Thursday, May 09, 2019

Big Brew Day 2019

You may remember from "Overnight Cook" that the 2019 AHA Big Brew Day was last Saturday (May the 4th be with You).

You might also remember that we were hosting this year.

We invited our homebrewing friends "Doc" and "Du" and each of them brought along their wives to "assist".

The Beer Model and I also invited quite a few non-homebrewers who were interested in learning about the brewing process.

Or at least were interested in drinking and eating while we homebrewed.

We had no idea how many people would end up showing up, but we were prepared to feed a small army. Between the pulled pork and some smoked mac & cheese, and other various snacks, we had food covered.

Luckily, Saturday's weather was perfect.

Our friend "Doc" decided to brew a partial-mash Yuengling Amber Lager clone. Our friend "Du" decided to brew a Mexican Lager.

I decided to have my first 10 gallon brew day, and split the batch into 2 fermentors. The first fermentor would be a Blood Orange Saison. The second would be a Mango Pale Ale.

I'm not sure whether to call this one batch (#233) or if I should call it two batches (#233 and #234). Sometime before I brew next, I'll figure it out.

Shortly before my guests arrived, I started heating my strike water on my back patio. 

"Du" showed up a little after 10 AM with his equipment. He set up in the garage with his "Robobrew". He needed to plug into our drier outlet, and the garage is closer to the drier than the patio is.

"Doc" showed up a little later and set up on my patio. His recipe was a partial mash with a 60 minute boil, so he was immediately ahead of both me and Du.

Between playing host and checking up on the progress of the other two and drinking beer, somehow I was able to get my brew day steps done.

The mash went well, although I totally forgot to set a timer, so I really know if I mashed longer or shorter than I planned.

The mash tun was VERY full.

First wort came out clear without any sort of vorlauf. My boil kettle volume was right on, but I didn't take a pre-foil gravity.

Getting to a boil took longer with more wort.

I only had one hop addition. I think I got that in right at the 60 minute mark, but I might just not be remembering.

I remembered to get smoked mac and cheese on the smoker at about the right time.

A little before lunch, more people showed up. I gave them a run down of the beers. Doc and Du talked to them about the brewing process. I think Doc engaged people to assist.

At lunch I shredded up pulled pork, and put the mac and cheese out for consumption.

More people showed up. Some brought food. Some brought gifts. I made sure everyone who wanted beer knew what was on tap and how to get it.

People ate. People talked. People laughed. People brewed. People watched us brew.

I'm disappointed that I didn't take more pictures showing more of the people or even Du's and Doc's setup. Note to self for next time.

Both Doc and Du started chilling before me. My 10 gallon batch took a long time to chill. But, we ate and drank and didn't worry too much about it.

Eventually everyone left except the brewers. Then, the brewers left. I finally got my batch split into 2 fermentors and yeast pitched.

The saison started up quicker, but both were going strong fairly soon. The saison really slowed down after basically 1 day of fermentation, and is still attenuating, but the gravity is falling very slowly. I think the pale ale is about done.

Not sure when I'll be adding puree. I expect sometime next week.

At some point, we'll be getting back together to try all these beers.

I reported 20 gallons brewed to the AHA. I suspect my actual volume of beer will be a little less than 10 gallons, but close enough. I'm not sure exactly how many people showed up. I'm thinking at least 20 over the course of the day. Maybe a few more than that.

I'll let you know how my beers turn out ... 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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