Monday, January 24, 2005

Is It Monday Already?


Wow, it's Monday already, and I'm sitting here at work, sipping a cup of coffee, trying to get caught up on email, news, and get some coding done. BUT, before that, a quit entry. This weekend seemed like it went non-stop!

Saturday, I woke up all geared-up and ready to brew a batch of beer. I had the idea of waking up 'early' (8/9am,) and getting the brewing done quickly, but as Heather will attest, I say that I'd like to wake up on many brew days. That bed is just far too comfortable to wake up early. :)

We finally all did wake up around 10-ish. Breakfast was had. Coffee was brewed, and drank. I got garbed-up, and went wading through the snow banks in order to drag wood from the pile to the basement. Fires flamed, the house was warmed. Noon rolled by, and I decided I needed to get moving if this beer was ever going to get brewed! I fired up the computer and started doing the final calculations for the recipe.

See, I was originally going to brew a 5+/- gallon batch of brown ale. Err, 'nut brown ale' you call it because I guess calling something a 'brown ale' just sounds like you're brewing a poop-brew. ) My recipe, as I brewed it, isn't available online (yet.) You can find the original recipe I based my recipe upon here. (Basically, I just converted it to all-grain, and swapped a little of the Special-B Malt for Dark (135-165L) Crystal Malt.)

ANYWAY, I _WAS_ going to brew a 5-ish gallon batch. Well, I had a really good yeast culture going of White Labs WLP023 - Burton Ale Yeast that I got from a friend (thanks, Randy!) It's a surprisingly good yeast that I'd brewed with once before that has a really great 'English' character, and as that White Labs page will attest, is well-suited for an English-style brown ale. The thing is, I also had 'rescued' a yeast culture that I put away over a year ago of White Labs WLP001 - California Ale Yeast. Just about any brewer who's worth his salt has used this yeast at least once. It's _the_ 'American' yeast. Clean, crisp, and unlike an English yeast, it's really quite 'clean' for an ale yeast -- very little fruity esters. It accentuates (big word for the day...had to look up how to spell it,) the hops and grains instead of masks them under the yeast characteristics. CRAP Can I actually get to the point? I'll try. So, this yeast that I was sure was dead, came back to life! The starter culture smelled and tasted clean, surprisingly no infection that I could detect, so I just had to use it. So, my point that I was trying to get at? I decided to brew an 8+ gallon batch, and split the batch among the two yeasts, so I needed to scale the recipe up before actually getting started.

While I was deftly tacking away at the keyboard, Heather was getting a grocery list made up. A pretty big one too! It was somewhere in the middle of this that I realized I didn't have Fuggles hops! I was sure I had them. I dug through the freezer upstairs, and the freezer downstairs. No Fuggles hops. CRAP.

"Ok, this isn't a problem, Heather's going into town, I'll go with, pick up the hops I need, no problem!" Except in the back of my head I knew I was already resigning the brew to another day.

With a grocery list like the one Heather had in hand, this wasn't going to be a quick into-town-and-back-home joy ride. Really, the list didn't have that many things on it, but it included at least four separate stops at different stores. That's a pretty good days worth of shopping, and anyone who has/has-had a baby knows it's going to be an even-longer day. And you know how it is when you get into the store: you're going to browse and if you're in a hurry, every obstacle will be in your way. Friends you haven't seen in a while? "Hello!" Long lines? Yup. By the time we got out of Wally-World I was sure I wasn't brewing on Saturday.

I don't think we actually hit the road until about 1:30. I think we got home some time around 6:30, 7:00. Yeesh. But hey! I got a new pair of jeans out of it, and if you know how often I buy new clothes, that's a pretty big deal! Instead of piddling away the rest of the evening, after dinner I got my grain mill, and scale, and went to work on measuring out my grains and crushing them so I wouldn't have to spend the extra time in the morning.

You know what's awesome? Hooking your 14v cordless drill to your grain mill! Holy crap! I can grind grain in no time flat! It's amazing!

Well, anyway, Sunday rolls around. Noah and I wake up, and make breakfast for all three of us. While breakfast is getting prepared, I put my mash water (about 5 gallons) on the stove to heat up. By the time breakfast was done, the mash water is ready, and I mash-in. I decided to try mashing in my 10 gallon GOTT cooler that I picked up at a garage sale this year. This cooler is AWESOME! After an hour-long mash, I was surprised to see that the mash hadn't dropped a single degree! Very cool.

Anyway, to wrap things up....the rest of the brew day was typical, the sparge went fine, the boil went fine, and I ended up with two carboys with about 4.5 gallons of wort in each. I checked this morning on my way to work and both carboys are burpling away like a happy wort-becoming-beer should.

Anyway...I need to get going. I guess I could talk about putting together the treadmill, or the fun I had with Heather and Noah, but yeesh, this post is long enough! I'll talk about that in another post. :)


Heather Poll said...

I love how you make it sound like you were all too happy to get those new jeans darling. Especially when all you ever do is moan and groan about any new clothes I get you.

So don't let him fool you people!! He wasn't very happy about the TWO pairs of jeans I got him. At least not until he tried them on and saw how gorgeous he looks in them. :-D

Jason Poll said...

Hey now, what I'm never happy about is that you buy me new clothes without asking me. Ok, the w/o asking me is fine...I guess...but you buy the new clothes with MY money! Then you try to use the wifely excuse of "it was a SUPER sale, buy-one-get-one!"

I'm rolling my eyes _so_ hard, you can _HEAR_ it. hehehehe.

Shana said...

You two;I I hope this little riff won't last too long. And never tell a woman that buying things on sale is a bad thing. It could be worse, she could have paid full price at an expensive store instead. HE HE HE

Heather Poll said...

Hah!! It wasn't "YOUR" money, it was OUR Christmas money that we were supposed to split. And besides that honey, what's your's is mine and what's mine is mine. hehehe And it was a great sale for very nice jeans.