September 21, 2009
quad quad quad. the first batch [brewday blog] back in 2007 was 5 gallons and debued on tap at volo during cask days. the 2008 batch [brewday blog] was doubled to 10 gallons, with half getting aged on calvados oak and corked + caged and the other half going on tap at my place. after the success of both, we knew it'd make a comeback this year. we decided to double it again and make 20 gallons. while we usually do 20 gallons on a typical brewday, this was the first time we'd done 20 gallons of a single recipe. our gear can't handle a single batch that big, so it was brewed up as two separate but identical 10 gallon batches to be blended back together later. there was a slight shift in the bittering hops, but otherwise the final recipe was about the same as the last two years.
peter/icemachine joined us for the brewday. we like helping teach other brewers how all-grain works and always appreciate an extra brewmonkey to help along the way.
the brewday went pretty smoothly. the mill was being a little grouchy since it's overdue for being oiled, so between batches i applied a couple of drops of vegetable oil and ran some old grain through to make sure it was clean. much smoother the second time around. aside from that it was business as usual.
the mill filled up and rolling through the first batch of grain.
the grain for both batches, one in blue and the other in red. these bins from ikea are really handy.
first batch awaiting strike water. the mash was basically right up to the top on this one. one of those times when having a second 15.5gal keggle would be helpful. most of the time these 50 litre/13gal keggles work fine, or we can juggle things so the bigger batch is in our big keggle, but with two identical big batches we had no other choice.
peter cleaning one of the little keggles and me looking on. at this point we had two batches mashing and were about to get our sparge water heating. it was all-pots-on-deck here.
fast forward to the end of the mash. batch #1 had just finished vorlauf and we were collecting first runnings for the magic elixir. here eric was adding the first bag of demerara. yeah, i said first bag - a total of 8.5 pounds were used. i love the character that demerara adds to dark belgians.
more first runnings being collected.
we decided it was beer-thirty and poured a pitcher of our gonzo clone.
me adding the rest of the demerara as we started to collect the first runnings from the second batch.
once we were done collecting runnings it was time to get the magic elixir boiling. as soon as it approached a boil it immediately boiled over. we tried dropping the temperature down, but it boiled over again. it was about to boil over for a third time when we decided this was going to be annoying. we generally don't skim the elixirs, but in this case we had to. after a few minutes of clearing off the hot break we were able to get a good strong boil going without it boiling over (for now anyway). later on it still boiled over a couple of times, but it was mostly hassle-free.
you can see the mess it was making down teh sides and on the inner rim of the keggle. we had to clean the burner out a couple of times along the way.
eric was pretty excited about the double batch of quad and had to throw up a double set of horns as a result. peter was in the background helping out with the sparging.
we discovered a giant spider in the corner of the garage. however, since he had already caught two yellow jackets in his web, we figured he was helping us out and we left him alone.
the elixir getting angry again. at this point it had boiled down and had over 2gal of headspace, yet still managed to boil over a couple more times.
another view of the carnage on the keggle. from about 6.5 gallons initially it was down below the center weld of the pot, so somewhere under 4 gallons. we usually let them boil a little longer, but we needed the second burner for the second batch.
we split the elixir between the two batches, slowly adding it back to the boiling wort.
batch #1 chilling out and #2 boiling away.
brewday lunch: some badass sausage, potato, and cabbage soup, homebrew, and a few bottles that peter brought from highlander brew co.
peter, the brew monkey for the day.
one last shoot of the beers in the same state as above. by now we were almost done boiling #2.
we took the yeast cake from our dubbel [brewday blog] and split it in two for these batches. we ended up with about 22 gallons of sweet tasty quad wort at an OG of 1.102 - right on target for both gravity and volume. after oxygenating them it was no time before the yeast were going nuts. by morning both fermenters were blowing off and making a mess. the basement smelled heavenly. can't wait until we can drink it!Posted by grub at September 21, 2009 12:08 PM