Sunday, January 11, 2009

The bock is done!

I said right in the title that one purpose of this blog is to learn from my mistakes, so instead of describing the whole brewday in detail, I'll just tell you what I did wrong.
  1. Didn't have the right ingredients on hand. I ended up brewing something different than I had planned. (Traditional bock vs. Maibock)
  2. Didn't stir the mash well enough before attempting to adjust the temperature. I checked the mash temp and it was around 160F--I panicked because I thought all my enzymes were starting to denature! I knew my strike water was a little warm, but the mash tun ws coming up from the 50F basement, and I wanted to mash fairly high, so I thought I would be fine. I added cold water to the mash to compensate. Once I did this, I stirred thoroughly and came up with 144F. There was no way I dropped it 16 degrees, meaning that my original temperature wasn't 160F--I just measured a hotspot. Since the mash tun was full, I couldn't add more hot water and I ended up doing a decoction to bring the mash temperature up, which is what you're actually supposed to do for this style. My efficiency was a bit higher than normal with this method too--85%, so it worked out ok.
  3. Didn't have my fermenters cleaned and sanitized by the time I was ready to fill them. I usually do this during the mash or boil, but with the decoction going on, I didn't have time to do it during the mash. Also, I thought a friend was coming over to help brew, so I wasn't that concerned that I only had one fermenter ready to go. I had to rack my superbowl stout from a carboy to a keg, and clean and sanitize it. It added a lot of time to my brewday.
  4. I didn't want to have frozen hozens, so I didn't use my immersion chiller outside. I figured there is an almost unlimited snow on the ground now, so I would draw off about 4 gallons of wort in another pot, and chill it in a snowbank. I would then bring the brewpot with the rest of wort inside, and chill it with the chiller hooked up to the kitchen sink. Well, the snowbank chilling method isn't very fast, and bringing up hoses and connecting up the adapters to the kitchen sink is a big pain in the ass. Also, my brew pot with 8 gallons of wort in it is still very heavy. More work and more time added to the brewday.
  5. I didn't use hopsocks, so of course I clogged the screen on my brewpot. More PITA, more time.

But it's all done now. I've got about 11.5 gallons of bock fermenting. Plus I made about 4 gallons of an ale on the stove with the 3rd runnings from the lauter tun with some malt extract added to up the O.G. (I didn't want to wait 3 months for the lager to be done).

I'm beat now, and have to get ready for a potluck dinner. (I'm bringing homebrew). I'll post the recipe(s) tomorrow.

1 comment: