Part 2

Heroic deeds done amidst uncertainty are all the more imbued with a sense of purpose; the chaos must be torn asunder, left behind and forgotten as the focus is naught but victory… have our heroes reached their purpose, or have though floundered amidst the eruption of their own creation. THE BREWDYSSEY CONTINUES!

Victory! It sparged smoothly and swiftly, no stuck sparge for your heroes today! Feeling much better about ourselves we continued sparging, and sparging and sparging…. Check out how much liquid we ended up with…

All in all we got around 30 litres of good quality beer juice out of the mash tun. This got chucked in the big boiler and boiled for an hour. As we are completely incapable of doing anything simply we decided that, as well as overcomplicating our grain input, we would try a complex hop  regime for this brew:hop list

Normally I would enjoy a good exacting regime of adding measures accurate to the gram to our bubbling potions but in this case it was slightly annoying as it interrupted our game of Blood Bowl team manager (oh look, we’re shamelessly plugging our other pages again… CLICK THIS LINK TO READ OUR REVIEW), the answer to this? Don’t play games when you’re brewing. Concentrate on one thing at a time.

Homebrew - boilingNevertheless, nothing went horribly wrong and all the Hops went in at the right time and the mixture continued to boil vigorously despite my petulance (he literally threw toys out of his pram; the ownership of toys I understand, but I was deeply confused by the adult size pram- Dwalin).

Boiling done it was off to our sophisticated cooling system (my bath, filled with cold water) to bring the pre-beer-liquid-stuff-that-Dwalin-keeps-calling-wort-cos-that’s-it’s-name-but-I-like-his-original-term-beer-juice-more down to a healthy room temperature, ready to receive the yeast.

We had been advised to go big on the yeast (by our head-brewer friend, who we met at the beginning of the brewdyssey all those moons ago, at Late Knights brewery) and had prepared two packets worth in some boiled water which had cooled to a balmy 25’C (ish…) along with some sugar and yeast nutrient, just to get it properly alive and kicking.

After some vigorous aerating of the beer juice (Me and Dwalin shaking the bucket around like a naughty goblin, with the lid on of course…) we introduced the yeast to the juice…

Beer Juice, this is yeast. Yeast, this is beer juice. You two play nicely now.

Looking at the recipe we knew there was going to be a large amount of sugar in there and we had doubled the yeast so, acting with caution, we rigged up a blow off assembly, because if we’d relied on my normal airlocks we figured I’d end up with a beer fountain painting my dwelling an interesting brown colour (this would have resulted in Ms Bifur banning me from ever brewing again and probably hitting me with something heavy too…). We fashioned this from our multi talented siphon tube* (the third use we’ve found for this hard working item) jammed into the top of the brewing bucket, trailing into a second bucket half filled with water. I’m glad we did…

The evening of the brew the mixture started to bubble nicely

The next morning, when I awoke at the crack of dawn (as I do; I’m an early riser. More time for painting!) I came into the Hall of Brewing to find this

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That’s ok, I thought, there’s an amount of foam but there’s still plenty of space. I didn’t think about it until Ms Bifur called me and asked if it was OK that the foam had nearly reached the top of the second vessel.

I, as calmly as I could manage, said “yeah, no worries. Just scoop off a few jugs full to be on the safe side…”. She did and everything was fine but for the rest of the day I had a sense of dread that when I returned from my day of toil my abode would resemble a battlezone involving the Golgotha shit demon from Dogma . Thankfully all was good and the mixture is now bubbling away quietly in a relaxed manner, turning all the sugar into lovely Alcohol.

Next step? A quick dry hop with 11g of Amarillo, 50g of Chinook and 55g of Cascade (yes, everything we had left over…) and then bottling in a a few weeks. Ready to try a few weeks after that…

Here’s hoping its going to taste like the very J of Satan!

* – Our handy siphon tube not only acts in it’s original role,picture on the left, but as the sparging tube, centre left , although occasional this happens when it falls, centre right, and now as the integral part of the blow off mechanism,right.

Needless to say, I’m trying to source some new (cheap) plastic tubing which I can properly secure to the tap on the mash tun… this one’s fallen off twice now and , while amusing, it’s somehow sacrilegious to be pouring perfectly good beer juice on the floor.