Sunday, November 17, 2013

A Brand New Day

Or, perhaps, "another day, another brew."  But neither one quite fits.

The first brew day at the new place occurred yesterday.  I had to purchase a new mash paddle, as the old one went walkabout at some point during the move; this required calibrating the markings on it. (I've got marks for half-gallons and gallons up to ten, from the base of my 10-gallon kettle, on the mash paddle.  This makes for easy volume determinations...)  This, in turn, meant that I ended up starting almost an hour late--and, what with being out of practice, and doing things in a new location, it went longer than I would necessarily have liked otherwise.  Still, beer was made.

My planned brew was an Altbier.  I managed to miss pretty much every number I was trying for (mash temp, initial volume, final volume, gravity, etc.); in the end, beer was made.

I think that part of the reason for the low efficiency/original gravity was due to a poor crush from my LHBS; I've got a new mill (the old one was damaged in a fall shortly after my last brew day, just over 2 years ago), but I don't have it mounted yet--I'm debating whether to try to find a table, or to just build one--I'm leaning in the latter direction.  I'm also debating whether to go with a pulley system similar to what I had before, or move to a direct-drive; in this case, I'm leaning towards the former.  (Each has its pros and cons; in this case, it's probably better to stick with what I know.)

Still, lessons were learned: try to find (or build!) a manifold with quick-disconnects for the various water supply requirements (filling the HLT, going through the chiller, cleaning up)--switching between them is less than ideal; go back to the crush at my old LHBS (or, failing that, build a new mill-stand); work on/in BeerSmith to personalize my gear profile, to better model how things should/would run. 

The next brew day will be in early December, and I can't wait!

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