Monday, January 17, 2011

A Long Day of Long Overdue Brewing

Today was a big day of brewing. While usually I have a lot of downtime in between steps, today was jam packed with to-dos.

I brewed my 5th ATOTB beer today, "Saaa-wheat!" This is actually my first request beer from one of my co-workers. It was one of those epiphanies, not of the craft beer kind, but of the kind where someone says "holy crap, this guy brews beer? I love beer! Brew a beer I love!" The way I see it, it's the ultimate test of beer brew-manship. Brewing a beer that already is held to a high expectation from someone, and then effectively saying, "how do you like my take on it?" Regardless, it's my first truly wheat beer, and I was surprised how little grain I needed.

The day started off a little rough however. I turned on my pump and screamed like an elementary school play solo gone bad mixed with fingernails on a chalkboard. My HLT was already warming up so I had a limited time before my dough in. I learned something new today. Those little march pumps, funny thing is you have to oil those suckers. Not that they come with a diagram of specific oiling points, just "oil the bearings every 6 months." I took my best stab at it and we were sailing smoothly.

Brewing itself went very smoothly. Mashing took some extra time because of a protein rest needed to convert the wheat grain into usable sugar. Nailed the OG at 1.049, versus a calculated 1.050. However I also had a few other tasks on hand. I had a failed cider experiment to transfer and clean out, and two kegs to remove and clean. One keg being my wife's root beer keg. I know it's a matter of opinion, but that root beer smells awful. And getting it to leave the keg seems impossible. I B-Brite-ed  that sucker twice, and I think I'm making some progress. There's a few more steps I'll need to take, one of them is disassembling & cleaning the root beer tap, and the other being to replace the draught line to it.

Now it's the end of the day, and, well, I'm tired. But very satisfied. The fermenter is sitting in the closet getting ready to bubble away, and my man room... is a mess. This week I also plan to restart my cider experiment. We'll see how that goes.

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