Blog 8 – 2 Weeks after …

So…..where are we….mmmmm

It’s now been 2 full weeks on CO2 and conditioning in the Keg at 12C and how is it?  Well, average.  It certainly looks and smells like Stout (still), tastes like stout (still) and 14 psi seems to suit the drink – I should be pleased, alas I am not.  Don’t get me wrong I am not unsatisfied with the results but if this brew has taught me anything about making your own professional quality beer it is that mistakes will reveal themselves in the end.  Conditioning on this brew is recommended at 4 weeks and I will keep her until at least 4 weeks to see if she changes for the better, for nothing else other than to note the stages of conditioning for process.  I just can’t seem myself drinking the lot and I don’t feel it is worthy of gifting the beer on to anyone else.  She is rich, has good amount of mouth feel, great colour and you doesn’t drink like it is only 3.8% ABV, but I feel I can taste a metallic twang at the end of the palate followed by too much bitterness to finish off – and not in a pleasant way.  On the plus side I believe that I know what went wrong. I did not clear the chlorine from the water (resolved with a campden tablet – but seemingly too eager to wait for them to turn up before brewing) and I clearly over boiled in an attempt to reach my numbers which affected the IBU’s, which I can put down to process.  We’ll see – Delilah Black Version 1. Complete for you.

Here she is in all her current glory…

What’s happening next.  Today is 12th January 2019 – and I continue to work on the Garage / Brewery.  I had rather planned to build today and brew tomorrow but I ran out of steam climbing up and down ladders putting chipboard flooring down in the loft of the garage space so that I can store all our junk.  If you remember I have taken 2/3 rds of the space as my brewery so I need to double up on storage space.  Now I am a gent of generous proportions some might say, others might state that I am indeed a fat bastard.  Standing just shy of 6ft (alright 5ft 10.5″ but I get away with saying that as I am so fecking wide) and of girth I carry a mere 25 stones (should anyone else be reading this from outside of the UK that’s nearly 160 kilograms or 350 lbs). Why do I tell you this, well – I am not the nimblest of folk on two feet, so to spend the day up a ladder carrying boards, screws and power tools is more of a challenge than to some.  Again, I am pleased to share that I have surprised myself once more and am happy to show you what I have done.  See…

As you can see it’s only the front part, but as I say – this is the part that is for storage.  The flooring area is just over 6 square meters and once away from the eves climbs to a 3 feet or so giving enough for suitcases, Christmas decorations and other such rubbish that folk cram into their garages.  We don’t have kids (just a very demanding English Bulldog) – so we aren’t blessed with the usual household family stuff like bikes and the likes.  Few tools and some gardening equipment and that’s about it.  I am hopefully planning to store my kegerator in that space but instead of tapping to the front I intend on sending the pipes out the back and through the “Great Wall” I built resulting in a Tap Wall on the brewery side.  I think it will look pretty cool. I’m hoping for between 5 to 7 taps.

Will I brew tomorrow? Mmmmmm… there is much still to do that I didn’t do on today’s build day.  I am very eager to brew – I have all the ingredients for a London bitter (purchased from Malt Miller) only this time I have the Campden tablets as well as a whole plethora of water adjusting chemicals – so in this respect I am more prepared.  The only thing I should have bought was some dried malt extract (DME) – as if my Mash efficiencies have not improved this time around then instead of a prolonged boil I will simply add some ferment-able sugars to the wort.  I have refined sugar if needs be – but I intend on a much improved process this time.  Whether I brew or not is determined how quickly I can get organised tomorrow.  I don’t want my eagerness to brew lead to my making the same or similar and silly mistakes.  It will get to a place soon enough where I am brew ready – patience my dear fellow.

I also have acquired a little more kit.  I am now in possession of a Stainless Steel grain basket (all the way from China).  I also have a stainless steel spray nozzle – but currently need to tap a hole in my kettle lid to use it properly.  This will then place my set up quite similar to the Clawhammer setup I really like (from YouTube) – check out their channel and website below if you haven’t already.  I have many notes on the improved process – as stated previously through my work I am familiar with process control and optimisation, so I am quite excited to make the changes and see what results I get.

Until then, go safer fellow brewers !!!!

Stew
(aka Drunk Delilah Brewery)

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