Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Auntie Brew Day

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
Saturday, we met up with Izzy’s aunts Nan & Sue for our first shared Brew Day. See… a few years ago (like 7 or 8) they were given a Mr. Beer Brew Kit with a fairly simple two gallon system… but they hadn’t used it. Obviously just about everything in the kit had expired except for the plastic barrel with a spigot, but we picked up fresh malts & hops at the Oak Barrel and started making an attempted clone of one of their favorites… Sierra Nevada’s Torpedo Extra Pale Ale. Was it a completely flawless situation? Of course not. We had just bought a new 11-gallon brewpot for a big batch like this… but their stovetop had a microwave directly over it, so we had to improvise with their 4 gallon pot… and the only problem with that was that it was a LOT of malt sugars for what would ultimately be a 7 gallon batch (5 for us, 2 for them) but we made it work. Here are some pictures…
You can tell they're related... because all
the eyes are closed simultaneously...
After boiling for an hour & adding the hops… lots of them… like a half pound (8 oz) in total for this 7 gallon batch where our previous record was 4 oz by accident with our Honey Amber… we then did a little bit of an odd cool-down process… because we knew we had to add more water, etc anyway… and transport into a larger brew pot (fit in the sink), we sanitized the larger pot (we’ll call him Bayou Billy), put a few bag of ice from the grocery store into the pot, then poured the hot wort directly into the pot with the ice. Not traditional… but the thinking behind this was that the boiling wort would quickly kill any nasties that might be in the ice (made sure that no plastic was involved), it would chill the wort quickly and turn into the water that we were going to add anyway… and then any additional water needed, they had a nice little hose setup on their faucet that we topped it off with. The result: The wort chilled MUCH faster than usual… in fact, there was still some ice floating at the top when we were transferring from the kettle to the fermenters… so we actually had to warm the wort up a bit to room temperature before adding the yeast. So yeah, real good & we’ll see how that method works. Sure beat the wort chiller or our standard methods… but there are variables in there too.

So after the quick cool, we loaded up their two gallon plastic fermentor which they placed in their basement… and we filled up our fermentor, drove about 40 miles across the bay back to my place, & then topped off the fermentor, pitched the yeast and set it up in the dark corner. Overall, I think it was an incredible success… and hopefully we get the ladies a little excited… and then we can set up another brew day in the future if they like the results… or they may just want to see us do it some time. Great ladies… hopefully we can give them something fun to do during their retirement… and two gallons should be small enough for them to move around easily since it’s less than 20 pounds I think.
SF Homebrewing Guild BBQ & our first competition results are on Saturday in Golden Gate Park!!! Also this weekend, Adam Carolla at the Palace of Fine Arts… and we’ve got great tickets for it!!! I'm gonna get these signed...
A week from now, my mom & stepdad are coming to visit for a few days… before we all go on a cruise to Alaska… so yeah, LOTS of fun things going on the next few weeks… but I’ll keep you posted in due time. Have a great day everybody!!!

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