Saturday, 10 May 2014

Saturday 10 May -- Loadsa Ales

Winter is starting to kick in and grab us all by the balls. Men need strong beers. Beers too gird the loins. To stave off illness. To add iron to the bloodstream and fire to the belly. Beer can see us through the darker days.

The Ales were ready to drink. The Pale Ale had come home and had sat in the fridge for a while. It beckons me. It taunts me. It whispers to me at night when no one is around and the wind is howling through the rafters. But it is not the season for Pale Ale. The rain and the cold and the sleet suggest other, heartier Ales. And so it is time to bring home the Amber Ale and the Brown Ale. And like squirrels, we each have hidden enough of a supply to see us through the colder months. Hibernation calls.

And yet, we look forward. The Porter had been sitting on the cake for a while. Maybe a bit too long. Time to get it into bottles. We threw away the idea of adding coffee to it. Let's see how it drinks in July.

Another idea we had was to try and perfect our IPA. We want to get the hops right. A balance of flavour and aroma. Of fruitiness and zest against earthiness and body. We hope to create a signature hops blend that can be applied to all our IPAs. We took some notes -- you can see these below.

The beer is drinking well. Come and have one with us.

The pot is a beautiful thing, all cosy in its doona with  its heaters tucked in tightly
Got to get the water to about 72 degrees
We bought another floating thermometer. Don't drop it, buddy!
Ben was sick, so we gave him a special job standing in the rain
How's the weather, Benny?
Lots of hop combinations to consider
Check the gravity of the Porter that's in the conditioning fridge
Seems about right!
Keep filling those buckets Ben
The Porter is looking tasty
But back to the IPA
The water is at the right temperature
Time to get the voile in
clamp it down
Tip in the grain
And get it all in
Meanwhile, we divided up the Brown Ale
There's plenty there
Gotta keep the mash at about 72 degrees
Nice paddle
Add some heat
and give it a stir
But here's the Porter ready to move into the other keg
And we split the Amber Ale six ways, and divided this amongst three of us, on a 1/6 ratio. Maths, bitch!
Getting the sugar syrup ready for the Porter
Stop drinking the sugar-syrup!!
And moving the Porter down into the clean keg
This helps us to keep a lot of the sediment in the first keg, and not in our lovely beer,
The conditioning fridge gets a bit mouldy when it stays at a constant temperature of 20 degrees
Ben cleaned all the bottles and stacked them nicely
Michael's weighing hops
And we had a bit of a choice of hops today.


Michael -- Passionfruit, Citrus, and hmmm ... yummy
Ben -- Love, Oatmeal (?), Coriander in the back
Chris -- Grass and Hay, Sparkling, Zest

Michael -- Grassy, Floral, Sweet
Ben -- Spicy, Pepper, Dope
Chris -- Mould, Earthy Meaty tones, Oranges

Michael -- Ooh ... ow ... big, Sour, Orange
Ben -- Chives, Coriander, Mint
Chris -- Spearmint Leaf Lollies, Flowers, Sugar

Michael -- Tangerine, Apricot, it's a kind of ... ah ... sweet but it's not sweet it's citrusy sweet
Ben -- Marmalade, um ... ahem ... sweet, Turmeric
Chris -- Lemonade, Vine Leaves, Moroccan Spices like that 361 beer

It's time to Mash-Out
Use the pulley
Take the strain
easy ... easy
tie it off
And we're there

Today's lunch was brought to us by Michael and his smoky beef sensation
First, Ben checked the standings at Race 5 at Randwick
Get the well seasoned meat in the BBQ
And the plan is to smoke it
With Mesquite and whiskey! 
After about three hours it was ready
Who wants toast with theirs?
It needs salsa, too!
Better get a beer. Jesus! Jesus! Jesus!
And sit and watch the beer drip into the pot. This is often the best part of brew-day
The Porter had not made it all the way into the second keg
The line was blocked
And so I thought I'd scoop the rest in by hand
Not the best job, but got us another 7-8 litres
The wort had hit a rolling boil, time to add the hops 
First in Columbus.
And to start bottling, we needed to move the bottles over to the bottling table
Let's use the trolley
What could possibly go wrong?
Nothing, because here is all the Porter in the bottles!

Good job, Ben! 
And the IPA was ready to move into the keg
It got to about 47 litres
And into the fridge with the bottled Porter
Brewery Selfie!!
And here's all the Ale at home
And into the cellar
Not a lot of room left. You better come round and drink some

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