The IPA post

Well, it was bound to happen some time. I took a swing at an IPA...or, am taking, since there's still the fermentation and dry hopping to be done. It also helped that I was given a pound of Wakatu hops that I didn't know what else to do with...and the yeast in the fridge was older. All sorts of reasons.  ;-)

I also approached this brew day knowing that it may not totally come together. We were one kid down for the weekend since my daughter was off at her Nana's. That left my boy, who hasn't been real thrilled with the idea of brewing....but when I started talking it up on Friday, he seemed interested.  So, Saturday night, I brewed up a starter.  It also just happened to be the hottest weekend of the year. I thought it would wise to start early...and was I ever right!  We kicked things into gear by 8 am and had the whole thing wrapped up by Noon. A couple of things happened in between...

The view from the deck of the work area....or at least part of it.
Having a relaxed attitude about the whole thing and keeping my boy going on his own "beer" was key to this day.  It really felt like things just went smoother than last time, too. He was more than happy to stir the mash and even stuck around to add the hop once we finished sparging.

A bit more regulated of a sparge than usual

Full boil on a small batch
The boil went off without any real issues. This was a "short" one at just 60 minutes, but we crammed 5 hop additions into it.  I should have taken a picture of the final wort though - there a bit of an oil slick visible on to from all the additions!  Instead, you get a couple of shots of my helper and I, since he wanted to play with the camera a little in between hop additions.

Things were going well...

...but a little goofiness is always welcome!
Speaking of hops...

A mucky mix of pellet and whole leaf hops.
This brew day reminded me just how much I'm not a fan of pellet hops. Don't get me wrong, they turn out a great product...and these were given to me, so I have even less room to complain there....but EESH! they can be problematic when your pouring out your wort.  ...and yes, I know a different setup putting them in bags would solve this issue....but then what would I have to complain about!  ....and isn't that a core reason for the internet? To have somewhere to complain??

Or not. :-)

So now, the wort is chugging away, becoming beer. The starter did it's job and fermentation appears to be strong and smells wonderful.  And, since I bought two rounds of grain the last time at the store, already have the yeast and other parts, I know what I'm making next time...hopefully before this one is ready to drink....about a month from now.  Maybe I'll figure out a label for this by then.  ....maybe.