A long-form past due post.

Brew days can be funny things. Just when you think you have it all figured out, you're doing a recipe that you've done before, everything seems to be lined up, here comes the curve ball. In my case, my helpers bailed on shortly after the first hop addition!  There were a few other things that came up, but once the kids decide they're done, it kind of complicates things.  

Moving on...

The recipe was a variation on my Bell Lap Belgian pale ale. 4.5 gallons was the batch size with the goal of bottling up 4 gallons.

As mentioned at the beginning, I did have a little help. Both my son and daughter wanted to help stir the mash... 

...so the mash was stirred...plenty.

After about an hour, when it was time to collect my first runnings, both my helpers called it quits. Not even the lure of throwing hops into the boil kettle could keep them out with me.  But, I was allowed to soldier on, thanks to my lovely  wife. 

The boil and additions went  as well as they could, but the timer I was using lost time at some point. So, repeatability might be tougher on this one.

The yeast did get going quickly. Gotta love those fresh cans of Imperial yeast.  And, to be honest, it was done fermenting after about a week. After racking to secondary and letting sit another week (just in case) it was still at its final gravity of 1.006 - pretty standard for me.

As mentioned before, a week later. 1.006 on bottling night.

My bottling setup is certainly nothing fancy. But hey! This is homebrew, afterall!

Since this was going to be a beginning of summer beer, I decided I'd do a lot of 12oz bottles. I've been pretty happy with that decision.  It has also been good for keeping me in beer a little longer.

This was case 1 of 2. The other case/box had 6 16ouncers and 2 22's.  A pretty solid assortment, in my mind.

Of course, some had to be sampled. The layers of hops were noticeable and gave some hope for the final carbonated product.

The final product did turn out well. The distinction between hops subsided a bit and mellowed out, but it's still a bit more bitter than a run of the mill belgian pale ale.

I did managed to harvest the yeast from this batch for use in a Kiwi Wheat...or more likely a Wit, since it'll be Belgian-esque.  But first, and IPA leaning heavily on some Wakatu hops.