Today was a great day. Not only because it was brew day, but because I had made up my mind before I started that I would blog about it. I have not done so in quite a while, and I miss it. So, when I got home from the brew shop, I made sure the camera had plenty of fresh batteries and took a picture of my next beer-to-be!
I drove home, pet the Buster, and fired up the strike water.
When it got to my target 170, I dumped it into my mash tun and... OOO SHIIIIIIITTTTT! It was leaking like crazy out of the valve. Took me a while to install some new washers, and not 20 minutes into my brew I already had quite the mess on my hands.
The good news is that I hit my 156 mash temp purrrrrrrfectly, and had an amazing smooth sparge. This is most likely thanks to the new false bottom I fandagled and stainless steel mesh manifold I got from Home Depot. No pictures of that unfortunately... Ill stick em up later.
Also, Ive been using this stuff called 5 squared. I was having some efficiency issues lately, and a dude at the brew shop pointed me towards it.
Anyways, after the sparge, I drained my mash tun to go throw the spent grains out, and realized I had about 1.2 gallons of wort still left. Then I remembered all those forgotten hops sitting in the back of my freezer, and the half used pack of S-05 in the fridge... and I decided to make another brew!
Today was also pretty momentous in that I used whole hops for the first time.
So ya, all in all today was a great day. Super smooth brew, which I attribute mainly to the fact that I had planned to blog about it. All of my brews lately have been disasters, but almost every time I blog about my brews, they go with no hitches. I might just start doing this every brew day.
I ended up with 3 gallons of winter ale (1.067) and 1 gallon of... the same pretty much but much smaller (1.04) and less hoppy.