Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Hotter Than Hell Brew Day

I brewed last Saturday, and holy-crap it was hot! I brew in a west-facing garage, and I couldn't get started until 1 p.m., because I helped put-on a little race that morning.

On this particular brew-day, it was 100 degrees F, with 68% humidity. For those of you from drier climates, this type of weather can kick your butt (or even kill you), if you're not prepared. I just treated it as "heat-training," and drank a few pints of water for every beer that I drank. I had some salty snacks available to keep the ol' electrolyte balance up. I also used an old window-shaker air-conditioner; I sat in front of it while doing some tasks, and as much as I could.
Brew Day Aug 2, 2008MillingGrain
Milling Grain

I had invited Christy and her boyfriend Greg over. Christy is an extract brewer (from Colorado originally), and she wants to learn the all-grain brewing process. (Both of them went up to Oregon for the Oregon Brewer's Festival, also). My son, Matt came over for a little while, and Jim (another brewer) came over, too. It's crazy how I always get a crowd on the hottest or coldest brewing days of the year! Christy's dog was the only sane creature in attendance; she begged to go into the air-conditioned house, so we relented and let her stay and play in the house.
Brew Day Aug 2, 2008BrewCrew2
Brew Crew

I've been on a brewing roll, lately, and I'm not going to let some nasty hot weather get in the way! I'm trying to re-stock my normally well-rounded offerings. I usually like to have at least 5 different homebrews on tap, but currently only have three: a 1-year old Barleywine, a Maibock, and a Porter. I also have a 5 year old Barleywine, but I rarely give out samples of that.
Brew Day Aug 2, 2008Fridge
Garage Fridge Offerings
Brew Day Aug 2, 2008Failure
Failure is not an option!

The Porter (at 4.8% alcohol) was the only "session-like" beer on tap for brew day. It was hot enough that some folks had a "hoppy beer" on their minds, instead of a dark Porter. I came up with a special strategy for the hop-minded: I poured a small amount of hoppy Barleywine into a glass, and then topped it off with a Boulevard Pale Ale, keeping the alcohol percentage in the neighborhood of 6 - 7 %, instead of kick-in-the-head range. We grilled some chicken, had some fresh veggies, and also chips and hummus to top it all off. A nice day, despite the heat.
Brew Day Aug 2, 2008Mashing_in
Mashing-in
Brew Day Aug 2, 2008Brewing
Hot work!

The homebrewing part went very smoothly. I brewed yet another version of my Über Saison, which always has an interesting grain profile, but this time I used some off-the-shelf Wyeast, instead of my own privately cultivated "BadBenomyces cerevisiae." The cooled wort's original gravity ended up hitting 1.072. It's now bubbling-away in the primary. The Double IPA that I brewed 2 weeks ago is in secondary fermentation, and I'll transfer it to tetiary conditioning soon enough. Hopefully, I'll have it on tap within a week or so.

Happy trails and cheers!

Bad Ben

2 comments:

Homemade Beer said...

I'm all about the ales too, but pale lagers definitely come into their own on really hot days

monkeywithchainsaw said...

That sounds like one hell of a good day.