Saturday, January 27, 2007

Brew day: Road House (aka Wildcat) Red

Today we brewed our Road House Red (see label in the last post), which is being brewed for a party hosted by somebody affiliated with Northwestern University. As such, this particular batch is being christened Wildcat Red. Anyway, it's an Irish Red Ale, and it will be consumed during the South Side Irish Parade. I did a partial mash, mashing in at 168°F with an intended target mash temp of 157°F. Unfortunately our mash tended to end up around 150°F; I don't know if it's because we have a lot of head space when we make smaller beers, but this seems to be a recurring problem. Bottom line is I added boiling water a couple times and it seemed to be okay. Thanks to Marta for stopping by and keeping me company, even though there wasn't much to do at that point.

After a 40-minute mash, we sparged with 182°F liquor and collected the wort. After an hour-long boil we ended up hitting our target gravity exactly! (NOTE: this may be because I'm using an initial volume of 6.25 gallons instead of 6.5 for calculating gravity contributions at the beginning of the boil). For the record, that target gravity would be 1048. I pitched the yeast around 1:30pm and the carboy is now sitting in our basement around 68°F. Overall a very smooth brew day, especially considering it was around 30°F outside.

Oh, this brew also marked the debut of our new water filter that I assembled based on instructions from BYO Magazine.

I guess the only other thing to report is that the Upper Mississippi Mash-Out should be going on as we speak. The results should be up by tomorrow night... My buddy Rich also entered, so here's hoping we score a few ribbons for our homebrew club, HOPS!


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