Thursday, June 09, 2005


Pumps, Porter, and Progress

Last week Marty dropped off my two March TE-5C-MD pumps I bought from him. The man is genuinely lucky and generous - I can't believe he found 5 of these things, all in good condition (some rust on the motor housing, but nothing major), and cheap! They cost more than $400 new, and have a max throughput of 18GPM - Obviously I am going to have to dead-head that back significantly, but still - they are going to work great. I picked up a couple of (unfortunately) brass fittings today, and will get some hose barbs from Home Depot this weekend. If my tests go well, I will probably upgrade the brass components to stainless (Only spent $6 for a brass ball valve and 1" x 1/2" bushing so far). Then I'll be all set for when my 14 gallon kettle arrives... won't have to worry about lifting ridiculous quantities of 176 deg water.

My Iron Hill porter clone is really really good. I'm so pleased with it. Its stronger and a little more roasty, but I have a feeling I'll nail it on the next batch. I'm sitting here sipping on a pint as I type.

My all-grain scotch ale batch is in the secondary, already polluted with 2oz of medium toast french oak chips. Another 3 or 4 weeks of the secondary and I'll keg and condition it. My Little Brave Red Ale is done fermenting, which means I'll be brewing its big, mean brother this weekend - the Native Rage IPA. In addition I brewed (and I use that term loosely) my hefeweizen kit last night after sitting in my basement for over 6 months.

Goodbye extract brewing! After all-grain, extract brewing really feels like cheating to me. I'm not knocking any extract brewers out there! Don't take me wrong! It is just so much more rewarding >>to me<< to go through a full mash and sparge cycle rather than scoop stuff out of a can. I think the whole extract process was invaluable for me to get my techniques down, and probably a most necessary building block for me to go all-grain. If I jumped into all-grain directly, I would have had too much to obsess and worry about. Since I know my boil-to-keg techniques were sound, I could focus more closely on the mash and sparge.

Let's see... what else can I ramble on about that no one but me cares about... OH! We ordered 3 change-your-label tap handles last night. I'm going to have to start getting creative with Photoshop and devise some labels for my kegerator. Should be fun... and its time for my little black plastic knobs to go.

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