Mat. You can order equipment from beach body if you want. You local sports store eg. Academy, Dicks etc. Or order online from Amazon/Academy/Dicks if you need to. I recommend going in person, that way you can get an actual feel for the weights and can do a set of 15 in the store.

If your a guy (or a girl) with hairy legs... pick up a set or two of tight workout pants. You'll thank me later when you start working with the resistance bands around your thighs, knees, and calfs. I bought a couple sets at Walmart for just $7.00 each.

The Diet - They have seemingly set up a great diet program that utilizes some of the containers from Autumns 21 Day Fix program. I however will not be using this as part of my 80 Day Obsession experience. I will be tracking my calories through the next 80 days. I generally do low carb breakfast and lunch with Atkins and eat in moderation what I would like for dinner with the family. I will incorporate a cheat meal here and there. I will post my diet updates every week or two.  To clarify, If you stick with the set Beachbody program diet, I'm sure you'll see tremendous results (do so if you can). I however (realistically) won't stick with that long term (I don't think). I enjoy my food and drink too much currently.  Moderation is my view point. My results will hopefully give the average person who can't afford the diet requirements a realistic look at  what the program without the diet looks like.

A Little Obsessed 
Prior to 80 Day Obsession being released, Beacbody released "A Little Obsessed".  It stars Autumn and her "cast" (fellow workout team) performing a slightly modified version of what is to come and what is to be expected with the full version of 80 Day obsession. These workouts are just 30 minutes.  Truly a stepping stone to prep you for what is to come with the 80 Day Obsession.

I completed all 5 days. These exercises were just enough of a challenge to get me sweating and not dreading what was to come.  If you're not in the best of shape. This portion of the program is a great starting point. They are the perfect length to get anyone engaged. Great exercises to challenge someone who is already in some sibilance of shape or looking to start a  general self wellness / fitness program. Don't fear if you can't do the reps or the exercises. There are modifications and plenty of grace.

80 Day Obsession

I started this program on the "official" release day (January 15th) as Beachboy intended. Below are some thoughts as I work my way to day number 80! Lets go!!!!

Day 1 Total Body Core (60 Minutes) - 60 minutes went by sorta quick. I got to experience some of the 2nd level little obsessed moves. Fun but a challenge.  I really like the setup and how Autumn and her cast interact. Makes it feel like you are a part of the team. You engage and relate to everyones moans and groans as you near the end of the session. Looking forward to Day 2.
(Side note: There is no music during the workout. They offer a playlist if you insist on some music via Spotify but to be honest I like it better without the music.)

Day 2 -  Booty Day - (60 Minutes) - Same cast which is nice. Some programs tend to change it up pending on days and I guess availability. I really liked Booty Day... I don't know if I am going to be able to walk tomorrow, but I liked it. My hips/glutes were on FIRE!
(Side Note: Each workout has started with the same warmup routine. It's fairly quick and just enough. On the back end, there is a little stretch and recovery period)

Day 3 - Cardio Core (40 Minutes) -Walking/sitting wasn't as bad as I was expecting after Booty Day. I can tell I've been working out. General stiffness, but resolves with the warmup. Cardio Core gets the heart pumping for sure. You get to work the core in-between cardio moves. A "working rest" I call it. A shorter workout which was nice, but just enough work that I was ready to rest.
(Side Note: Enjoying how fresh/real Autumn seems. Very engaging and dishes out the motivation needed to get the job done. "Jiggle now or jiggle later?")

Day 4 - AAA (49 Minutes) - Arms, Abs, and Ass. Really a total body circuit that targets these areas. I'm really feeling it in my shoulders after this one. Not pain, but fatigue and some stiffness. They have been working like crazy. Especially in the plank positions you have to get in.
(Side Note: Body is letting me know I have started something. More generally stiffness and muscle soreness. No joint soreness though which is nice. Taking two ibuprofen once or twice a day to help with the muscle soreness Still excited to press play the next day.)

