Brew Down at Jeff’s! Yarr. The He Man Woman Haters Club (and don’t get the wrong idea… Cindy F. refers to our gatherings thusly…) held the first Brew Down (with apologies to Bobby Flay) yesterday, Saturday the 25. A good time was had by all….
“I brew crazy beers, and I’ve never used guidelines!”, Jeff said the other week.
“Ah, but CAN you brew to guidelines?”, I asked in a festive mood. “Is that a challenge?”, he asked… “Yes! I challenge you to a Brew Down, brewing to style guidelines of a beer. I challenge you to….. CLASSIC AMERICAN PILSNER!”
And so it all began. Jeff, Carl and I met at Jeff’s at around 9:00 AM on Saturday. Jeff brewed using extract and I brewed using all grain. Jeff, Carl & I began at around 10:00 AM with me cooking 2 lbs of white corn meal in a pot for thirty minutes and Jeff hydrating his extract and adding 1.5 lbs of flaked maize in a grain sack.
After 1/2 hour I added 2 gallons water heated to 137° F and added 2 gallons of 122° water to the barleym, then added the mush to the mash tun, and then as well for the first step at 122° for 30 min. Jeff was doing a single step infusion. After 30 min, I added 2 gallons of water at 187°, then another 2 gallons at 193 for mashout. I think. I might have forgotten the mashout (beer was involved) but some people say that mashout isn’t really needed. So, whatever…
In all past attempts to do CAPs, I had added the mush to the mash before adding the water and got a stuck mash, requiring emptying the tun into a bucket and cleaning out the bottom. This time I had John S. hold the plastic false bottom down while I added the 2g. 122° water, then purged the air from the tube to keep the false bottom from floating up during mixing. That seemed to take care of the stuck mash issue.
Over the course of the day, we were joined by John S., Bryan S.. The Original Doug, and Alex & Cindy, who live near John S. and are also members. We had pizza and beer and BACON JAM! on crackers. Oh, the food & beverages were most excellent!
During the day, Brother Carl made some repairs to equipment and served as Still Hand when and extra set of paws was required. Thanks again, Carl! It would have been more difficult without your assistance had you missed the soiree.
At the end of the day Jeff had 2 5 gallon batches, one of which he added California Ale yeast and the other and mine split a starter of Pilsner yeast. I was packed and ready to return at about 7 PM, with Doug and Alex still there. The Cindys had mysteriously disappeared… a shopping expedition, and were still out on patrol when I left.
A grand & glorious day it was. Cold, but we had wonderful fellowship and excellent consumables!
Start Doug, Bryan, Carl
Cindy Ready to pack into car.