Sunday, July 1, 2012

It didn't take long ...

So I've been in Indiana since Monday and it just felt like it was time to brew.  This afternoon in 100 degree heat, I brewed a recipe that I conceived several months ago, an Indiana Pale Ale (Hoosier Daddy IPA).  I haven't brewed a good old American IPA in years and it just felt like the right first brew here in the Hoosier state.  For my birthday I received a Blichmann Propane Burner, thanks Mom!  Needless to say I was excited to give it a spin.  This was also the first time I have ever brewed outside, which was great (minus the heat).  Cleaning mash tuns and brew pots is ten times easier with a hose versus your kitchen sink.  The burner also came with leg extensions which I completely forgot to install until after the brew was complete.

The only major problem I ran into was during chilling.  As you would imagine the ground water is pretty warm right now.  My immersion chiller was only able to get me down to around 90 degrees.  I had to implement alternative measures to drop down to 68 degrees for yeast pitching.  I decided to fill a number of freezer bags with ice and dunk them in the cooling wort.  I put the ice in the freezer bag since it had not been boiled and I also didn't want to water down my wort.  The risk is that the freezer bags weren't completely sterile and they introduced some sort of contaminant to the cooling wort.  That being said I have used this technique before without any serious repercussions, but it always makes me uneasy.  I managed to hit my target OG of 1.070 almost exactly, however, I wound up with about 4 gallons of wort when everything was said and done.  I must have had more evaporation and loss due to the significant hop schedule than I had expected.

I must say that I really like the Blichmann Burner.  I got the pot heated in half the time as before.  Having never brewed with propane before (previously stove top) I wasn't aware just how must propane is used during a brew day.  I doubt I could get two complete brew days out of a full tank of propane.  Maybe I'll become more efficient with time.

Praying for the end of the heat wave,


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