Coming up in the brewery

The next few weeks in the home brewery are going to be busy. There are a lot of things to do, and keeping track of them all is going to be something of a juggling act.

  • Batch #9, the first 5 gallons of Craig's 37 for Brewfest, is currently in the secondary fermenter. I had problems with the false bottom in the mash tun again, so apparently I didn't fix it properly last time. I have purchased more hardware and am planning to implement three separate measures:
    1. Add stainless steel hex head bolts as standoffs to support the false bottom
    2. Add a perforated piece of copper tubing below the outlet elbow in the false bottom to hold it up off the bottom (interestingly, another member of the Lawrence Brewers Guild independently recommended this in response to a query on the Homebrew Digest mailing list)
    3. As an "all-else-fails" measure, cut slots in the copper outlet tube from the false bottom to the bulkhead fitting
  • We're having a mini block party Memorial Day weekend, and one of my neighbors asked if I'm bringing any homebrew. Since he's a Macrobrew drinker, I decided to brew a batch of something similar. To make my life easier, I decided to try one of the no-boil kits from Brew King. I chose the Canadian Pilsner as a trade-off between what I think my neighbors will drink and what I'm willing to make 5 gallons of. :-) It was very easy; the pre-hopped wort comes in a plastic bag, and you just pour it into the fermenter with about 3 gallons of water and pitch your yeast. I chose to pitch the yeast cake from Batch #9 (WLP029); the description for this strain mentions a "slight sulfur" production, which in this case is an understatement. Fortunately, it has dissipated three days after pitching.
  • Big Brew is next Saturday. We're making the IPA recipe, and using a new oak barrel for secondary fermentation. Primary will probably take two weeks, so I think I'm going to need to purchase an additional fermenter.
  • I need to start Batch #10, the second 5 gallons of Craig's 37 for Brewfest, sometime soon. I'm going to boost the hops just a little; Batch #9 tastes a little low.