Monday, June 27, 2005


Two more brews...

This past wednesday I brewed an oatmeal stout using a pound of kilncoffee malt... used it as the starter batch for the higher gravity batch I brewed tonight, which will hopefully come out somewhat similar to my last oak aged vanilla imperial porter. I already know it will be somewhat different - I used slightly more willamette finishing aroma hops and the gravity came out lower than anticipated, I expect as a result of rushing the sparge. My kids were about, the wife had things for me to do - I just really didn't have enough leisure to give the mash and sparge. So the bad news is that this next batch won't be as strong, however - It'll still be something above 7%, hopefully. I'm pitching an entire yeast cake of WLP007 (Dry English Ale), so it should finish completely and low (so long as I didn't mash too high also).

I wrote a little spreadsheet on my PDA to help me convert hydrometer Brix to specific gravity - I got tired of running in to the PC whenever I needed to do a gravity check. It works great - Pocket Excel format. Anyone interested let me know.

I also used one of the pumps Marty sold me to dramatically cut my cooling time and reduce my water usage. Since I am an immersion chiller guy (I actually prefer them), I use my standard ground water and some periodic agitation to get the temp down to around 110 deg F. Then I switch to the pump setup that pulls ice water from the cooler, thru the immersion chiller, and back into the cooler. My cooling time went from 50 minutes to hit 80 deg to 20 minutes to hit 75... Hell yes!

coolingpump1 coolingpump2
(click thumbnails for bigger pic)

I've got 4 beers in kegs at the moment (2 belgians and 2 IPAs) - soon to be joined by a few more. Hopefully Marty will finish off the keg he borrowed from me which will give me just enough space to brew a 10 gallon batch of the Amarillo Pale Ale. If not... I need to have my best friend up from Dover some more and hit my kegs hard.

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