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bierblog: December 2007 Archives

December 5, 2007

frozen again

after our sub-zero brew day on november 2005 i swore i'd never brew again when the temperature fell below zero. well, the final brew day of 2007 was planned and got postponed a couple of times, and it looked like december 1st was going to be our last chance. early-mid week leading up to the brew day the weather was looking ok, but by about thursday the forecast had chanced and things didn't look as good...

when we started the day it was frigid. unlike the nov '05 brew day which started out OK and slowly worked its way below freezing, this day started out well below freezing and wasn't forecast to make it above. the hoses and everything else was frozen solid. this meant constantly running in and out of the house to get water, clean things, and everything else. we needed to bring the hose and chiller inside to thaw them out before they could be used to cool the wort. anytime we spilled water on the ground - even near boiling sparge water - it instantly turned the garage into a sheet of ice. needless to say, this kept things pretty interesting...

only one brew was on the schedule, thinking it would make things shorter and easier. the downside to this was there was lots of lag time when we had nothing to do and ended up standing around rather than keeping busy.

our final brew day of 2005 was a big imperial stout, well suited to aging - and a gold medal at the 2007 GCHC. to cap off 2006 eric and i brewed an old ale in the tradition of thomas hardy's. we decided to continue the tradition of producing a "vintage ale" each year. for 2007 we reprised the grain bill from the old ale minus the parti-gyle and switched out the hops for west coast american style hops, including a bunch of amarillo and my homegrown centennials.

when the day was done we had 8 gallons of 1.090 american old ale in the fermenters. a little lower volume and gravity than we wanted, but we were just happy to be done.

with all the extra chaos the temperature added, i didn't end up taking any photos through the brew day.

after warming up and eating some dinner we continued our usual routine of euchre and beer. also on hand for tasting and comparison were two very fine meads: jadwiga and kurpiowski. eric hooked me up with the jadwiga as part of BC2, and brought over the kurpiowski for comparison.

here you can see the three of us posing with the two bottles and six samples poured and ready. both were great, but i think we all picked the jadwiga as the winner. if only i could get this stuff on a regular basis!

another year of brewing done for us here in markham, but we'll be back again soon.

Posted by grub at 2:59 PM

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