Sunday, 9 February 2014

Sunday 9 February, 2014 -- A Brown Ale

When I woke up at 7:30am this morning, hangover raging through my blood vessels, it was 31 degrees in the shade. It is on a morning such as this that a young man's thoughts turns to beer. Beer is what got me into this mess in the first place, and beer is what will get me out of it again.

So, with a projected temperature of 41 degrees looming, we thought we'd get back into the shed and stand over a boiling pot for 5 hours. Brilliant!!

The plan was to make a Brown Ale. Michael had tasted one during the week. I had also. It's a good beer. Cavalier make a tasty one. Ours would be good, we thought.

The summer break had not been kind to our bellies. Too much good living, hearty meals, and loads of calorific beer had made our guts poke out like monuments to all things excessive. This beer promised to be a mild 3.5% alcohol volume. Good news for the waistline.

The plan was to have the pot boiling by 10am. When I arrived at 10:05am, this was the sight that greeted me.  
Michael's excuse for these shorts is that he can't actually see them over the girth of his belly.
The rest of us, unfortunately, had to look at them all day.
Michael had been busy and boxed up all the empty bottles. Good job, sir!
And he had stacked the fridge with water (and beer)
So here's today's recipe. "Nutty Man Brown Ale"
And here's the grain. It was a really small bag and it caused us to stop and check the recipe again. But no, Michael was right. It just looked like a small bag compared to some of the other bigger ones we had used.
The pot is boiling. 
Hooray for new gadgets. This one is a floating thermometer.
Drop it in
Gently ...
and away it bobs. 
Wrap Lucy's doona around the pot. We want to get it to about 75 degrees
Thought we'd check the temperature of the grain. It was 32 degrees. I don't know what this tells us, but it is kinda interesting I guess. #redhillbrewerywankers
In with the grain.
tip it in
and get stirring
The last bit
almost there
The paddle is useful here
brotherly teamwork
That's just silly
So while the mash is steeping, and sacharification is occurring (cool word, huh?), time to move into another job for the day. Let's look at getting a few bottles cleaned up.
And Michael has been reading about a good idea on the blogs
We're going to attach the bottle scrubber to the power drill (yep, what could possibly go wrong?)
I duuno why we don't just use this one??
Ben's had enough
We couldn't get the end off the bottle scrubber. 
But it gave us an excuse to use another power tool
So here it is.
Into the bottle
flush it out
Tip out the water
Job done! 
Ben and I had the shit job!
In the midday heat
double rinsing and taking off the labels 
What a great job we did?! 
So back to the mash 
It's been at 67 degrees for an hour. We didn't have to heat it at all.
Time to lift out the mash. 
We accidently spilled some grain into the wort.
But it was a nice, small mash out this time
not a lot dripping out
so give it a squeeze
get all the fluid out
with most of it running down Michael's arms.
We need 54g of Goldings Hops. Not a lot of hops for this brew, and they went in at the start of the boil. 
They smell pretty good
Lunchtime. Steak sandwich with a side serve of steak.
And this crazy beer using the hops harvested from the beard of the brewer.
We wanted to get our beer clearer and the way to do that is by using Irish Moss
Break up 2 tablets into some water
Time to move the wort into cubes 
Michael kinda looks like an old fashioned sheep-shearer in this photo.
"Tar here, Jackie" 
and 3.000001 cubes of wort. 
Clean the pot

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