I launched the new brewery on the 27th using my new brewing equipment, brewing an Oktöberfest in which I replaced part of the grain bill with some of the grain bill that I use in Classic American Pilsner: Corn. Replaced 2lbs. of Pale Ale malt with two pounds of Corn Meal. I brought 2 gallons of water to a boil and added the corn to that, stirring for about 3 minutes.
Into the Mash Tun, I poured about a fourth of my barley, ladled the polenta atop that, and added the balance of the barley. I added water heated to 127° (if I recall correctly – BeerSmith calculated it out for me) Then I did a double decoction and a 90 minute boil.
But neither the recipe nor the brewing procedure are why I blog today. The new brewing equipment is is the focus.
My Best Beloved coaxed me out of hiding in the hills with a 60 liter brew pot, and a dialog began. I’m back home, no longer refugeeing; and when the time was right… and once I’d made the other equipment that I began planning last year… I started brewing beer again.
I’ve also begun brewing out back, in the dog yard, (Tierra del Doody Brewery?) at basement level. After nearly spilling a batch of beer as I teetered down the basement steps last year, that was the wise thing to finally do.
I also finished converting my immersion chiller to a counter-flow chiller, and built a stir plate out of a fan. Both worked well.
And as was foretold by The Prophecies, I had another Stuck Sparge From Hell. This is common when I use polenta rather than flaked corn in my recipe. And as usual, I eventually got that flowing again acquiring 7-1/2 gallons of run off, still less than I’d wanted.
Using the new brew kettle I found that I will need to add 1-1/8 gallon more liquid than originally planned to the boil kettle to wind up with the 6 gallons of finished wort that I had planned on. In all, I would up with 4-1/8 gallons of beer in the primary; I’m going to have to get a handle on the evaporation rate of the new system and make adjustments at the beginning.
As it turned out, I’ll wind up with about 4 gallons of 8.1% ABV beer, providing nothing else happens.