Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Back in the desert!

Since the last post, a lot has been going on with the brewery, but not much to show for it.  For a brief spell, the brewery was located to Chicago where small batch brewing was tried.

Here's the breakdown on that...

Chicago does have a fine brew store that is close to the Loop.  Brew and Grow has a huge retail space, just west of the Loop with ample parking.  Since we were brewing in an apartment, we switched to 3 one gallon carboys to brew a half-5 gallon recipe. The first recipe was a simple wheat beer to test the capabilities.  We brewed using a 2 gallon stock pot and it took some careful agility to get the wort separated into the 3 jugs and to get the yeast split as evenly as we could. 

After the primary fermentation, we bottled one of the gallon jugs, cleaned that out and hopscotch transferred into an unused empty clean jug.  The 2 secondary jugs got bottled a bit later.  Both sets of bottles turned out quite nicely.

We contemplated brewing a lager to take advantage of the Chicago winter on our balcony, but there was not any consistency to the temperature over the winter (it was around 60F when we threw out our Christmas tree.  In early January.)

Our second attempt we did a Belgian style and taught friends how to brew.  We did the same method of bottling one gallon to make room for secondary transfer and that batch turned out pretty good.  Unfortunately, the secondary batch got infected and was pretty bad.

Soooo, back in the desert now and we were able to brew two full five gallon batches a few Saturdays ago.  The larger kitchen and access to all the equipment makes things a lot easier.  Sanitation was probably overdone, but after the last batch, there was extra vigilance.

More on the two brews currently carbonating in the next post.


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