I haven’t posted about my brewing activities in a while. When I last posted I had done my first batch in my Mash & Boil. I’ve done six more batches since then.
I’ve been pleased with the Mash & Boil. The main drawback being that it takes a while to raise the temperature. So, when you’re trying to get up to a temperature to mash your grains or boil your wort it can take a while. A friend recommended using a bucket heater, which is used to heat buckets of water for livestock in the winter to keep the water from freezing. With that in place the brew day goes much quicker.
The other drawback ended up being solved. I brewed a Russian Imperial Stout that used quite a few hops. And the pump on the unit stopped working. I believe it was jammed by some hop material. Yes, I should have used some sort of hop spider or something to keep the hops contained. But I hadn’t had problems before, so I forgot that I should have done so with a heavily hopped brew. It didn’t impact the actual brew, but I did need to get the pump working again before my next brew. So, I called and then emailed the manufacturer. They emailed me back, but by then I had solved the problem by a combination of pouring cleaning solution down the outlet of the pump and turning the unit upside down a few times. Their email also suggested blowing and sucking on the outlet and then instructions on how to take the unit apart to clear the jam if that didn’t work.
So, I’m happy with the unit. I feel like overall I’m getting better quality with my brews and have a more consistent process. When the Corona virus settles down enough that homebrew competitions start again I’ll enter some brews and see how I do. That’s the true feedback. Family and friends are good, but on top of not being expert judges they’re going to be polite and not tell you if your beer is bad.
My next batch is going to be an Amber Ale. I’m monkeying around with the recipe and have most of the grains and hops that I need. And I have to decide what yeast to use. Then the tough part. I’ll have to come up with a name. I think anything with “waves of grain” has been done. At this point I’m leaning towards Zelazny’s Amber Ale and fellow science fiction nerds will know why.
Tim Kane's memories, musings and updates.