The day of rapture is upon us!* No better time than now to brew a beer – hopefully, I’ll still be around to enjoy it after it’s fermented!
One of the bonuses of being a scientist is that you can occassionally come across an unwanted laboratory item that can be re-purposed and utilized in the brewery. This was the case with the scale I use to weigh by base malts because it has a larger area for weighing and can handle larger amounts of grain than what I use for specialty malts and hops. The only unfortunate thing is that it will only weigh in kilograms which isn’t a big deal because I have a conversion app on my phone and it’s always easy to use Google for such a thing. Plus, I’m single-handedly trying to overthrow The Stonecutters. Today, though, it kind of bit me in the butt. I thought my base malt was 9 pounds (in actuality, the total brew was 9 pounds with the base just being 7.5 pounds), so I converted that and then weighed out the 4.08 kg of pale malt – only to realize my mistake after I had crushed the grain and was preheating the mash tun. Oh well, I guess this beer will be a little stronger than planned…maybe more of a ESB, then just a Best Bitter. I did add an extra hop addition to hopefully keep the balance between malt and hops.
My original plan was to FWH with the Simcoe’s and then bitter with some Centennials followed by a finish with Centennials. With the extra gravity I added another charge of Centennials at 30 minutes to increase the bitterness. Of course, it may not have been necessary seeing how fragrant all the hops were, but especially the Simcoe. Fortunately, when weighing out hops, I have a scale that reads in both metric and English (though I typically weigh out in grams because it seems a little more accurate than weighing in ounces on this scale).
I did overshoot my gravity by about 10 points. Also, I ended up with only about 4 gallons in the fermenter because I had trouble with the siphoning from the kettle again. For whatever reason my kettle diptube clogs even with only 2.5 ounces of hops in the kettle. I’ve been slowly collecting the parts to set up my March pump, so that I can whirlpool my wort during chilling and pump the wort into the fermenter without moving the kettle.
Otherwise, the brew day went pretty well and I wasn’t raptured – even the yeast were not raptured and started fermenting the wort in under 12 hours.
* – Apparently, the rapture has been moved to October 21, 2011 – better drink up!