Making the World a Better Place, Five Gallons at a Time

My new Blichmann wind screen. Jealous?
My new Blichmann wind screen. Jealous?

So here we are, two years later. I know, I’m just as surprised as you are. But we are not going to take this opportunity to reminisce down nostalgia lane. We have Things to Discuss. Namely, my first (home) brew day since before Mrs. Mash Tun and I spawned a Mini Mash Tun of our own. It was more fun than I remember and something I hope to do again soon.

Though I’ve been intensively studying brewing for the past six months, I felt a little rusty putting that newfound knowledge to practical use. So we went back to basics on this one to brew a pale ale. Nothing fancy, mind you. Some pale malt, some C-Hops, Safale-05 and I think we can call it a day. Since I couldn’t help myself I threw in about 5% crystal 40, but no more!

While I was pretty set on picking up my default 2-row organic (natch!) pale malt, another bin labeled “Northwest Pale” caught my eye. My LHBS doesn’t post any kind of analysis sheets with the malt and I was too lazy to inquire, but I was feeling feisty and made an executive decision to try it out to the tune of 13 lb.

Brew day went groin-grabbingly well. That is, until the very end when I had a slight hiccup chilling the wort. I thought I was being rather clever by removing my hop filter screen from the kettle in order to better facilitate a kettle whirlpool. Well, not only did my whirlpool fail to whirl as expected, I know have this rather gunky wort that must travel through a plate chiller, of all things en route to my carboy.

So there were a couple of clogs, one instance of unsanitarily blowing back into the kettle outlet tube, and a near face scalding. But other than that everything turned out peachy keen. I’ll be attempting some dry hopping in the next few days and hopefully it will be in the keg by the next homebrew club meeting on 20 Jan.

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