Wednesday, April 07, 2010

I'm not most people.

John Palmer says (though I paraphrase), "Most people, once they try all-grain brewing, say they can't believe it's so easy." Riiiiiiiiight.

Of course, most people don't have a giant earthquake in the middle of their first-ever fly sparge. Ok, so that didn't really have any impact on the process, it just sounded dramatic.

It took me seven hours, start to finish. For someone with ADD, that's a very long time to keep paying attention. But I did it, and amazingly, somehow I managed to achieve my target gravity of 1.050 the first time. I'm not sure my efficiency was really where it ought to be, mostly because I have no idea how much wort I had. Yeah, I know, that's really dumb. But I was using the beautiful new pot my buddy gave me, and unlike my other pot, it is unmarked. I think I only boiled 5 gallons, and lost 2 to boil-off so I had to top my pot off with water after all. But I honestly have no idea.

I used the yeast nutrient he gave me, and a brand new aquarium burbler to oxygenate... And had the slowest yeast start I've had in two years with the lowest volume of krausen I've ever had. Coulda been the yeast, obviously, but still a little disheartening. I'm concerned I'll have to re-pitch to get a full attenuation.

My first attempt with the grain mill the night before was hilarious. It's a Ferminator Grain Gobbler that uses a power drill to run it.... I got it set up (I thought)in a workable manner, started grinding, and grain pretty much was flying everywhere. Only about half of it was even cracked after this first go-round. I cleaned up the rat buffet from my garage, and thought about it overnight, coming up with a much more sturdy set-up. This time, I had both the drill and the rollers in a better position and achieved full grinding. Pulverizing in some instances. But now I know what to do with this item.

I will be truly surprised if this beer turns out at all. But hey, it was a learning experience. And there was some stuff that went really well - no stuck sparge, for example, and the aforementioned OG target. Hopefully this rotgut will evolve for the next batch into something more drinkable.


In the glass: Nuffin'. I'm at work. Shhhhhh.
In the fridge: Alaskan Amber I don't want, and maybe one bottle of Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous
In the primary: the maiden all-grain pale ale. Working title: Brackish Pond.
In the secondary: My amber - it needs a name.
In the kegerator: The Arrogant Bastard, depleting steadily. Racer 17 the IPA clone, carbonating. It taps tomorrow!

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