The Bs

So I haven’t been Blogging very much lately… I have been kind of busy. Doing what, you ask?

Beery displayBottling and brewing my friends. And both in large amounts. In the picture you’ll see 10 gallons of American Brown Ale on the left that I brewed this past weekend with the help of my friend Brian. It was a 20 gallon batch we split 2 ways, and we did some experimenting with my equipment which went really well. He did a better job summarizing everything that happened than I could, so I won’t even try to repeat it here. For a change, our experimentation all payed off. I think one of my favorite points was when we shoved my squirrel mixer in the mash tun and managed to get a perfectly mixed mash within a minute or so… that squirrel mixer is just the perfect size for a 28 gallon mash tun, and I’m fairly certain our arms would have fallen off trying to mix that much grain by hand.

The middle 2 carboys are actually the starter batch we did for the ABA, our hoppy-as-hell, used 1.5 POUNDS of hops IPA. Once again, Brian did a great job summarizing that day here in his blog. I bring it up because I also experimented with this batch, and it was a failed experiement – I tried to weight the hops down using glass marbles and a hop bag. As you can tell from the picture… it didn’t work. After spending many frustrating minutes trying to shove a hop bag full of marbles and hops into that tiny friggin opening in the top, I was conviced it was a bonehead idea – but I was determined to persevere in my endeavor. Lesson learned – next time I’ll leave them in there loose and just shake the carboy every few days. And NO I WILL NOT TRY TO USE MORE MARBLES. If you tried stuffing it through a one inch hole, you’d understand too. God help me trying to get them back out.

On the right is 10 gallons of peated scottish (from the previous post) that will soon be racked ontop of several ounces (like 3 per 5 gallons) of bourbon-aged oak cubes. 5 gallons of this batch is going to a friend… so I hope it turns out as good as the last one did.

Whole lot of belgian in bottles..That brings me to bottling. LOTS of bottling. 15 gallons in a week, to be more precise. The 20 gallon batch of TnT that I brewed several weeks ago has conditioned enough and was ready for packaging, so I kegged 5 gallons and the rest went into glass containers of various sizes. The 1L bottles on the lower left are for Joe and Marlana at HDYB, 1 case of the 12oz bottles are going to my cousin Drew and his bandmates, and the rest …. well, I’m sure that Donna and I will put them to good use.

All that bottling certainly reminded me why I like kegging so much. I’ve got like 8 cornies sitting empty at the moment – But with 30 gallons to keg in the next few weeks – They’ll fill up really fast.

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Categories: Brew gear, Brew session
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