Day 5 - Leg Day (46 Minutes) aka Lunge Day aka Leg Debilitation Day... Good workout. Not overwhelming at all and thats a good thing. No workout should make you want to quit or tap out. Not long after the workout my legs did (and still do) feel like jello. I thought Booty day was rough but leg day might top that.
(Side Note: I enjoy the pace of this program so far. Other programs I have done have been rush/fast pace type programs. Not intentionally but thats just how it feels. This is not like that. Autumn slows you down. Makes you more aware of your technique and keeps you safe. Very enjoyable so far!)

Day 6 - Cardio Flow (31 Minutes) First off.... Leg Day crippled me practically! The difficulty going form sit to stand and walking had set in. I was looking forward to Cardio Flow (...or so I thought). I assumed it would be similar to Speed 2.0 from T25 (another Beachbody program). I was going to warm these muscles right up. I was wrong... very wrong. It was incorrectly named Cardio Flow... It should be called Death by Pyramid. You don't stop. You just keep building block by block. No doubt, it gets your cardio going. Just not in the way I was expected (which is ok). It had a nice variation of exercises that break you down "brick by brick".

Day 7 - Roll and Release Day (19 Minutes) An "Off Day" that you can opt to "self treat" or follow Autumn and the cast using a foam roller to workout all of the soreness in the muscles you have. I do have the foam roller and joined in. I thought this would be an enjoyable experience but I was again wrong! I found sore spots that I didn't even know were sore with this thing. It was a hurt so good thing at times. Other times it just hurt and I had to do the trigger point release thing to help get the knots out. I do admit it felt better after and will cont. to do some rolling on the weekends and maybe after the sessions. If you don't have a roller, its worth getting one I think. Can find them at Walmart or your local sport store. Can also order off Amazon. I just got one from a Physical Therapy clinic. which is where you could pick up some of the resistance bands too.

Day 8 - Total Body Core (60 Minutes) Not as sore today as I have been. No medicines to address any of the lingering soreness. Autumn is a little faster getting to the workout today.  We apparently have 3 circuits to work through in our 60 minute sessions. Shoulders feel it with the C sit position with bicep curl as well as with side plank with knee to chest using resistance bands (the hardest so far for me on my left. Shoulder gives out and balance is crap. I finger tip my coffee table to get through the last round of these). Triceps burnout on the last round of tricep pushups but I completed them all without going to half knee position. Yay!
(Side Note: Feeling a little stronger. Able to last a little longer with the weights and getting in positions is easier. Feeling a little more flexible.)

Day 9 - Booty Day (60 Minutes) I am starting to like this one until the last round. Will have to start doubling up on my bands. Still get a great burn in the hip/glutes. Have to back down bands in 3rd round for side leg raises/cross overs, clams, and kick back exercises.

Day 10 - Cardio Core (37 Minutes) I enjoy this one. Reminds me more of Speed type program from T25. Constantly moving but at a pace to slow your breathing and heart rate down some. Autumn has made it a trend to attempt to burn out my core and shoulders with two rounds of core work. She succeeds. I am able to finish, but needed a 2 sec. knees down break with the cross over tease exercise on the 2nd round.
(Side Note: I can feel it in my back a little as I bend over to load the dishwasher or pick up things off the floor. Took an ibuprofen to combat what was starting to feel like a lumbar strain. I suspect I started to compensate with these muscles due to both my core and shoulders starting to give out. Will have to pay more attention to form.)

Day 11 - AAA (55 Minutes) To be honest, I was not looking forward to working out. Either it was just a long day, or like Autumn says during the workout...the "newness" has worn off. However, after getting through the first part of the workout, I was back in the "zone". I notice was stronger today than I was last week with this workout. I was able to double bands and advance weights too. I didn't even have to hit my knees for the 3 round of pushups. Sure it was tough but I did it and I get great about doing it. I might even be seeing changes or the endorphins are blinding hindering my perspective! I am dreading Leg Day.... but onward and upward!

Day 12 - Leg Day (52 Minutes) Increase my weights with this program as a lot of the crew did. Was motivated. Jello legs set in afterwards. I thought I was dreading leg day, but I think it was because I was a day closer to Cardio Flow day.

