Monday, March 26, 2012

The Dawn of a New Era

This has been a huge homebrewing weekend for me. A lot was accomplished. While it didn't start fantastic, it certainly ended that way.

It started off (effectively) with a train wreck of a wiring job. Apparently I wired up my compressor with too small a gauge wire. Apparently you shouldn't hook up a 17 amp motor with 14 gauge romex. Apparently the wire could catch fire.

While this all may be true. Matt, who brought this to my attention, can still go to hell.

I decided to pull this wire, Thursday night. Which was dumb on a number of levels. What I didn't know about this orange Romex wire was that pulling it is like trying to pull a tree trunk through a hole in your attic. This wire has as much flex as a aging snake with osteoporosis and hip dysplasia. Also, never again will I do a project where I have to turn off the power to the house at night. That was just plain stupid. Well my wife came home to me sitting on my tailgate waiting for her to help me pull. Didn't happen. Turns out it was stuck.

SWMBO not happy.

I started off my Saturday early by ripping off the drywall above my electrical panel and yanking the cord through that way. No problem. Life starts getting good from here. I managed to whip together (without any plans) a mount for Paul's Corona mill that liked to spray grain everywhere. It still sprays some grain, but I'll let him check it out, maybe he'll caulk some stuff. I'm pretty proud of this little build, even if it does look like a meat grinder crashed into the side of a birdhouse. Next step will be to throw a motor and pulley on that bad larry.

I also began the project to build my new mash tun. Progress is slow. I swear the stainless steel on this keg is significantly thicker than the last one. I've roughly cut out the top with a blow torch (Mmmmm fire...), now I need to fine tune the cut. More on that some other time.

To finish the day I set up my lagerator in the garage. It's got a nice new home. This was one of those set ups that I didn't think would get clearance from mission control. So I set it up quick while Nikki was in the house. Thankfully when she saw it she thought it was a great spot! Dodged that bullet.

Brewed my first lager today. Is there any differences in the brewing process? Not really. I did learn that the lager grain gets super doughy, compacting down and blocking your sparge like a sorority shower drain. Should be able to fix that by adding some rice hulls to the mix.

Hey did I mention I got my other brewing tattoo? This one completes my artistic tribute to homebrewing. Hope you like it! Thanks to Bobby again at Cast Iron Tattoos.

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