Beer Quotes & Wisdom

Anyone can drink beer,

but it takes intelligence to enjoy beer.

--Stephen Beaumont

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.

2 comments:

  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!

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  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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