Day 13  Cardio Flow (30 Minutes) aka Pyramid of death. Starts of nice and easy and breaks you down gradually (As I was expecting). I was able to make it through and finished a little stronger than last week. I suspect I paced myself a little or knowing what was coming made it a little easier to prepare myself.
(Side Note: Starting to like this one I think....)

Day 14 - Stretch Release Day (16 Minutes) I used my roller here again to stretch out some sore muscles. Especially after the workout days and a long day of yard work and putting together a trillion piece play set.
(Side Note: So ready for this "day off" so to speak. Body was ready for a little breather from the workouts. Can tell it's being challenged a little more and initially. A good healing/recovery day. Not sure if it was the heavier weights or the yard work, play set assembly but forearms and grip is sore.)

Day 15 - Total Body Core (60 Minutes) I don't know who pissed off Autumn today but she makes you pay for it. Almost immediately you are into the warm up and no chit-chat to start/prep you. No time to get your mat or equipment ready. Pretty much, "you know what the heck you need, have that stuff ready before you press play!" I thought I did well last week but this one worked me to the end. I don't know if it was the faster pace and maybe heavier weights. I was left in a puddle exhausted.
(Side Note: I'm thinking about buying a two more sets of weights to go with my current set up. Will ponder through the rest of this week.)

Day 16 - Booty (55 Minutes) Was looking forward to Booty day the most since most of it is on the ground. I was sore and sorely mistaking. The rep and intensity changes isolating muscle groups in threes burns you out much faster. A new twist on the exercises the prior weeks. Still fun, but boy does it burn.

Day 17 - Cardio Core (36 Minutes) I enjoy this one... maybe because its shorter. But don't be fooled. Its still tough and leaves you in a puddle of sweat...exhausted.

Day 18 - AAA (55 Minutes) Concentric and Eccentric focus again in burn outs (groups of three). More intention and control with this group of exercise. Feel the burn!

Day 19 - Legs (51 Minutes) So I think I hate leg day the most. Specifically the Buddha squats. My left leg is notable weaker and the mobility is different. I get a twinge of pain when returning to standing position. Working on my leg position to find the sweet spot still.
(Side Note: I have to make a trip out of town and opt to go ahead and double up my workout just after leg day verse doing it Saturday. Since I am staying with others, I don't want to wake them or disturb them with my workout/some of the jumping required in Cardio Flow.)

Day 20 - Cardio Flow (30 Minutes) Having JUST finished Leg Day (see above), this workout completed the breakdown of my legs. My mule kicks to frog jumps were so difficult. My legs had such a hard time propelling me into the air. I know I should have allowed for a little more recovery time but I still pushed myself and I am glad I did. I was glad it was over and I was able to complete it!

Day Off- Stretch / Roll Release Day (16 -20 Minutes) Or Tree Limb crashed through our truck windshield but thank God we are all ok day!

Day 21 - Total Body Core (57 Minutes) Back to 2 sets of 15 in a circuit of 3 exercises. Able to increase resistance and weights but get the burn out with the rep increase and shorter circuits.

Day 22 - Booty (53 Minutes) The muscle burn of this workout in the hips/gluteals is ridiculous...But.. In a good way. The burn is much more intense with the rep/circuit set up this go round. Enjoyed this one workout in particular because Autumn pretty much loses it (crying with laughter and even needing a towel to wipe her tears) with all of the noises her cast members make trying to work through the burn and exhaustion. A fun, but intense workout today.
(Side Note: Bands or Loops roll at times but it's really a non-issue. I might post some different positions to place them  to prevent some rolling.)

Day 23 - Cardio Core (35 Minutes) Constant movement. Nice to not have to wear the workout pants with this since its a lot of cardio. I think one my least favorite exercise is the circle over teasers. Its where you are in a high plank and cross one leg over the other. You then draw in both knees. Its a good exercise, but by the time I get to it, my shoulders are exhausted and at the point of failure. Then the core starts to fail. I have to go to my knees briefly with this one. Able to complete all the sets which is a win, but its not without a fight. Glad this one is done.

