Today was National Homebrew Day and I celebrated by brewing. I went over to Andy’s place and brewed a batch. All together we brewed three different batches. Andy, Brian and Word brewed the Saison Du Mont and SS Minnow Mild Ale recipes from the American Homebrewers Association. I brewed a batch of Irish Red Ale called “Better Red Than Dead Ale” that was featured in Zymurgy in the March/April 2009 issue. The Mild Ale was a 5 gallon extract batch. The Saison was a 10 gallon all-grain batch and the Irish Red was an all-grain batch. The brewing went well, but it was a miserable day weather-wise. I think that it rained all day. I setup on Andy’s back patio underneath my canopy. This kept the bulk of the rain off of me and out of the brew pot, but I have had better brewing days.
I’m not sure how many people that we had come through, but it seemed to be quite a crowd. I think that we had most of the brew club come through at one point or another. I got started with my batch a little after 10:00 am and finished about 4:00 pm. Over all just a little longer brew day that normal, but not by much. It is just a little tough to have to haul your entire brew kit over to someone else’s place and setup.
Andy and Brian really liked the mash rake that Tina bought for me. It really helped during dough-in to break up any of the dough balls in the mash. Andy said that he was going to order one for himself. After working with my mash tun I think that it is time to upgrade the coolers from my current 5 gallon size to a 10 gallon size. My batch today was only about 11 lbs of grain. My mash tun was completely full once I had all of the grain and mash water in it. My only other option would be to brew smaller batches than the standard 5-6 gallon size. That might be a good idea anyway.
Today’s batch batch measured in at 14.8 Brix (1.060 S.G) when I pitched the yeast. This is higher than the recipe specified, but I think that this is because I have less boil volume than what was called for. My volume was 5 gallons. The recipe target was 13.4 Brix (1.053 S.G.) for 6 gallons.