Adventures in Homebrew – Three-beer Day, 4/21/2012

Homebrew Idiots

Homebrew Idiots

This past Saturday Jeff and Bill and I set out to brew the three joint beers I mentioned last week. I┬ásay set out because… for the first time ever, we had a total brewing fail.

The day started smoothly enough. First up was the Ahtanum Brown. I don’t have any of the recipes on me, but for the most part, this is a standard brown using a combination of pellet and leaf hops, exclusively Ahtanum as per the recipe requirements. Looked, smelled, and tasted good going into the fermenter.

Meanwhile, the ingredients for the Platinum were steeping away in the mashtun. This was the first time Bill and I had used flaked rice or corn adjunct, that I recall. I know I never have in a personal brew. Not sure about Jeff. But we did not account for/were not prepared for the sludge that stuff would create. Our sparge was stuck pretty much from the start, and no amount of effort would get it flowing. We tried everything. And kept trying. As you can see, even with the valve wide open, nothing. What did come out was nice and pale, and within SRM spec, though! All 2-3 pints of it.

Platinum Ale

Platinum Ale

While this was going on, the THIRD beer we started, the Black IPA, had already caught up and had been run off into the boilpot. Everything was right on target there too. It’s a completely different recipe from our award-winning Black IPA, but the part that’s got me intrigued the most is the special twist we put on the fermenting. Can’t wait to taste this one on rack-down to secondary.

I had to leave for the Urban Roots event at Brown’s, but the guys kept working on the rescue. To no avail. I texted Bill later, and the verdict was in: compost.

Oh well. Jeff is going to do some more research and try to brew it on his system, and I may try to make a beer within these specs on my own too. If I miss the color, oh well, throw it in a keg and have a nice summer beer.

But still. Our first total failure in 6+ years of brewing? We’ll take that track record.