Day 24 - AAA (48 Minutes) 2 by 15 by 3-4 sets are a killer. Able to finish and do more weight. Balance is a little better too.

Day 25 - Leg Day (48 Minutes) Can tell I am stronger, but get introduced to the first "Bonus Round". Went hard and so when Autumn sprung the bonus... I was toast!

Day 26 -  Cardio Flow (27 Minutes) Good news kids! This one gets harder in the next phase! Excited to be done with phase one though!  My mule to frogs are so difficulty by the last two rounds. Reps apparently increase from 4 to 6 next week. I can't wait.

PHASE ONE - Complete 
Seem to go by quickly. I really enjoy Autumn and the cast energy and motivation throughout the program. Having a "new" workout everyday I think makes a huge difference vs the same old video on a different day. Each week was a challenge. Can tell that my body is changing. Endurance is up a little. The scale indicates I have lost 9 pounds at this point. Yay! On to Phase Two!

How many calories are burned? Well I have experimented some with my little FitBit and according to it, depending the exercise of the day, the average calorie burn is anywhere from 325+/- to 400+/-.

Phase Two

Day 27 -  Booty Day (58 Minutes) The whole program has been changed up. Which is nice and keeps it fresh. New warmup, new day for the booty workout, and a whole new exercises. I like the new round of exercises for this one. Able to push myself early. Will have to get some new weights soon! I do miss some of the side lying exercises.

Day 28 - Cardio Core Day (43 Minutes) The new warm up is not bad, but I think I liked the phase one warm up better. Phase two has introduced more jumping / plyometric exercises. Not to an Insanity or Focus 25 measure yet, but more than phase one. This one in particular has some Burpees with a pushup and then a little jump on the standing portion. I'm glad Autumn allows time to demo the new exercises and gives you a much needed 30 seconds to catch your breath. She states, this will not happen in the weeks to come. I'm not sure how she talks and does all of this. It does effect her, and its evident. Nice to see we are all struggling no matter your current fitness level.

Day 29 - Total Body Core (60 Minutes) So this now round has a fair amount of twisting/torsion. You have to be really careful and watch your technique. I managed to get a nice muscle spasm in my left lumbar spine. After the first two exercises of round one. Not a huge fan of the twisting lunge, but I think its because I am on carpet.  I made it through but did have to pay attention to my form and slow doing a little bit. Hopefully nothing a little ibuprofen can help me manage. The 1/2 turkish set ups will likely become get ups in phase three. Can't believe day 30 is tomorrow!

Day 30 - Leg Day (42 Minutes) More dynamic moves continue with leg day. Absent is the Buddha squat. Thank you... thank you...thank you!

Day 31 - AAA (60 Minutes) The most challenging for me so far. The scissor kicks on your back with bands/loops destroy me. My lack of flexibility in addition to fatigued core set me up for complete failure to get the full 15 reps I think. I didn't count. It felt like 100 reps. Dreading Cardio flow and the rep increase.

Day 32 -  Cardio Flow (36 Minutes) I was already hating the rep increase prior to doing this one. However, I was pleasantly surprised of my ability to meet the 2 rep increase. The little rest at the end Autumn allowed helped significantly. This one might be my favorite (Shhhhhh).

Day 33 - Booty Day (59 Minutes) Back to 3 sets of 10 reps. This allows for a little heavier lifting. Rounds seem to go quick. Surprised the difference the reduction makes.

Day 34 - Cardio Core (40 Minutes) Not sure if it was the day or what. Felt like a little dip in my endurance. 30 seconds of light intensity cardio followed by 30 seconds of high intensity. 3 rounds of this. Then 30 seconds of a core exercise. Maybe I was pushing myself a little or it might have been a little hotter in the room I was doing it in. The last round just for core is killer. Made it through with my puddle of sweat without quitting.

Day 35 -  Total Body Core (59 Minutes) 3 sets of 10 again. Nice flow. Able to advance the weights.

Day 36 - Leg Day (42 Minutes) Same 3 sets of 10 theme for the week. The increased weights help the inability to sit/squat the next day.

