Sunday, March 28, 2010

Brew day: 59° Fahrenheit Maibock

So I was planning on brewing our Maibock yesterday, but the night before we went out to celebrate my 31st birthday. For some reason, after enjoying Metropolitan Kränkshaft, Sam Adams Noble Pils, Hofbräu Maibock, a shot of Underberg, some Würzburger lager that I swear was unfiltered, Schlenkerla Fastenbier, a shot of Malört, Flossmoor Station Pullman Brown Ale and Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold (I think; I can't guarantee the accuracy of the last beer I ordered), I didn't feel like brewing the next day. So I postponed the brew day until today, and since both Dorrie and Jonas came down with pinkeye this weekend (ah, the joys of parenting), we skipped church and I was able to get somewhat of an early start.

The brew day was rather uneventful for the most part, and Leah was too busy with the kids to take pictures, so I'll just give you the highlights... I mashed in around noon and, for the second brew day in a row, came in waaaay low on my mash-in temp (150°F instead of 156). I'm not sure what's up with that, but I decided to roll with it. To somewhat make up for that, I did a 2-gallon decoction for the mashout instead of a 1-gallon decoction (which, last time I brewed this, left me with a mashout temp of 162°F instead of the target 168). After a 15-minute decoction I returned it and started recirculating ten minutes later.

Oh yeah... one other small problem I had. The accidentally disconnected the hose that runs from my hot liquor tank to my mash tun and, as a result, lost about a half gallon of sparge water. Coincidentally, I ended up collecting about a half-gallon too little wort. But beyond that, the rest of the day went pretty smoothly. I did a healthy 90-minute boil with hop additions at 60 minutes, 20 minutes, five minutes and knock-out. I chilled to somewhere between 45 and 50°F and pitched a healthy amount of yeast slurry courtesy of Metropolitan brewing. I hit my target gravity right on the nose: 1070.

I will be shocked if we don't have fermentation by the time I wake up tomorrow morning. In the meantime, a couple of other beer notes... First of all, our Christmas ale kicked and I replaced it in our kegerator with our Road House Red. Second, I finally kegged our 1908 Old Ale which is unfortunately only down to 1022 (lately my beers all seem to finish high). I put a half gallon into a growler with some dry malt extract (the extra extract will make it 50% extract, which is the minimum for an extract competition our homebrew club is holding), somewhere between 2.5 and 3 gallons into a 3-gallon carboy which will be oaked and bottled, and the rest into the Lovejoy keg. Third, I learned that the Metropolitan I-Beam Altbier (which I helped brew--more here) should be hitting bars as soon as later this week. You can be sure I'll post more here when I know about it. And finally, I learned that our Gust Front Leipzig-style Wheat (a.k.a. Leipziger Gose) took second place in the specialty beer category of the BOSS Chicago Cup Challenge; I'll go ahead and ignore the other beers we entered that didn't win.

And now, on this relaxing Sunday night, I have actual work (as in, for my actual employer that signs my paychecks) to do. As my daughter would say: "bummer."


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