Kegging & Brewing

Sunday was productive enough in my little world of homebrewing; kegged the Pale Ales, did some house-keeping, and brewed an Amber Ale.

So of course the highlight is the Amber Ale. I jokingly called it the Anxious Amber because I am so concerned with running out of beer / not having three beers on tap. What’s the point of having three taps if they’re all not full, right? So this is a pretty straight forward Amber, sort of similar malt bill as my California Red but toned down a notch, and a little wacky-bird hop experiment using only traditional bittering hops throughout, Magnum and Chinook – I bet it’ll be great. The Magnums were some sticky fellows, even after washing my hands there was still some tackiness.

The brew day itself went pretty well, no major hic-cups. Still a little perturbed at the extended mashes and extended cool downs after jumping up to 10 gallon batches, thus extending my day over all. It takes me about 80-90 minutes to heat up all of my sparge and mash-out water, which is about 30 minutes longer than I would care to mash. Though, I must say, the last few batches have crushed the efficiencies, like by more than 0.010 points, so maybe there is at least some benefit to the extended mash. The cooling has and always will drive me nuts. I honestly believe a double cycle through a plate chiller would be the way to go. Maybe even whirlpool back into the kettle while pumping to help the trub collect in the middle, let it settle some, and the crack the valve and syphon clean cool wort … hmmm maybe after I have money to blow on homebrew crap again.

Other than that the day was pretty chilled. Transferred the two Pale Ales to kegs and did a bunch of house-keeping. Cleaned up my general work area, cleaned like five carboys, and like two kegs. Hey, you gotta do what you gotta do to keep the beer flowing for these knuckleheads. Speaking of beer flowing, the Chinese 5-Spice Belgian Dubbel-style beer (thus has been dubbed the Chinese Dubbel) has definitely been a crown-pleaser and I am totally down with that.

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