Sunday, June 30, 2013

Batch 140, St. Brigid's IPA

Trying to get caught up with brewing. It's going to be the end of the summer before I have a good supply of homebrew again. This time, I had all the right hops.

10 gallon batch

OG: 1.063
FG: 1.016
IBU: 89
SRM: 11

23 lbs 2-row
1 lb wheat
0.25 lb chocolate malt

60 minute mash at 152F.

90 minute boil

1/4 oz each Chinook, Centennial (pellets), and Cascade at FWH, 90, 80, 70, 60, 50, 40, 30, 20, 10, 5, flameout.

Wyeast 1272, pitched onto yeast cake from batch 139. I mean, I siphoned off the beer from batch 139 into kegs, then pitched directly into the same fermenters. That made for a very vigorous ferment.


Monday, June 24, 2013

Beer Shed

I moved to Lisa's house at the end of April, and with all the pre-move prep and the actual move, I haven't brewed in quite a while. I was astounded at how much brewing stuff I had -- 26 cornie kegs, 6 sanke kegs, 6 6.5 gallon fermenter buckets, 6 5.5 gallon buckets for this and that, 16 gallon jugs for specialty grain storage, 3 beer fridges and a chest freezer, and more. After seeing all the crap I have for brewing, Lisa generously gave up the garden shed for a brew shed. It was mostly being used for storage, so we sorted through all the stuff, which was mostly pictures and mementos from her parents. After getting it all cleared out, I had an electrician wire the shed for 110V and put in some outlets and lights. Then I insulated the walls and put up peg board on 3 sides. The 4th side has built in shelves, so I didn't put peg board behind them. Now it's a rather sweet brewing place.

To top it all off, Lisa had a friend of hers make an awesome sign. The color matches the trim on the shed, and it was sized to fit nicely on the door.

There is still some gardening stuff in the shed, which makes sense since the garden is right on the side. There is a water faucet outside on the corner of the shed.

I did the first brew in the shed yesterday, and it went well. Brewing inside with propane is a little dicey, but I opened the windows and ran a big box fan, so the shed stayed reasonable for temperature and there was plenty of fresh air to dissipate any carbon monoxide or other nasties from the burners. I'm going to do a few more modifications. I'm going to add an exhaust fan at each end in the existing vents. That will help pull the heat out and pull in more outside air. I'm also going to get a carbon monoxide detector just to be safe.

I have a little more work to do for moving in. I have a better conroller for the freezer, one that will do heat and cooling. Right now I have an old Johnson analog controller, which works fine for one or the other, but since this freezer is now my only fermentation area, I want to be able to heat as well as cool. At my old house, I just hauled the buckets to the basement for ales, since it was always right at 65F. So now I have less space, but I don't have to haul full buckets up and down the stairs.

Awesome sign that Lisa had made. Dick has some sort of a cutter that he feeds an svg file and it handles up to a 4' x 4' sheet of metal.

Water is on the left, power comes into the shed on the right by the rose bush. Garden is to the right.

Inside the beer shed
Almost moved in in this picture. Lights, storage, pegboard, pretty sweet set up. I built a cabinet for the grain mill and to hold the 3 drawers. Chest freezer is for fermenting, fridge is for hops storage and lagering. No taps in here, need to fix that.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Batch 139, Panama Red

Due to moving, I haven't brewed in quite a while, and I'm pretty much empty since I took all of my homebrew supply to the wedding. It seems appropriate to break in the new beer shed with another batch of my all-time favorite.

10 gallon batch.

OG: 1.063 (1.060 actual)
FG: 1.016
IBU: 65
SRM: 13
ABV: 6%

22.25 lbs 2-row (Gambrinus)
1.5 lbs Crystal 60
1.5 lbs wheat
4 oz Chocolate

Mashed at 155F for 60 minutes.

2 oz Mt. Hood, FWH
2 oz Centennial, 60 min (pellet)
2 oz Cascade, 30 min
2 oz Cascade, 5 min
2 oz Mt. Hood, 5 min

90 minute boil.

1 packet Wyeast 1272 American Ale II yeast in each fermenter bucket.

I should have taken a few pictures while brewing in the new beer shed, but overall, it went quite well. There was a little hassle figuring out hoses and finding all the little pieces of equipment, but nothing major. Hit volumes, temperatures, and gravities pretty closely. OG was slightly low, but I think that is because I opened the gap on my grain mill a little so that it feeds better. It's really nice having convenient power outlets, there is one by the mill for running the drill, and one by the boil kettle for running the pump.

My pump seems to be struggling. There was an odd situation where I was pumping from the HLT into the mash tun, and at the end, the flow was actually backwards. I usually connect the valve on the bottom of the HLT to the valve on the bottom of the mash tun and just pump away. The pump used to be able to suck the HLT dry and withstand the back pressure from the mash tun, but not today. Going from the mash tun to the boil kettle was fine, I collected 13 gallons in the BK without any back flow, so I'm not sure what the problem was. (Note: this is a continuing problem, the Chugger head can't seem to handle the back-pressure like the March pump did. I've resorted to pumping into the top, which means I need to pay more attention.)

Saturday, June 15, 2013


Okay, so this has nothing to do with brewing, but Lisa and I got married on June 15. It was a really good time, surprisingly fun and funny service (and serious too), lots of food, lots of beer and wine, lots of people, even got a standing ovation for our first dance. Great music, Victoria played the harp, Jamie sang, Joe ("The Deacon") had an original theme song, and had a great playlist for the reception party.

I suppose there was one beer-related thing to talk about, I took 6 kegs of home brew and brought home about a gallon total:

2 kegs Leeser (bohemian style pilsner) -- gone
1 keg IPA -- maybe 3 pints left, it's gone now
1 keg SNPA clone -- gone
1 keg pale ale -- maybe 3 pints left, it's gone now
1 keg stout -- last keg put on tap, there are a few pints in it still