Brewing at Clementine Cottage

About a month ago, I allowed myself to finally brew. After weeks and weeks and weeks of nonstop yardwork, I decided to take an afternoon to make some beer. Because I like beer. And I love to make beer. Which may have been hinted at once or twice on my little blog.

Since this would be my first all-grain batch, I came up with a brilliant system. Heat water on the propane-fueled burner, mash in the tun on the shelf, release the wort from the mash tun, and sparge. Easy peasey, right? Bwahahahaha.

After I paced around the scary propane tank for about an hour, reading the nasty warnings about "blowback" (what the hell does that mean? And if it incinerates my house, will my homeowner's insurance cover it?), I lit it up, and got my water to a full rolling boil. Once it was back down to the appropriate temperature, for whatever reason, I decided to bring the mashtun down from the shelf, fill it with water, add the grain, and then lift it back onto the shelf. I did not think this through. 6.5 gallons of water plus 12 pounds of grain equals about 64 pounds. Strong though I am, this is simply not an amount of weight I can handle to lift above chest height. So, it sat on the deck until it was time to strain.

And then it piddles off the side of the deck into the kettle
So, because Brew Day One was a little stressful, just getting the process down, I did not take a gravity reading. Nor did I for Brew Day Two (a Saison with lavender and orange peel). But tomorrow is Brew Day Three: Thai Gose, made with Sriracha salt, plus additions of fresh lemongrass, Thai basil, ginger, and Kefir lime leaves (all in the secondary, except the salt, which will go in the primary). This time I will take a gravity reading.

Cheers, and have beautiful weekend!