Sunday, February 12, 2012

Brewery Upgrades in Action

I finally had the opportunity on Saturday to try out all the new brewery paraphernalia I've been procuring over the last month. The new equipment worked great - the Monster grain mill, the yeast stir plate, and the oxygenation equipment. Both my pumps went out on me though. I'll post about these pumps once I get it all sorted out.

The yeast starter was quite an experience trying to use the erlenmeyer flasks. I had two boil overs while trying to boil the dry malt extract and I had issues getting the temperature to stay below 90 because of the heat generated by the stir plate, but I've got the heat issue figured out and I know to remove the flask from the heat before I add the extract and then watch it very carefully the whole time it's boiling. I also got a thermowell to help me more accurately measure the true temperature of the fermenting wort.

I brewed completely by myself which made for a very busy brew day. I realized half way through the boil that I didn't have any ice, so I raced off to 7-11 to get some ice, and was back in about 5 minutes, and fortunately no brewing disaster occurred! Liz and I went to our favorite bar Hamiltons in our former community of South Park for their "second saturday" event with Karl Strauss and had free cajun food and their cask beers - oatmeal stout and Tower 20 IIPA.

Yeast starter just getting going
Starter well under way
Milling the grain
Milled grain
Starter ready for pitching
Finished off the day with cask beers from Karl Strauss (oatmeal stout and IIPA) at Hamiltons.

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