Day 37 - AAA (60 Minutes) Sore and stiff from Leg day. AAA is the one I least like this week. Such a challenge and makes me sore... in a good way. Legs are weak for the rest of the day and twice as sore the next day. Again... in a good way.

Day 38 - Cardio Flow (38 Minutes) I remember I liked this one last week. I think the warmer temperatures are effecting what I thought was better endurance. Had to grab a quick sip of cold water a few times and catch up with the cast once or twice. The 40-60 second rest to bring the heart rate down prior to the last two rounds was a God send! So thankful for an off day tomorrow. The body needs it. Onward!

Day 39 - Booty Day (58 Minutes) Back to burn out mode. 3 sets of 10 reps. 3 exercises. Nice change up of the program. Some of the rounds are easier, but some harder due to the fatigue/"burn out" of the muscle group(s).

Day 40 - Cardio Core (38 minutes) HALF WAY THERE! Wow! Can't believe its half over, and I can't believe I've been as successful getting to this point without missing a day! Really still enjoying the program and Autumn and the crews motivation and real-ness. So far, I highly recommend. Have been seeing awesome results that Autumn has been posting. I've even seen some great changes so far. Yes, even me not following the time nutrition plan. I'm certain I would have seen even better results, but I am working on something I can manage long term verse just the 80 Days. Will be posting more about this and pics soon enough!

Day 41 - Total Body Core (58 Minutes) I tend to like the total body core. Even though it is tough, you trick yourself into thinking you get a little rest at times.

Day 42 - Leg Day (46 Minutes) Leg focus again. Even though your grip and shoulders are tested some with all of the workouts.

Day 43 - AAA (61 Minutes) Likely one one of my least favorite exercises this phase. I guess I need it the most. It's a challenge once the "burner" round hits right after the controlled phase.

Day 44 - Cardio Flow (41 Minutes) This one was a little bit of a struggle today. During my fist few inch worms, I noticed a nice little pain in my right shoulder. I think all of the overhead lifting and just general load on the shoulders has taken its toll this week. Will need to watch my form and back down in weights I suppose. Able to finish strong. This one still kicks my tail. Not sure how I'll do once we add another two reps in phase three!
Side Note: Ibuprofen helped my shoulder the rest of the day and the stretch and release day was much  needed.

Day 45 - Booty Day (59 Minutes) Back at it! 2 sets of 15 in burn out style. Booty feels it for sure. I know my shoulders appreciate booty day and the little more rest that they get from whats to come.
Side Note: Shoulder is feeling much better. Still a little lingering pain but not limiting.

Day 46 - Cardio Core (38 Minutes) I tend to enjoy the cardio portion. That and it forces it to be a bit of a shorter round of the exercises. Can tell I and others have made gains. Even Donald took his shirt off in this round! Proud of him and myself for getting this far! Still enjoy how you feel like part of the crew and it's still a "fresh" experience with the workout. With the laughter and chatter, you forget the pain and burn sometimes. Makes it much more real and enjoyable for me.

Day 47 - Total Body Core (57 Minutes) This remains a nice little mix. Shoulders and core burn out with the sets.

Day 48 - Leg Day (40 Minutes) Fastest round to date with legs. Doesn't mean it was easy by any means. Guess its part of knowing the exercises and getting a little stronger. Two new bonus exercises added. I am guessing this might be a little foreshadowing of whats to come in phase three.

Day 49 - AAA (62 Minutes) My least favorite of phase two. It might now be as bad if it weren't for the burn-out rounds. Having worked out as hard and as consecutively as we have, the body gets fatigued by the end of the week and certainly by the end of this workout. Ready for rest day... but one more day to go in phase two!

Day 50 - Cardio Flow (39 Minutes) Although the same pyramid of misery, it's like you never get use to it even though you can make it a little longer. The cast and I need a break and some water before the last two rounds. I speed up some of my inch worms to grab a quick sip of water in-between. Not sure how I am going to squeeze another two reps in of each exercise in phase three. Yikes! Oh Well.. phase two is DONE!

Phase Two summary coming soon.

