Beer Quotes & Wisdom

You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline-it

helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear

weapons, but at the very least you need a beer. -- Frank Zappa

Monday, January 11, 2010

Making The Great Lager Leap Part 4

Today was the final brew of the Great Lager Leap.  A Maibock to put away til spring.  It started out as a normal brewday, but soon turned ugly.  I intended to take a few pictures of my brewing process for this story.  After taking a picture of the mash pad (a.k.a. floor scrubbing pad) in my 10 gallon cooler/mash tun that I use to help filter the sweet wort during run off, I completely spaced my next step.

I dumped in the grain & water, and as I was stirring it all in, something didn't feel right at the bottom.  Then as I was reaching for the camera for another picture, I saw the perforated bucket I use as a false bottom still sitting on the counter.

Taking a positive view of this panicking situation, I decided that it will be a good experiment to see if the bucket does nothing more than make clean-up easier.

It does a lot more!  I got to experience my first stuck mash.  Not once, but twice!  Thank god I only do 5 gallon batches!  After emptying the entire contents of the cooler into another bucket and inserting the perforated bucket on top of the mash pad.  I added it all back into the cooler, only to have the flow dribble to a halt a second time.  The pad was totally clogged.

Dumping it all back into the bucket a second time, removing & cleaning the pad.  Reassembling everything the correct way this time, it all went back into the cooler.  Of course the temperature had dropped quite a bit by now, which helped in not getting burned too bad in all the transfering back & forth.
I somehow feel this is not the standard way to do a batch sparge.

After all this, I was able to pull off the 6 1/5 gallons of wort, and it was in the vacinity of being the expected gravity.  The boil went well, as did the chill & transfer to the primary.  But to end the day, I dropped one of my timers into the brewkettle full of trub.

If this beer actually turns out, I will enter it in the Indiana Brewer's Cup this year for the State Fair.  I hope to god that it doesn't win Best of Show.  I don't think I can re-create this one.

Oh, and the pictures I was going to take...I found the camera again after all the clean-up.  Maybe next time.


  1. Sorry Larry, but that was a hoot! I've had brew days like that. It's good to see that more experienced brewers are not immune to temporary lapses of common sense and awareness!

  2. This is what we refer to in the cycling world as "reserve fun". Much like the last 20 miles of a 100 mile ride, you are hating your decision to do such a stupid thing, but its the part will will enjoy talking about later while describing the ride.


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