Friday, August 28, 2009

brewing again

Okay - so I've moved to a new place.

I have a yard, which means I have some outdoor space to do constructive and destructive things.

It's time to get serious about brewing. Really serious.

Over the course of the past 7 years (gees, has it been that long?) I've been content with stovetop partial mash brewing. My fitful attempts at full mash brewing have been less than adequate. Hell - even in my most recent partial mash brew I achieved less than total conversion of the grain component. I had no extra extract to throw in, so I had to adjust the gravity by adding less than the total 5 gallons of water that my recipe originally called for... tragic, but probably better than risking a really weak beer. As it is, this is an Irish red ale, which will be considerably lower gravity than the Belgian style ales that I've been brewing most recently.

Assuming I get close to perfect attenuation for the yeast strain I got (which isn't guaranteed - I didn't cultivate this strain) I'll end up with an ABV around 5.2%. Good enough for beer, but nowhere near the 9-15% that I've been cooking up with the past few batches.

But beer isn't all about the alcohol..

So - I'm designing a HERMS (Heat Exchanged Recirculating Mash System) - but find myself wondering if I should be investing in a brewery, or just get a burner and do some 10 gallon full mash brews in the yard first and invest in a kegerator instead..

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