Sunday, 25 August 2013

Saturday 24 August -- A Big IPA Kinda Day

Today was the day to make another IPA. Not just any IPA, a bloody big IPA! An Imperial IPA!
It was a bit of a tricky day at times, but mostly it was very successful. Every problem is not really a problem. It's an obstacle to overcome. So, because of the day we had, we thought we might call this beer "The Hopstacle Course". Or "The Hopstical Course" because the word looks like Hospital and there was a very good chance that one of us could have ended up there today. Maybe "The Hopsticle Course". 
I dunno!
So, the first step always is to work out who makes the trek over to Grain and Grape in Yarraville on the Saturday morning. I think it took the three of us all week to negotiate that, but Chris offered to do it because he is the best bloody bloke in the world and has magnificent hair.
Getting there, it was soon discovered that we had placed the order incorrectly. A decimal point is very important, but thankfully, the blokes at Grain and Grape were happy to correct our mistake and mill the right amount of grain for us.

Here's what we ordered:
  • 24.35 KG of Pale Malt
  • 2.05 KG of Chocolate Wheat Malt

That's a heap of grain. The more malt we have, the more sugar will be produced, there more alcohol we will have. That's probably wrong, but hey, we ain't no scientists. We just want a big beer. This one should be 7.7% alcohol content. Fun times ahead.
Our other mission was to increase the hoppiness of our beer. As much as we enjoyed IPA A and IPA B, we found that there wasn't a lot of hop to it. This time, we went bananas with our hop purchases. 

Here are the hops we ordered:
  • 80g of Warrior
  • 80g of Chinook
  • 120g of Simcoe
  • 160g of Columbus
  • 120g of Centennial

A lot of that was used during the boil, but we've held some back to try some dry-hopping for the first time. 
So, the other problems we hit today were:
  • We couldn't find the silicone tube to move the boiling wort to the cubes. Michael had to drive back to Grain and Grape to buy another one. Poor bloke was gone for almost an hour and a half.
  • As we started to tip the grain in, it became apparent we had almost bought too much. It just fit into the pot, but only just.
  • Then, we had to try to lift the mash out. Check out how we eventually solved that problem.
  • Some of the 70/- bottles had exploded in the priming fridge. This makes us sad.
But mainly we had a successful day, and finished with a couple of tasty pints at The Raccoon Club.
Arriving at Grain and Grape at 9am. Time to buy a sausage and try two beers they had on sampling.
A whole lotta hops on the counter there. I'm waiting for them to mill our grain.
Three bags of grain are pretty heavy, so I need a shopping trolley.
Always good to have a few beers to drink for the drive back to Reservoir .
Disaster!! Two bottles of the 70/- have exploded. Why?
Maybe the bottles were old and weak. Actually, what is more likely is that our attempt at adding more sugar to get more carbonation has had dire results.
We cleaned it up. The lids are still on the broken bottle necks
We got the water to about 77 degrees. We need to keep it at 68 degrees during the mash.
Malt in. Look how full the pot is!
Hi Lucy
Lid on, and doona on. We dragged those two immersion heaters out once we got the temperature back to 68 degrees. The mash kept steady at 68 degrees for 90 minutes.
Lid off after 90 minutes
Ben is rigging up the new pulley system. Hope it works.
That bag looks pretty full. Will that tiny rope hold it?
On guard!
I don't even know what this is?
We tied it off.
And started to lift but it was too heavy.
So we moved the car in ...
 ... to try to tie the rope to the car
Dukes of Hazard style.
Hold it steady.
But it still wouldn't work.
I can't see how this is going to work at all ...
unless ...
... we hook up another line to the car ...
with a double line
and get in the car
and grab a beer
and back the car out slowly

It's out!!
Tie another line to keep it steady and safe and let it drip for a while.
Let's go and have some lunch.
Ben cooked us Black Angus Eye fillet. These steaks were huge.
So was this beer
Back in the shed to weigh out all the hops
And label them to make sure they all go in at the right times.
Oh and Lucy made us some brownies. We love Lucy!
We got the boil going.
and gave it a stir with Mulesy's paddle
Finally, we filled 3 cubes. Well, almost three.

Hooray for beer! The next plan is to get the fermenter on and to think about dry-hopping this brew. We want hops and we want them to be big and bold and beautiful. We'll let you all know how we go with that. When it's ready, you all should totally come over for a beer.

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