Thursday, November 16, 2006

Barrel Full of Monkeys…

…more work but as much fun as a barrel full of monkeys

Last night was my brother’s turn at using his recipe to brew our next batch of beer. He chose a modified version of a beer called “A Barrel Full Of Monkeys Oatmeal Stout”.

It was a little more effort than the last couple of batches I’ve made since it was a full grain mash. Eight POUNDS of oatmeal, barley and wheat. Hell the sparging alone took over an hour. The whole process took about 5 and a half hours.

I’m glad my brother chose this recipe, ‘cause it was kind of tricky. Lets put it this way…

The author of the Joy of Brewing, pretty much recognized as the god of home brewing, has a phrase he repeats constantly in his books. Anytime ANYTHING is a little difficult he says “Relax. Have a home brew.” For this recipe, if something isn’t working right he says “Have a home brew, but don’t relax too much, you have to figure out a way to save your mash.”

Even though it was only a one step lauter, there aren’t too many more aspects of brewing that are much more difficult. Basically, when this pans out and is in the glass, we’ll know we can brew anything.

So everything went off without a hitch. Our equipment is now nearing perfect. We have a colander that can hold about 8 pounds of wet grains. We have a propane single burner grill to get our brew-a-boiling, and we have a pot so freaking big it wouldn’t boil over if we were brewing ten gallons instead of five.

This morning when I woke, the primary fermenter was bubbling away showing all the signs of a healthy yeast strain. Little critters turning sugar to alcohol and co2.

Barrel Full of Monkeys Oatmeal Stout will be ready, kegged, put under co2 and chilled in about 15 days.

Within the next week, I’ll be starting up my next brew. I think I’m going to try another variation of an American Pale Ale. Don’t know yet. It needs to be lighter to contrast, which is sure to be, a very hearty stout. However, what this means is we need another quarter barrel, so I can keg my beer when it is ready. In turn, what THAT means is I have to buy a quarter barrel full of beer, which leads us to me saying in the next week or so, stop by and help me drink some beers.


P.S. Brooklyn Hops... my original creation we last brewed.. It was freaking awesome... Sorry I don't think many of you tried it :)


Blogger Linda said...

Do you deliver??? I will be able to have a beer in a few weeks, but not able to drive for three weeks after the new baby comes.

I think brewing is interesting. I like the way it smells. I guess hard work (or mistakes) can sometimes lead to some interesting discoveries in recipe.

Keep me posted. I can live vicariously through you for now!

1:34 PM  
Blogger The Management said...

I'll save you some :) Get that damn kid out of your belly :)

2:48 PM  
Blogger ZooooM said...

God bless you people who "cook". Too many steps, too much preciscion. Your beers sound WONDERFUL!

4:15 PM  
Blogger Chowda said...

Save me a brew. I have to see if this really is an improvement over XXX.

1:00 PM  

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