Cold but fun brew day

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Cold but fun brew day

We just finished up a great brew day! By the time things were all said and done, we had 11 gallons of cream ale with an OG of 1.044 making our efficiency 71%!

Now I know that people always say "don't worry about how high your efficiency is as long as you are making good beer, that's all that matters", but as much as I whole heartily agree, in a way it's like Ron Jeremy telling you size doesn't matter. You know it really doesn't matter, but you still want wanting more. But I digress.

Today we fired up our water in a blustery upstate NY day at 7am and were done (pitched, cleaned up and ready to be done) by 12:45pm making this a really enjoyable brew day. This was my first time using my mash tun and sparge arm that I worked on last weekend. Things went really well with both additions. Pictured below on the left you can see that we have the sparge arm up on the top running into the mash tun, the mash tun was running off into the brew kettle and we were running that into a bucket for recirculation.

Our pre-boil gravity was right on with the Beer Smith recommendations at 1.032. We were able to get up to a rolling boil and hold it there without boil over for the full hour. The recipe for the cream ale only called for a 1.5 oz bittering hops and a .5 oz flavor hops making it a very light on hops flavor.

Nick made a .5 gallon starter so we were able to pitch a quart each for our buckets. When we ran the brew off we were at 5.5gallons each and dumped the last quart out.

As I said before, our FG was at 1.044 when our target was 1.040 and we had an extra gallon!

In the end it was nice to have an easy brew day. All the equipment finally works the way I want it to, our efficiency improved, and the whole process has become much less complicated. Things that didn't go the way we wanted were that we did not make mash out temp and we were a little low in the mash at only 154. All things I can live with.



Adam said...

Sweet! Nice to have that feeling every now and then. You know...the satisfaction of having things go the way you expected. Can you imagine how you'll feel if the beer turns out too? Heheh!


Travis said...

Yea I was pretty fired up about the efficiency thing. With that said, it's really not all that much difference in the big scheme of things. It's just nice.


Jonathan said...

Oh please. You think New York is cold?! You should try brewing down here in Georgia. We've got weather that will freeze your wort mid-boil.

Travis said...

Do you guys get this in Georgia?

Jonathan said...

No, more like this. But it's deceptively cold. We have to measure it in degrees Kelvin. Plus, we have an abominable snow man that comes and roams our streets.

Looks like Travis is looking to get involved in a good old-fashioned flame war! =)

Travis said...

I'm always game for a little regional trash talking.