I'm back after a short brewing hiatus. After getting 4 batches ready in 2 weeks for an event at my gym, and my birthday party, I was ready to take a few weeks off from brewing. Although, between planning our wedding, looking for a new job, and starting a new job, a few weeks turned into a couple months.
Alas, here we are, with an empty kegerator, and beer to be made =) Today I'm brewing 10 gallons of a bastardized California Common. I'm using Cali Ale yeast rather than the typical San Francisco Lager yeast, as I'm lazy, and the Cali Ale yeast will come in handy for my next batch. Additionally, my friend Kiernan is looking to get started homebrewing, so he is going to split a couple 10 gallon batches with me to get the hang of it.
I won't get into too many details about the beer, as I'll post all that when the beer is actually done. Instead, here are a few pictures and notes from the very hot July brew day.
I started off fairly early (7am) in hopes of finishing before it gets really hot. For those that haven't been watching the news, it's been brutally hot here in Phoenix. Apparently the average temperature this June was the hottest on record. Anyway, coffee helped fight off the yawns, and I got going.
Took this picture in the shade at 8:15 in the morning. As I said, it was hot. Add to that a little humidity from the thunderstorms the night before, and I was drenched in sweat by the time I was mashed in.
I'm sticking with the traditional Steam beer flavors on this one. Here's the 15min and flameout additions of Northern Brewer. It has a nice woody and minty smell to me.
The worst part of brewing in this weather is chilling 10 gallons down. My hose water is at a tepid 89* right now, so it took roughly 30lbs of ice, and 30 minutes of recirculating to chill this to the low 60s.
I'll definitely admit, I was a little out of sync on the brew. Not that anything went wrong, but everything just took a little longer. I had a number of those "what was I just doing?" or "how do I normally connect these hoses?" moments. I can definitely say, the more often I brew, the easier brewing is, and the more carefree my brew days are.
Nonetheless, everything went smooth, and here's 10 gallons rocking away in my fermenting fridge. As those that have checked my temperature monitor page will notice, things are back in the low 60s rather than the ambient temperature in my garage (which has been near 110* lately.).
So that's all for now. Expect to see a post on this beer in a couple weeks, and some Pliny the Elder goodness a week or two after that. Cheers!