Since we moved into this house, almost a year and a half ago, I have only brewed twice. The first time was in April 2008 and despite the hail, rain, snow and cold wind everything went flawlessly. The second time, yesterday, the sun was out and the birds were singing, but the brewing was a little rusty. I did hit the numbers pretty well though, so the beer should turn out just fine.
First I realized that I didn’t have enough Special B malt so I had to make a quick change to the original recipe. The best I could do under the circumstances was to add in some Cara-crystal. Its a bit lighter in color but flavor wise would give me what I want. After that mistake I proceeded with the mash. I doughed-in and undershot my target temp but only by 1/2 degree celsius. Good enough for me. Run off went very well and fast. As soon as the runoff hit the kettle I turned on the burner. Kettle filling up and temperature rising. Standing there I was thinking, “what a beautiful day, hey what is that sound?” Well, thats the sound of a propane burner running out of propane. So I got out my reserve tank and fired it up… for 30 seconds. Oh yeah, my reserve tank is empty. Damn. Fortunately I have a pretty understanding wife who allowed me to take the extremely heavy and near boiling kettle into the house to do the boil. I was a little worried that the small gas stove would have trouble boiling 25 liters of wort. Fortunately it worked out great! Good hot break and nice boil. Even chilling worked out well. I ran the garden hose into the kitchen to the immersion chiller and the return into the kitchen sink. Chilled quickly, took a hydrometer sample, drained into the bucket (I’ve decided to go back to buckets), aerated and pitched the yeast. Target OG was 1.076 but my OG was 1.072. The difference was due to the different boil-off rate on the kitchen stove compared to my burner outside. The T-58 yeast took off quickly. I’ll llet it do its thing for 2 weeks and then I will rack to a glass carboy and pitch the Wyeast Lambic blend.
In the future, I will be more organized and take more photos of the process to post here.