Sunday, June 28, 2009

Random Sundries and Minutiae

The only thing that broke so far today was the swans neck on the pump at the left (is that pump #6 or pump #1?). Perhaps we were all letting our enthusiasm getting away with us when faced with the task of dispensing a pint of That Dark Beer. Anyway, a quick substitution from one of the two traveling pumps and we were on our way. I suspect a quick trip to the local welder, if he can be found, will make it all like new.

I had briefly toyed with the idea of traveling to England, sitting at the bar at the Woolpack, and waiting for Mr. Simpson to bring his van of bar bits round so I could purchase a replacement. After all, I had pulled in almost the Oregon minimum wage yesterday working the bar the entire day, pocketing $85 in cold cash money. Begone, wishful thinking - I'll just treat myself to some gasoline and an eggie and coffee at the Trailhead, and leave off trips abroad until I'm flush with cash and all six of my real ale pubs are in jolly happy running order.

The mild in fermenter number one was not broke today. It looked just about right for turning on the chiller, so casking up should be Monday. This is a remake of La'al Rye'un that was brewed back in December, but this time it broke - in the mash. I had been messing with the grinder to try to break up the grain a little finer, and I think I went too far. Up until this batch the mill was turning out a few unsplit grains, so I thought I'd just tighten it up a little. Too much, apparently, because the increase in the amount of dust coupled with the 20 lbs. of rye must've conspired to create a bed of glue in the bottom of the mash tun. It took a good long time, and a lot of sediment, to get the copper full. O.G came out at 1.033 instead of the 1.036 in the last batch. Smells nice, though, and I'll be giving it a taste soon when I get it all tucked away into the casks.

A gentleman who had been down here in the fall, fly fishing, was back last night. He has close connections with a hop farm up North, and he said the crops look good this year. The prices have declined a bit, which will be enormously helpful, as I'm starting to run low on my stash. Hops are much harder to come by for a little brewery like mine, as I can't carry a contract, so I will be having to knock on a lot of back doors. I may be able to acquire a bail or two in August if I drive up to get them. Trouble is, they won't be vacuum packed and I will need to figure out a way to preserve them for several months. Also, a bail is 200 lbs. and I have limited storage space. Necessity is the mother of.... etc.

Now it's time to go fix a motorcycle. No Harley jokes, please.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I have a vac packing machine. It sucks.

I split my hops into 1kg packs and reseal.