Ended up having a very productive brew weekend! Took a half day on Friday from the real job and fired up my new burner. And HOLY BTUs!! 150k BTUs might actually be more than I need with the equipment and batch sizes that I'm doing. But, it's what I grabbed at a great price, so I'm going to just work with it and remember that it is OK to turn it down!
|No issues getting to a boil with this burner!|
|Looks like beer.|
The pictures above are that of a scotch ale that came in a kit that was given to me by someone that wasn't going to do anything with it. Well, I didn't want a 3-3.5% beer, so I cut the volume from 5 to around 4.5 gallons and added a pound of british pale malt to the mash to beef things up a bit. Initial calculations put it more in line with an "Export" style Scotch ale. Minor problem in that I forgot to take my OG reading, but given that it was a partial extract batch, I can say with some certainty what the minimum will be. This one's just for fun anyway.
|Bubbling in under 4 hours on the carboy and the chocolate stout was moved to secondary.|
The second beer I did was even more experimental. What do you call a belgian yeast fermented sour mashed ale with rhubarb added and a grain bill loosely based on a berliner weisse? Beats me, but the wort was tasty! It came in with an OG of about 1.030 and with any luck will have a nice fruity tang thing going for it - refreshing summer beer was the goal.
Some additional beer-geekery: The fermentation started a little slow on this one, which was interesting to me. I was using leftover Wyeast 1214 that I had saved from the dubbel - straight from the envelope into the sanitized jar into he fridge. It had been in the fridge for about 3 weeks and I set it on the counter to warm. It re-suspended, as expected, and I swirled it a bunch to ensure good suspension. I pitched about half what was there, which should be about a quarter of the package - plenty for not quite a gallon of 1.030 - into 68F wort. While I didn't expect it to take off like mad, it took about 24 hours and I also decided to raise the temp on it to about 72. Time and a little heat and it is now bubbling at smooth pace. I'm tempted to save the trub for a potential round two on this one...if it turns out well. The lacto sour mash technique also seemed to work well, but I need to keep it in the oven longer - it seemed pretty tame. The tang was there, but I think for round 2 (guess I better save that trub) I need to extend the time to increase the bite.
|That would be the lowest flame possible on this burner. Burn baby, burn!|
The hops around the yard are starting to grow well. Should be fun come harvest time. With as many varieties as I have, I'm going to have a bit of work on my hand if they produce much in order to keep things straight! Thankfully, most are in their first year and shouldn't product a ton - probably just enough to get the organization system down for next year.
|The big winner here is a Crystal bine - almost to the roof as of yesterday.|
|The Cascade in the middle is in its second year and it shows.|
Quick recap of various things: Black lager finally carbonated up properly - took an entire month! ...but well worth the wait. Dubbel finishing in the bottle right now with first taste this Friday or Saturday. Chocolate Stout probably getting bottled this weekend. Scotch Export Ale in the carboy, Rhubarb Sour in the bucket - both with about 2 weeks to go until bottling. Man - that's some variety! ...and I still have yet to do an IPA! Could this be the first test of the new mash tun?? We shall see...
|The black later's label's a bit rough, but the pour was solid!|