Sweating in the Dark

2205 – Since we did a quick brew on Father’s Day, we had to do a midnight brew to finish our second batch: the Sweat. Here we sit munching on ice cream on a Tuesday night while the water boils and the Sparge continues. We have to get the Sweat done so it’s ready for 4th of July. Our California Common, (not a Steam, no, no. I have no idea what you’re talking about. It’s a CA Common all the way.) tends to be the favorite.

2239 – And the rain begins. Too bad we don’t have anything to comfort us….Oh wait.

2255 – Sparge at 5.8 brix. Moving right along.

2320 – Hey, look. If you bring the grain cooler and the keggle with the Wort under cover, it stops raining. If we would brew more often, we could totally figure out how to control the weather. What happens if we drink home brew under the full moon in the middle of a drought?

2329 – 4.2 brix…almost.

2347 – Efficiency sucked this time. We started the boil, but it doesn’t look good. The crush looks fine, not completely pulverized, but we don’t see any full husks. We mixed and ran more water through to Sparge which gave us less than 3 brix. There’s nothin’ left in the grain. Let’s hope the boil mixes the Wort giving us a more favorable reading.

0021 – 12.50 brix as it approaches boil. We are no longer panicking.

0042 – Nice, heavy boil. First Amarillo Gold in. 60 minutes of boil left. Who’s idea was this again?

0143 – Boil off. Cool, baby, cool. We’ve got work in the morning!

0200 – So much more fun when we’re watching Legend of Neil at the same time.

0230 – Shake it well, Padawan. Aerate that baby like I taught you!

0244 – Everyone is put away. Time for a little, and I MEAN a little, shut eye.

Father’s Day Brewing

1100 – In celebration of Father’s Day, we decided to have a light brewing day. We’re only making 10 gallons of Bavarian Hefeweizen. It’s not even noon and the Houston heat forced us to open our first refreshing beer of the day: Simpler Times Lager.

We were greeted by a slightly fruity smell. So it was no surprise when the almost apple flavor blended with the grain. The beer finished very clean, almost like a cider. Perfect drinking beer for the hot day.

1225 – The Sparge is taking way too long. We’re still working on balancing a slow trickle with not sitting around all day drinking beer waiting for the Sparge to complete. Well, maybe there’s nothing wrong with a slow Sparge. It IS Father’s Day after all.

1235 – Sparge at 5 brix and we only have seven gallons. Our goal is 4 brix. Let’s hope the Wort stays at 5 until we get closer to 12 gallons.

1300 – We gave up at 9 gallons. But the total was still up at 13.3 brix. The magic of Beersmith told us we could add 2.5 gallons of water and still turn out good to go. Off to the boil.

1438 – Hefe is Boiling away in the Kettle. The Wort has darkened up a fair bit, but it’s still obviously going to come out very light.

1510 – Hose epic fail. Tried to patch it back together with no luck. Duct tape, don’t fail us now!!!

1520 – The Hefe looks beautiful!

1622 – In go the yeast, Weihenstephan Weizen. Eat, breed, and be happy yeast. So we can imbibe and be happy!

1639 – You know, when we said we needed a keg emptied, we didn’t realize Scott would take us so seriously. At least, we have room for more beer now!!!

1719 – We’re done before dark! Happy Father’s Day!!!


Brewday Wrap-up: January 7th

So I’m late in posting this. “Things” have been getting in the way.

We did brew on the 7th which turned out to be an absolutely perfect day for brewing.  Weather cooperated (aside form a few sprinkles in the morning) and the temps were fantastic.

We started with the Irish Red Ale and hit all of our numbers, Temp, Gravity and Volume. The boil went great and everything looks like this is going to turn out to be an excellent beer.

We also took the opportunity to replace one of the faucets on the Keezer with a new Perlick 525SS. It pours beautifully, especially with an excellent batch of Texas Sweat on tap.

The second beer (the SIPA) didn’t go quite as well.  We hit our gravity and volume numbers no problem (we’re getting pretty good at this). However, (you knew there had to be a hitch) we didn’t hit the mash temps we were aiming for.  It’ll probably come out too dry and thin but we’ll see what happens.

We still need to work on not taking through the day, maybe a handy dandy log sheet would make this easier.

First Brewday of 2012 and First Post

We’re going to be brewing on January 7th. This will be our first Brewday of 2012 and is continuing our recent trend of keeping the keezer stocked as well as pushing our boundaries with new styles and new recipes.  This post however starts a new tradition (at least for me) of posting to the greater interwebs our exploits and follies in a fit of narcissism and necessity.  Narcicissim because I hope others will follow and enjoy my ramblings and Necessity because I believe we need to be better at recording what we’ve done and what the results were so that we can learn from our own past.

As usual we’ll be starting early (0700 is pretty typical) and going until we finish. I’ll post a write-up of the day after we finish.

The first brew of the day will be an Irish Red Ale.  We’re brewing 5 gallons of this ale primarily at the request of Henry Senior. Since it’s for Senior, we’ll be bottling this batch.  I’m personally looking forward to going through the full bottling process since I’ve been spoiled by kegging right off the bat.

The second beer of the day will be a small experimental batch.  We’re calling the style a SIPA or Session IPA. The goal is to make a beer that tastes like an IPA but has a significantly lower ABV which of course means we can drink a lot more of it! Since it’s an experiment we’ll only be making a small batch of this, probably 2 or 3 gallons. The final volume and recipe hasn’t been completely settled on yet.