Phase Three

Day 51 - AAA (49 minutes) To be honest, I was already dreading this one because of the challenge that phase two presented with this round of exercises. Phase three however was a pleasant surprise. I really enjoyed this one. My shoulders appreciated this round. My hips/glutes on the other hand are on fire. Almost feels like booty day! At least I wont be dreading this one anymore. Not sure how I like having cardio flow next with the increase reps but will find out. 
Side Note: Phase Three introduces a new warmup. It's a little more active and with more plyometric type moves. Jury is still out if I will like it. Might take some time to grow on me.  

Day 52 - Cardio Flow (45 Minutes) Was not looking forward to the 8 rep increase but Autumn throws a little surprise to you! She takes it back down to 4 reps of each exercise. The caveat... You have to do the whole round of 9 exercises 8 times as a whole... once you finally pyramid to them. It's nice to have the rep decrease, but don't let it fool you... the 8 times through is tough!

Day 53 - Legs (52 Minutes) Was a little nervous with leg day, but it wasn't too bad. There is certainly more plyometrics but do-able. Legs certainly feel it by the end.

Day 54 - Total Body Core (58 Minutes) Holy Leg Focus! Tons more leg/booty focus this phase it would seem. Nice, but taxing on the legs.

Day 55 - Cardio Core (41 Minutes) Again with the legs! LOL More plyometrics mixed with some core exercises. Arms holding up ok. Revisiting of side planking in this series. Able to control it more than the first phase. Something is working.

Day 56 - Booty (47 Minutes) More legs...and booty. But at least it's on a Saturday. A nice change to the program that I didn't know if I would like. Body is ready for a day of rest.

Day 57 - AAA (57 Minutes) The body is glad to have a day off. The legs especially. This one gives the legs a little more rest compared to the other exercises in this phase. One of my faves this round because it's manageable. I think phase two if this was my least favorite. On to cardio flow next!

Day 58 - Cardio Flow (45 Minutes)

Day 59 - Legs

Day 60 - Total Body Core

Day 61 - Cardio Core

Day 62 - Booty

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Pressing Play

It's been long enough... I've decided to press play on my blog again. (Not that you've been waiting haha!) My most popular post(s) to date is my Insanity Survival Guide, my Insanity Review/experience, and of course some recipes that I have posted along the way.

With the new year (2018) comes new goals. Included in this, is my desire to complete the new Beach Body program 80 Day Obsession by Autumn Calabrese.  I will be blogging my experience and thoughts on this. Seemed like everyone got a little something when I did this with Insanity. Doing this helps hold me a little more acceptable too. It also lets you get a real life review vs some of the "planted" reviews out there (you know who you are).

I'll also be posting other tidbits along the way.  As always, thanks for reading.


Monday, October 5, 2015

Lost My Best Friend Today...

Goodbye my friend. Thank you for all you did and for loving me unconditionally. I love you and miss you... We love and miss you. Thanks for making us a better family. Enjoy the squirrel chasing in Heaven. 
Love you Puppy-pup!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

10 Things You Should Know About Oktoberfest!

Oktoberfest time again! "Fall beers" seem to hit the shelf and draft-lines earlier every year. I'm not going to moan and groan about that like everyone else.  There's a method to the madness and a little history behind it, but that's for another post and time. Here are 10 things you need to know to impress your friends or family with while celebrating another Oktoberfest! 

