25 reed moon 2012
First brew at Solis Thoor, brewed with the water I stored for emergency as Hurricane Sandy approached. The owl did not show up, so the gravity is low, but as the wort hit the boil, hail fell from the sky. Does that make it an Ice beer?
- 10 lb 2-row pale malt
- 1 lb roasted barley
- 1 lb crystal malt 90L
- 1 oz UK Northdown ( 7.9% Alpha)- 120 minutes
- Hedgerow hops grown on the south side of the Thoor. Unknown variety, unknown quantity, unknown alpha units – 60 minutes
- White Labs Irish Ale yeast
- 16 qts + Solis Thoor well water, mash seemed a bit thin
- Mash in. 130F. 30 minute protein rest
- Raised to 150 for a two hour + sach rest
- Sparged with ~ 7 gallons well water
- new sparge setup in the garage. Needs some fine tuning, but it worked much better than my old system at the cabin. The sparge went much quicker with a good flow from the higher bucket.
2.5 hour boil with Northdown hops added about 45 min after the wort broke a rolling boil. Hail started to fall, but since I wanted to reduce volume, I put no cover on the pot. I added the homegrown hedgerow hops an hour later.
Starting gravity: 1.060 with a full 6 gallons volume
Made a yeast started on brew day and pitched the next day (Mon.) morning. By the time I got home in the evening, the beer was in a vigorous fermentation. Recently, I have been using a 6.5 gallon carboy for the primary ferment, since it allowed enough space that I really didn’t need a blow off tube. But, I left the 6.5 full of water outside and it froze and cracked. A sad loss. Therefore, I had to use a 6 gal with a blow off tube for this one.
As night came on, the foam was pouring through the blow off tube. I fixed a new jug of water to it before retiring, and positioned the carboy at the base of the winding stair, but when I woke at 04:00, it seemed to be ominously quiet below. I went down to check, and found the jug full and foaming over, so I set up a new jug for it.
As of this morning (Tues), it has settled into a steady pulse. The rhythm of life.
I would like the gravity a little lower, but want to get it in kegs. it will either ferment out further or not. One adds sugar anyway (or malt anyway). I filled my new 2.5 gallon keg. It seems well constructed and I like the size. The little 1.3 gal minikegs I have been using don’t last long at a party.
On the other end of the stability spectrum, I also filled two Tap-A-Draft bottles, which I bought because I was having trouble finding the minikegs. These things are flimsy plastic, and do not inspire confidence at all. And if that were not enough, the bottoms (when standing up to fill it) are rounded. Who the fook thought of that? We’ll see how it goes. But I think I will pick up another 2.5 and some of the minikegs.