Monday, October 26, 2009

Brewing the Black Horse

This brewday didn't go quite like I'd hoped, but I guess that's what you get for trying to get everything ready in the last moments. I hadn't even decided if I was going to brew when I got up on Sunday, so I didn't do anything to prepare.

Everything was going to plan. I measured out the grain and rushed to get in the garage to avoid delaying even further. With my lovely assistant, I was milled and mashed in before I knew it.

For a supposed black beer, it sure was amber.

I made a dash down to the lab and grabbed a palm full of roasted barley. I made quick work of it using what I call the "brick and meat tenderizer" method and tossed it in. Some stirring later, but no real difference.

Screw it. It is what it is.

Time goes by. Willie and family drop by. Mash out. Sparge out.

I went to the lab once again to grab the scale for the hops. What did I find? The 4 oz. of Carafa II sitting in the measuring bowl. Not milled. Not in the mash. Holy cow.

So I've already got a boiling wort by then. What to do? Stovetop steeping!

Using the B&MT method again, I made a nice tea of Carafa II and 150 degree water. I let that sit for 20 minutes and added it straight to the boil. Did it darken it? Yes. Did it make it black? No.

So what happened in the end? No 5.2 pH stabilizer. No Irish Moss. Lot's of kettle trub. Bummer. Around 70% efficiency.

I pitched it on the 2nd generation 351 Bavarian weizen yeast with an extra vial. I thought I would need the extra because of the super high gravity (which I didn't hit).

I had bubbles this morning. By lunch it had ruined a blowoff tube. When I got home, the second tube was full, but with enough room to allow lots of CO2 through. Good enough.

Chalk this one up to a lesson learned.

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