Broken Helmet Brews Again!

Oh my, it's been a while!  But, at last, the stars aligned, the tides were favorable, the winds were down, the weather was good, and the family was agreeable.  It was time.

The grains had been on hand for quite some time. I was initially thinking some sort of wheat/wit beer featuring my neighbor's kiwi. But as brew day approached, I just wanted a nice simple summer beer.  I decided to add a couple of pounds more Pale Malt to the pilsner and wheat grains that I had and decided I'd do something Belgian.  It also turns out that the yeast I saved (over 9 months ago) was toast...or at least to the point where I didn't want to risk a batch. Thankfully, I had a day that allowed me to swing by a homebrew supply store while I was out and about to pick up some fresh yeast - Rustic from Imperial Yeast.
The crushed malt, in all it's glory
Brew day arrived, and as per usual, things started off great. My son wanted to help and even started his own beer in his pot.  Since I was low on propane, I started the water on the stove inside the house. It took a little longer than blasting it with what ever ridiculous number of BTUs come out of my propane burner, but running out of gas during the boil wouldn't have been fun.

Mmmmm....mash
 The mash hung out at the target temp for over an hour since we had some things come up before I could focus on sparging the batch. I think this may have worked in my favor in the end.
Wheaty wort
Sparging went smoothly...though I think by that point my helper had bailed for the comfort of his room and rest time for a while. Kind of made sense though since he was waiting for the spent grains to use in his beer and it was a long morning getting to this point.

Ah, the aroma of boiling hops...
 The boil came quick. And while I was ready with a second, also almost empty, bottle of propane, it turned out that there was more in my brew bottle than expected and it made it through the boil round with some to spare.

By this time, my son had made his way back out and added some spent grains to his beer...and some hops.  He did a great job of adding my hops to the boil, so when he asked for some of his own, how could I say no??  Oddly enough, his pot of spent grains, hops, and water, ended up smelling pretty good!

Boil, chill, transfer to fermenter, pitch yeast, and wait. Oh, and clean stuff. Lots of cleaning.

Beginning fermentation
In the end, I was just a couple of points shy from the calculated gravity for this beer...which is pretty much as good as I could hope for!  1.056 should ferment out well and give a nice beer just over 5%.  The hops, as per calculation, brought the IBUs up to about 40, so hopefully those 2 factors will create something refreshing and drinkable...hopefully without needing to be dry-hopped.

...but what will it be??  Well, the yeast itself states that it's primarily a farmhouse or saison yeast. The smells from the fermenter certainly back that up. I'd love to capture this yeast, too, for later use...but I think I may grab something more american for the next round...if I can manage to get things to line up again in the near future.  There's a porter in my head that wants to be brewed next and feature a hop I've not used before called Phoenix. Notes of chocolate are part of the draw to this hop, and I'd really like to see how it all plays out. Hopfully, it'll be a much smaller window until the next brew day though!