It was a gloomy and chilly morning yesterday, but the sun soon came out for the April club shop brew. It ended up becoming a beautiful day for brewing. My enthusiastic brew crew was raring to go. The team consisted of our President Steve Cook and his First Lady Irene, Ed Kochanowski, Tyler, Kris Schimdt, and myself. We had one no show, but Sean Fitzgerald from the shop was able to benefit from this brew day and get a portion of the wort.
This months style was an Irish Red ale I called End of the Rainbow. I had never brewed this style before, but had always wanted to. What better way to test it out then on the Falcons legendary Mach III system.
The day started out great. We weighed out and milled the grain without a hitch. The hops were also measured. Ed and Kris prepped the Therminator by running hot PBW and sanitizer through it. But our problems were just about to begin.
Steve Cook was getting the water prepared in the mash tun for the grain in the meantime. He noticed that the water did not seem to be heating up properly in the hot liquor tank, so he fired up the burner under the mash tun to help it along. Our "Newbie" Tyler was then given the honor of doughing in the grain. He did a fine job and was rewarded with some beer to drink as was the rest of the crew.
But then it was time to recirculate for mash out. The water was still not heating up properly in the HLT. There appeared to be a short in the wiring for the control panel. It would not allow the burner to fire, or if it did, it did not stay on long as the digital readout would jump to 212 degrees and shut off. Several of us tried holding the wires together, twisting them, etc. to try to make a connection. It was not working. So Steve filled up the boil kettle to heat up enough water to pump back into the HLT so we could mash out and sparge. This added on an extra hour to our brew day. Did I mention that the wort was recirculating the entire time?
We were able to reach mash out temp and start the sparge. The wort was smelling very malty, and and a nice reddish cast to it. Newbie Tyler was than given the task of skimming the scum from the wort in the boil kettle. He was again rewarded with some more beer to drink.
While we waited for the wort to come to a boil, the crew suggested that Tyler should clean out the mash tun since he was new. This would be in addition to skimming. He would have some help from Ed and Kris. More beer was consumed during the process. We also took time to eat the wonderful chicken legs that Irene had prepared and brought for the crew. Thanks Irene!
The boil went well. Steve showed Tyler how to use the mash paddle to keep the wort from boiling over and making a mess. We took a reading of the wort, and low and behold, we were over by 11 points on the starting gravity! That hour of recirculation really pulled out the sugars from the grain. I ended up adding some more water to the kettle to bring down the gravity to target range. The crew continued to drink more beer in the meantime.
The wort was chilled and split between the crew members. We acheived target gravity of 1.059. The big starter of Pacman yeast was then added to each fermenter except for Tyler's. He used White Labs WLP-005 British ale yeast. It will be interesting to taste the difference between the two strains.
It was a very fun day of brewing and partying. Thanks to the brew crew for all of your hard work, and thanks to these Falcons that showed up to party with the crew: Mark Poliner, Tom Morris, Craig Wickham, John Kaufman, Kent Fletcher, Stephen Linsley, and MB. And thanks Tyler for being such a good sport during the day. You are now truly a Maltose Falcon.
End of the Rainbow Irish Red Ale
Batch size 33 gals
Wort size 30 gals.
Anticipated OG 1.059
Anticipated SRM 14.4
Anticipated IBU 22.4
Mash time 60 mins. 152 degrees
Boil time 60 mins.
56 lbs. Marris Otter 86.8%
8 lbs. crystal 55L 12.4%
.50 lb. roasted barley .8%
4.25 ozs. East Kent Goldings pellets 7.2% AA 21.0 IBU 60 mins.
2.00 ozs. Fuggles pellets 5.10% AA 1.4 IBU 10 mins.
5 tablets Whirlfloc 20 mins.
Wyeast 1764 Pacman in large slurry