232nd all-time. 7th of the year. 1st of the quarter.
Sadly, my closest home-brew shop is closing. While I was in there looking for going-out-of-business deals, I saw they had some Blackberry puree and flavoring.
The Beer Model had mentioned that she thought a Blackberry Beer would be good, so I decided to snag the puree and flavoring.
I also picked up a new 15 gallon brew kettle pretty cheap from the closing shop. Friday was the first brew day for my new bigger pot.
Because I had a much bigger pot, I decided to do a 7 gallon batch this time to take advantage of the extra capacity.
I considered a few names. Most had to do with song lyrics.
"Back in Blackberry" was a strong possibility ... derived by AC/DC's "Back in Black".
I almost named it "Never Go Back".
I went with "Blackberry in Bed" after listening to the Squeeze song "Black Coffee in Bed". I have fond memories of college days drinking and listening to that song with friends.
For the recipe, I went with my standard "Summer Lovin" base. I'll add the puree in secondary and the flavoring at kegging time. The formula works for me. I don't really have any reason to change it up.
Brew day went well. I got started really early, getting up at 4:00am and getting the mash going by a little after 4:30.
After getting the mash started, I left to hit the gym and get a workout in. Because of this, I had an extended mash.
I was heating up sparge water by 7:25.
The bigger brew pot is too heavy for me to easily lift and pour water straight into the mash tun. I had to modify my process a bit ... putting the kettle on the table and letting it drain into the tun.
I might have to think about investing in a brew sculpture and / or pump system.
My sparge was interrupted for another workout (if you know what I mean). The beer wasn't in the kettle until after 8:30.
Anyway ... my pre-boil gravity was just a touch low, but not enough to worry about. 1.036 vs the planned 1.038.
The boil was going by 8:45.
One awesome thing about the new kettle is that it is so much bigger than needed, so I don't have to be careful about boil-overs. The old tiny 8 gallon kettle was always very close to the brim even on 5 gallon batches. I always used fermcap and was extremely careful to watch the pot.
As you know ... a watched pot never boils.
The boil was fairly uneventful. I got my hop additions in at the correct times. I didn't have to worry about boil-over when adding hops.
I was chilling the wort by 9:45. I was down to mid-60's by 10:30.
The bigger volume of water doesn't cool as quickly as the smaller kettle did. I might have to address that as well.
I filled my fermenter through the kettle port rather than racking. Not sure if I'll keep this or not. It does let more trub material into the fermentation. I know it will settle, but it looks pretty cloudy and ugly.
My OG was a bit high at 1.048 (1.045 was expected). No big deal, but I might adjust my evaporate rate for the bigger kettle.
I had the yeast pitched by 10:40 and clean up was done before 11:30.
The Beer Model went out to lunch.
While at lunch, The Beer Model asked if I had a name for the beer yet. I'm not sure where she's been all this time, but I always have beer names before I brew.
She told me she thought it should be named ... something like ...
"Whoa, Black Berry Bam-ba-Lam" ...
I might not have that quite right, but something like that.
Too bad she didn't suggest it before the beer was named.
Anyway ... the beer is fermenting away.
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