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June 12, 2006

better late than never

couldn't decide what to call this entry, but since i've been procrastinating putting it up for over a week, this one seemed appropriate.

so june 3rd was another biergotter brew day. tim and eric came out to my place bright and early. the plan for the day was two 10 gallon batches. the first would be a rebrew of the pale ale that i brewed a few months ago, pale ale v2.

the second batch was an experiment that i've been considering for a while, a scotch ale using peat and smoked malts and using some oak, taking some of the character from my favourite single malt scotches and applying that to beer. since none of us has worked with smoked malts or oak before, we decided to simplify things a bit and save the oak for another batch. after a bit of research i came up with the recipe for v1 of the "single malt scotch" ale.

up in the toronto area (really, all of southwestern ontario) it's pretty hard to find any good hombrewing supplies. tons of wine shops, but no good beer shops. as a result, it usually means when one of us is in windsor we'll make a trip over to the detroit area for supplies.

after reading this post on beeradvocate about a place called "Adventures in Homebrewing" selling corny kegs for $13, i started looking for their website. sure enough, within a few minutes google had pointed me to the Adventures in Homebrewing website. poking around on their site i found that they had much more than just good deals on corny kegs (which are now $15, and still a good deal). I emailed them and got a quick, friendly reply from Jason. then eric emailed him to get a kegerator setup, and jason hooked him up too. i was initally planning to hit there for hardware and make another stop for ingredients, but i was able to find just about everything i could imagine at their shop, so i just went there.

with the recipes in hand, i made the trip over to detroit to check out a adventures. As Jason had told me, Matt was working when i arrived. he was just finishing up eric's order and was very helpful as i gathered up all of the stuff i needed. tim also decided to go with the same thing that eric was getting, so Matt worked on getting everything for his order. they were even nice enough to assemble the towers for us (and watching him do it, i'm glad: it looked like a pain in the ass).

so i'd be happy to recommend Adventures in Homebrewing to anyone in the detroit area looking for a LHBS, and also to anyone looking for a good place for mail order. can't beat the price of those kegs!

anyway, the brew day started off a bit rocky, with tim and eric getting a little lost and arriving a half hour late, but my newly-motorized barley crusher made up for that in no time. it took us all of 15 minutes to weigh out the grain for both batches and grind it all. sweet!

the rest of the brew day went fairly smoothly (other than somehow managing to forget to mashout the pale ale) and we even finished up earlier than usual. jan stopped by after he finished work and got to check out the end of the day.

we got to sample some neat beers too. jayc supplied us with a bottle of weyerbacher double simcoe ipa and decadence. we compared this with our dipa, dry hopped with simcoe. the decadence was interesting, and the double simcoe ipa was damn tasty. i should also thank jay for the homebrew too, since i finished off my stash a while ago and he hooked me up with some of his stash.

didn't take too many photos, but here they are.

my 'turkey fryer' burner. the outer ring is exactly the same size as the ring on the bottom of our keg kettles, so they don't fit properly on it. i added some brackets to create about a 3" border around the edge and allowing the kegs to sit on top happily. cost about $6 and worked great!

the motorized barley crusher, waiting for action...

...and running at full speed. eric's topping it up as it runs. tore through the 16# grain bill for the pale ale in record speed.

eric weighing out the grain for the scotch ale. look at the mess he's making! oh wait, i did that earlier...

tim, and the maiden voyage of his cooler tun. it's currently filled with the mash for the pale ale.

starting collection of the pale after finishing vorlauf.

i think this was mashing out on the scotch ale. definitely not mash out on the pale since we forgot to do that, and you just saw it being sparged.

tim starting to load his tun up with the mash for the scotch ale. you can see the nice copper manifold that he built for it. worked out pretty well. i've got one about 75% done for jay's cooler, and a soft copper coil for a smaller bucket tun. the old soft copper manifold from jay's cooler finally died after the ed fitz brew day and jayw has the bucket tun down in windsor for him to do some brewing. since he's a proud new daddy we're not sure how soon that'll happen :)

and then we jump ahead to 24 hours after pitching. that's the "single malt scotch" ale. a week later it's still got a nice head of krausen on top, which i expected as i know that the scottish strain is fairly slow. the current plan is to transfer it to secondary on june 24th, when eric and i will be brewing up 5 gallons each of a wee heavy and a hair of the dog fred clone, with each of them going onto one of the yeast cakes from the scottish. looks like jan will come back for the full brew day experience on that one. always good to get other people hooked!

and the pale ale. after 8 days in primary it had dropped from 1.045 down to 1.011, which is 74.86% attenuation and 4.47% abv. also saved the yeast cake for some future adventure.

Posted by grub at June 12, 2006 11:30 PM

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