So I haven't had the chance to brew for a while, which has been a tough pill to swallow as long summer days pass me by. My brew buddy Dan has been working like a mad man and fathering his two toddlers, so needless to say it's been difficult to align schedules, not to his discredit in the least. I on the other hand, have a lot of time to think and daydream (occasionally at work I must admit) leading me to decide that I would try to brew every 10 days, whether I have help or not, but hopefully making it a beverage-sampling, corn-hole tossing event with friends of all levels of brew skill.
I also wanted to try to up our brew-equipment arsenal, diy style to make brew nights more efficient and less lame. So that was my last week, gearing up for today's brew - a read on...
This may look like just another black hose curled up to you, but to me it is a precious counter-flow wort chiller, designed to produce better beer and to shave 20+ minutes off a brew night that could be otherwise spent playing yard games, eating potato chips, etc.
I tested it before its maiden voyage, and the beauty takes wort from boiling to 68F as it transfers from keggle to carboy. The middle-man has been eliminated.
I brewed a repeat recipe of a Classic American Pils (pre-prohibition mind you) with 6-row, corn and rice adjunct and Czech Saaz hops. This beer has been delicious in the past, excited to get some more coming.
Who can just brew 5 gallons though, honestly? It was a double-batch day, with the 2nd being a non-conventional Saison with 2-row, wheat malt and corn plus Warrior, Chinook and Amarillo hops. I wanted to try to get close to Boulevard's Tank 7
As it was Sunday and people tend to hunker down, I was brewing alone - and what a brutal day to do so. For various reasons, mid-brew I ended up running for more propane, grinding the lid of a keg for a 2nd kettle, sweating copper for the fittings, etc. About 4.5 hours of relaxation-lessness. I did what I had to do with my manly face on, and settled down for some medieval times toward the end.
See you in 10 days.
UPDATE 8/16: The gravity on the Saison was down to 1.022 today, 2.5 weeks after starting, Saison yeast staying true to form as a slow-worker. The Pils has been baffling in fermentation - the Wyeast 2035 smack-pack did not start fermenting at all, so I grabbed a pack of dry SafLager and it got going...except only down to 1.023 as of today - I have it out for a diacetyl rest right now so I really hope that drops because it is no good at all.
8/21: Kegged and dry hopped the Saison with Amarillo today, F.G. down to 1.014, it took a full 3 weeks to finish fermentation - despite being the 'fast' WLP566 yeast. As I didn't have my hydrometer when I brewed it (thanks Dan), I dub this one Zero-Gravity Saison. It tastes great and is likely around 8.5%, full of flavor.