Friday, 10 September 2010
If you haven't guessed, this is a brewery post. The very first brew in the new, very shiny, brewing equipment. I knew that the new gear wouldn't necessarily make my beers any better, but boy, I wasn't aware that brewing beer could be quite so difficult...
I was fortunate enough to have the recipe for 'Moondance', an extremely nice beer brewed by Triple fff
In fact, this was a project for members of the North Hants Brewers, as the guys (and girl) from the brewery were going to come down and sample our attempts and judge who had got closest to the commercial ale. What better way to christen my new brewery?
Well, things didn't go right from the start. The temperature drop from the hot liquor to the mash tun was huge. Not helped as I just let the water fall from one to the other, without using a hose. It was subsequently made aware to me that a hose was provided with said gear - it's just that I didn't have the common sense to attach it.
We managed to get the temperature up a bit by adding kettles of boiling water, but the time it took meant the resultant beer would lack a bit in the body department. Perfect for me then.
That was just the start though. Next to fail was my false bottom. During the sparge, the grain managed to find its way underneath the false bottom, so the run-off was not just cloudy, more porridge-like.
We soldiered on by recirculating for a bit, before I decided enough was enough and we ought to get on and stick it in the copper regardless. So we did.
Needless to say, plenty of husks etc were transferred across, so I'm guessing I may get a protein problem by boiling them all up with the wort, but hey-ho, we were at least making a beer of sorts.
Next issue was cooling. The hop bed in the copper wasn't great at filtering out the husks and all sorts of crud was being sent through the plate chiller. You can guess by now that the final clean-up took some time. But the upshot was, I made beer. But only through the enormous help and encouragement offered to me by my friends who had come along for the day to help out.
I ended up with 20L of wort at 1048og that smelt wonderful thanks to all the cascade hops which had filled the garage with their magical perfume.
I very much doubt my beer will be 'Moondance', but it will most definitely be beer. It will lack body, be very dry and most probably have a protein haze.
Will it stop me drinking it? If you don't know the answer to that, you don't know me very well. Roll on brew #2