And Then I Made More Beer

It’s been a week since the first batch was made and put in the corner to ferment and now the desire to try again has struck us. Throwing caution to the wind, Theo and I have set out to make another batch of brew, but this time we’re buying more supplies!

First up we need another carboy. But we aren’t stopping there, we are going all in and will use a wort chiller. Since this was just about the longest part of the operation we will get a huge time savings by using one.

Our second batch of beer will be an Irish Red. Yes we do have a tendency to stick to the darker beers. We felt slightly more confident this time around, but we did have a tiny blowout that took the wind out of sails. Our kettle boiled over so who knows what that did to the flavor. It wasn’t a huge amount of liquid, but it could have been that all the good stuff just escaped.

The big excitement was using the wort chiller. Nothing says fun like using copper tubing in the South. I tell you what though, that thing works like magic! We powered it by the use of the garden hose and it cooled everything down within minutes. At the most it was 15 minutes to cool down the 2 gallon boil. Sure this is only our second batch but I really don’t see why you would use the water bath method to cool things anymore. That seems like putting out a fire with a water pistol in comparison. The wort chiller is essential equipment I think.

This new batch went quite well I think. The first brew took over 4 hours from start to finish. This time around it only took a little over 2. We started the water earlier and did some pre-sanitizing so we could combine tasks.

Our Irish Red is in the carboy and sitting next to the Nut Brown Ale. Again, there were the tense moments while we waited until the fermentation started but the Red has a big foamy head so we are in business!

This really is a fascinating process. I’m genuinely anxious to taste what we’ve made. I’m sure it will be somewhat flawed, but I have to figure it can’t be too bad. I did notice that the Red had a good inch of sediment on the bottom of the bottle. We’ll have to be careful not to stir things up and keep as much of that as possible out of the beer. On the one hand it all seems so extremely simple and straightforward, but at the same time it can be very complex and there are a lot of steps where things can go wrong and really make a difference in the product you produce. It makes me want to go check out one of the local microbrews and see what kind of operation they have going on. Now it won’t just be tanks and hoses, but something I would actually be able to understand and relate to.

I have no doubt there is another batch in the works. I’m sure as soon as we empty the Ale we’ll start on another batch. Unless of course it really does turn out to taste like old tires in which case we might have to take a moment to step back to pause and reflect.

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