Monthly Archives: March 2013

Back to the Brewhouse

And here we are again.

Grand River Brewing called me back to do some more brewing for them. I take on the role of second brewer on their double brew days. The head brewer, Rob Creighton, or his assistant, Zach, takes the first brew of the day starting early. I come in midday and take on the second half of the batch. It’s two actual brews but because the boil kettle is half the size of the fermenter they have to do two runs of the same brew to max out the fermenter.

I’ll be in for a refresher training day tomorrow to shadow Rob and then just about on my own for the next couple of days. Next week I will be totally on my own as Rob and Zach are away at a conference. That means the double brew day is stretched over two days. It also means I’m wholly responsible for the brew. :O There’s not much different from one half to the next except for yeast management on the first half. That’s generally been Rob’s domain but out of necessity will have to be turned over to me.

After next week we just go week by week. Scheduling will be pretty random but Rob is super flexible with working around my other life as a bass trombonist. If it happens that I have orchestra services on a day he wants to brew, he will generally shuffle things around to accommodate that. Fabulous!

And also on the plus side, I can buy some hops now with the bit of extra cash! šŸ˜€

Just in time

Just in time for St. Patrick’s day, my most recent stout is on tap! It’s a Maris Otter-based oatmeal stout with some cocoa thrown into the mash for a bit of extra chocolate flavour.

I’ve done a couple of stouts before on my own and felt them to be a bit thin and astringent. This one I deliberately attempted to counter that and mash-in a bit higher than my normal. For this batch I hit a temp of between 156F and 157F for some extra body.

Nailed it!

2013-03-17 20.13.48

“Happy Pils” and “MO stout“. It’s what’s on tap…

Done with filtration

Well, I took another stab at filtration. This time before running the beer through the filter I decided to try it with just water. I used boiled and cooled water to soak the pads in, assembled the filter and cycled the boiled/cooled water through the entire system. Tasted the water at first pass and got all the soapy goodness from the last time I used the unit. Let it run to flush through the pads and tasted again. Same.

These were new, in-package pads designed specifically for the filter. At $2.99 for a set I’m definitely done with using the unit for filtration and will only use it for transfers as I can bypass the filter pad/plate section.

It’s a bit of a drag but no huge loss. I have a fridge for cold crashing and I use gel in addition. It just would have been nice to filter the beer on the way into the keg saving a day or so of gel/cold crash.

Oh well.

My “Happy Pils” and a chocolate oatmeal stout called “One Stout Named MO”. It’s what’s on tap…