Brewperbowl: Success!

from Chris

Thanks to everyone who made it over yesterday! Fifteen gallons, some Bocce, and one Patriots loss (and one wonderful Audi R8 commercial) later, it can be said that we had a great time and really appreciate all the interest, even if it was just a way to have a few Sunday beers. Thanks also to Dooley, our friends Scott and Jessica’s doggy, for serving as surrogate for our mash-cot this week:

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I know we haven’t really given any updates on past batches and questions and comments recently, but I promise I’m working on it. For now, as for yesterday afternoon and evening, we ended up making ten gallons of ESB from a recipe out of Charlie Papazian’s newest book, Microbrewed Adventures, along with another go at our as-yet-unnamed IPA…without the use of baker’s yeast. We also had a lot more luck with our boil (only one boil-over this time) due to a little more attention and consistent stirring:

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(Also, you can see how seriously Eileen takes football and how much Marc likes…Coors Light and sweatpants)

Both batches came out well in the end and are chugging along in their fermenters, which finally have the aid of blow-off tubes. I say “in the end” because as always, we hit a few snags…first off was breaking our brand-new floating thermometer in the ESB mash about halfway through. I was scared about the potentiality of getting broken glass or steel pellets in our final product, but Jamie quickly did a web search and discovered that we definitely aren’t the only homebrewers who’ve had this problem. So, upon realizing that as long as we filtered the wort really well prior to fermentation there shouldn’t be any serious issue, we went ahead with the rest of the batch, and I’m glad we did, because I think it’s going to be delicious. I’d still like to call it Steely Dan though. One note about those floating thermometers: we don’t plan on buying another one. We bought it thinking that it would save us from buying another $50 screw-in model, but after yesterday, we figure the chance of breaking one again in our mashtun seems more like a guarantee.

Although we’re getting closer, we’re still having a problem with the strike temperature of our water for the mash. We decided last night to fill the mashtun with strike water while it was on a burner and then heat it, secondarily, until the temp was right. I think we’re so far off because we aren’t fully realizing the effect of a cold keg (our mashtun) on the strike temperature. BeerSmith probably thinks that all equipment is at room temperature, but being the time of year that it is, that’s probably not the best assumption since we’re brewing outside.

Barring the above, I think we’ve got two solid batches on our hands. Totally forgot to take OG readings on either one, and here’s why:

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Along with the rest of our Sam Smith-clone Oatmeal Stout. Actually, I’m sure we forgot some other things too. After the game ended, there was flip-cup. And then there was OLDIES DANCE PARTY!

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