  1. Despite the name, Oktoberfest is celebrated in September. 
  2. Oktoberfest last 17 days, and can go until the first Sunday in October (German Unity Day / Reunification of Germany)
  3. Oktoberfest began October of 1810, as the celebration of the marriage between Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. The citizens of Munich were invited to attend the festivities (fair, markets, and horse racing) held on the fields in front of the city gates to celebrate the event. The decision to hold subsequent horse races the following year gave birth of the tradition we know as Oktoberfest! 
  4. The first beer served in glass mugs at Oktoberfest wasn't until 1892.
  5. Traditional Oktoberfestbier called Märzen, are lagers that are slowly fermented to 5-6% ABV (Alcohol By Volume). 
  6. German beer - Oktoberfestbier / Märzen began as a very dark colored lager until around 1870 when they began to lighten up to a copper color. The beer has since evolved to a light golden color more recently. 
  7. Märzen (German for March or March Beer) was typically brewed in March since a law in place that prevented the brewing of "new beer" in the warmer months.  This was largely due to health concerns and likely some batches that turned south in the warmer months. (Beer was forbidden to be brewed between April 24th - September 28th
  8. This Märzen - "March Beer" was kept in cool cellars and even some caves that were filled with ice and snow that was left over from the prior winter months. This helped condition and keep the beer viable during the warmer months. 
  9.  In celebration of being able to brew "new beer" again (starting September 29th), any surplus of the remaining Märzen / Oktoberfestbier was served aplenty at Oktoberfest and has become a staple of the 17 day event. 
  10. Oktoberfestbier is a registered trademark held by six big breweries in Munich, Germany. These six breweries are SpatenLöwenbräuAugustiner-BräuHofbräu-MünchenPaulaner and Hacker-Pschorr. According to the German Beer Institute, Oktoberfestbier  can only be brewed by the breweries in the city limits of Munich, Germany.  These are also the only breweries allowed to participate in the annual Munich Oktoberfest. All other beers brewed to emulate the original must be labeled Oktoberfest-style beer.

Acknowledgments and Sources
Charles Bamforth - Brewmasters Art
Michael Jackson - Birth of a Lager, Beer Hunter
German Beer Institute


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

7 Things You Should Know Before You Get Into Brewing!

So you think you want to get into brewing beer? I totally recommend it, but there are a few things you need to know and do your homework about before making the addictive plunge! The list could be pages and pages deep, but here is a list of the top seven I think are important.

1. Brewing is 90% cleaning and sanitizing, 5% brewing, 4% bottling or kegging 1% Drinking. Take a second to think about that. 

2. A “Starter Kit” with extract is an ideal way to start your home brewing journey. Depending on if you start with a 1 gallon kit or a 5 gallon kit, you will need to have a few things that are not included in typical kits. 
  • A large enough brew kettle. You will need one that can hold and boil 3-5 gallons of water/wort.
  • Powerful enough stove or propane burner for boiling large volumes of water. Anywhere from  3 to 5 gallons of water is typical. You have to account for boil off,  hop / trub / protein coagulation, and the fallout after the boil. 
  • Palatable Drinkable water. You do want good beer don't you? Either a nice water filter or just purchasing a few gallon jugs of reverse-osmosis water.  

3. Brewing a batch (depending on size and efficacy) can take anywhere from 2 hours to 6 hours. Shorter times are estimated for one gallon extract batches while longer times are needed for all grain brewing. 

4. Yeast is your friend! Your kit should have come with some yeast. If not, you will need to get some brewing yeast before you can make beer. (Don’t use bread yeast.)Yeast is alive and needs to be treated with some respect. Before you brew, its recommended to keep it in the refrigerator and limit how long it sits. The longer it sit hinders the health and effectiveness of the yeast. On brew day, take it out of the fridge a few hours before it is going to be pitched (put into the wort to make beer). 

5. You will need some ice and a big enough sink or bathtub to place the boiling pot of wort into. After the boil, it is important to bring the temperature below 100 degrees as quick as you can. Some advanced brewers typically use a wort chiller or chiller plate, but since this might be your first time, a good cold bath and a little patience will go a long way. 

6. Brewing can get expensive. Not really the ingredients, but the equipment. A Basic set up can $300 to an elaborate set up for Thousands of dollars. The nice thing is you can add as you go and upgrade as you see fit. The value of the equipment seems to keep is value, so worst case, you could sell it to someone else looking to brew. Either way, you have been warned!  

7.  While it can be a little overwhelming, brewing beer is not that hard.  It can be as simple or as technical as you want it to be.  Realize that brewing was done several years prior to todays science. Think of it like brewing tea or coffee, just a lot more cleaning and sanitizing! Once you make the jump though... you might be hooked. Brewing can be very addictive!  

Feel free to share these tips with someone you know that might want to enter the beer brewing world. Thanks for reading.

Jimmy Batte 

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