Monday, November 5, 2007

It's all worth it!

Sometimes brewing days are long and slow and a pain-in-the-arse. Like yesterday. My mash got stuck, I had to scramble to extract the sugars, it was a big mess. Because I'm on this "no-sparge" kick, I do TWO mashes (my vessel only comfortably works with about 10 lbs. of grist) which takes TWICE as long. I did not vorlauf (re-circulate) the extract, like I normally do, because I needed to save some time, but it seemed to come out OK. So, yesterday, I mashed 18 lbs. of malt, including a "kitchen sink" melange of specialty malts for color and flavor--my goal was a robust porter.* I managed to get 3-1/2 gallons of extract at about 1.080, to which I added 3-1/2 gallons of liquor to make 7 gals., which boiled down to 5 at 1.055. My yield, at the end, was about 4-1/2 gallons of wort. I used 2 oz. of whole Willamette hops for bittering (60 mins.), and pitched Safale-05. It is fermenting nicely this morning. Long, tiring day. BUT, I remembered WHY I brew my own when we busted out the Rye-P.A. My birthday is the 13th, and my good pals H & D are coming to visit us this weekend, and I wanted to be able to drink this beer for both events. So, we had to check it out. The result? Heaven in a bottle! Indeed: a crisp, spicy-sweet rye flavor layered on a rich, malty base with a clean, dry, hoppy finish. Wow, it is a GREAT BREW! (The photo is my kettle, w/paddle, on the double burner.)

*Pity-the-Fool Porter (in honor of B.A. Baracus of the A-Team)

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