I haven’t brewed any beer for 6 weeks as I’ve been busy with the holidays and planning the new brewery in the basement. On Wednesday I made a starter to brew a lager for the first time, a Doppelbock. The pump I bought over a week ago finally arrived so I got to use it for the first time.
I got a late start, didn’t start until after 1pm. I was also baby-sitting Havana and Eva while Gay took Hudson to a birthday party, which slowed me down. Havana helped me stir the mash a little, but her little arms weren’t strong enough once all the grain was in. I finished after 7pm, in the dark, and missed dinner with the kids. I hit an OG of 1.086 exactly as planned and I kept the mash tun in the house this time to keep the temperature more constant, which should help with getting proper attenuation as my beers tend to attenuate too highly.I pitched the yeast and aerated the wort after 8pm and made it upstairs in time to read a bedtime book to Hudson. It was a long day but the pump made my life a little easier, not having to do as much heavy-lifting. And I’m sick of carrying all the equipment outside and back inside. The permanent brewery setup in the basement will be appreciated.
On Thursday I kegged the Barleywine I brewed July 26, 2012 and has been aging since August 15, 2012, over 5 months. I’ve never aged a beer this long and wasn’t sure that I could be that patient. Waiting was easier than I thought, I had forgotten about it with all the other beers I was brewing. I’m confident I could oak-age an imperial stout for a year or a sour beer for 2 years. It should be carbonated in a week and then I’ll bottle it. It was my 7th all-grain batch I’ve ever brewed and was still getting my process down and did something wrong with the mash and ended up with a low efficiency. The OG was only 1.077 so it’s only about 8% ABV. It tastes good, but the lower alcohol level is noticeable (although not a bad thing – I have way too many big beers around here!).