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June 25, 2007

belgian brewing 2

our last brew day here in markham included a belgian pale. basically, that batch was just a big starter for today's beers: a belgian strong dark ale and a tripel. i chose white labs wlp530 abbey ale yeast (the one used by westmalle, achel, and westvleteren) for this batch, loosly aiming for something in the neighbourhood of westy 12.

scott came out to join us for this brew day. as a bonus, he lives right around the corner from grand river brewing and was able to grab the 2nd and 3rd growler that they filled on their first day in service. i actually enjoyed the galt knife old style lager a little more than the ploughman's ale, which is saying something since i'm usually an ale man. the ale was also quite good, but i felt the bittering was just a little out of balance (something they've agreed with and scaled back just a little since then). this was quite a treat. unfortunately, my laptop crashed before i could save the reviews, so i still need to resample them.

back when we brewed up our imperial stout we pulled off an extra couple gallons at the end and boiled the hell out of it before adding a quart back into the main wort. we pulled off the first gallon or so for the strong dark, added our demerara sugar, and boiled the snot out of it while the sparge finished. this was added back into the main wort before it came up to a boil.

on with the photos!

there's me loading up the barleycrusher. i love this thing.

strike water coming up to temp.

eric stirring up the mash for the strong dark and scott and i looking on.

gotta get out all the lumps. nobody likes a lumpy mash.

me verifying the temperature. needed a little bump to hit our strike temp.

the magic, er, monk's elixer. gallon or so of first runnings along with 2.2lbs of demerara.

we boiled the heck out of it until it had reduced by about half and then added it back into the main boil. mmm, delicious!

the rest of the belgian strong dark. love that colour.

hmmm, is eric happy or did he just get caught doing something wrong?


the elixer after boiling.

and added back into the main wort. crazy how much shit there was floating around in there.

good strong boil going on the strong dark. this one kept getting angry with us, but we managed not to have any boilovers.

the tripel on its way to a boil. tons of stuff floating in this one too. i think it's from the belgian pilsner malt, since that was the only new thing for the day.

scott flipping through brew like a monk, our bible for the day.

the chaos that is my garage. this was towards the end of the brew day, with most of the gear piled up under the brew table on the left. eric and i looking for something to do while the tripel was cooling.

jenn, best brew wife ever! which reminds me, we somehow managed to forget to take a photo of our fine brewday lunch. doh!

three phases of beerdom. madness, happiness, and quiet contemplation. or maybe just three random photos of me.

eric was on a mission, killing flies in the garage. seems kind of futile killing bugs in the outdoors...

the tripel going into the fermenters, with eric and i keeping an eye on things.

another successful brew day, and two damn fine brews.

Posted by grub at June 25, 2007 12:10 PM

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