Tuesday, April 23, 2019

232 ... Blackberry in Bed (Bam-ba-Lam)

I brewed my 232nd batch of beer on Good Friday.

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.

As always, keep an eye on the regular SheppyBrew Channels to see what is happening with beer and other things: SheppyBrew's Facebook Page; Sheppy's Twitter Feed;SheppyBrew's Instagram Page; and SheppyBrew's Website. Of course, don't forget to visit this blog often as well!

Go Avalanche!

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