Busy Brewing Day

The day was much too busy and much of it was my own doing. The Imperial Stout was a partial mash effort so there was that element of an extra step in the process – not much in the way of work, just time, patience and monitoring. I had trotted off to the store a few hours earlier and my ambitious nature kicked in – I decided to buy a brisket to smoke while the beer was brewing. A perfect excuse for another beer while heating up the  backyard.

All was going smooth until transferring the mash liquor from the kettle to the boiling pot. The bottom of the bag holding the crushed grain busted open. I sent quite a bit of the spent grain over into the boiling pot. I tried fishing out the grains and realized(American spelling) that I was not going to recover mare than about 70% of the grain. Ok, now lets hunt for my wire sieve. I couldn’t find it last time I looked for it so why would I think it would be different this time? “Call a friend” – and yes she had the answer to the question. I enlisted the help of my 17-year-old son…..giving him a start on a skill set that could make him a popular guy in college a few years down the road. (he has to wait until 21 to practice the trade)

I am a busy dude! Keep feeding the wood chips to the smoker, keep an eye on the brew pot, watch the timer for the hops additions, be ready to stir down the potential boil over when adding the hops and keep adding chips to the smoker….oh yes, try a new craft beer! I bought this new one more as a test for my wife. It is called Citra Blonde from Widmer Brothers in Portland Oregon. She did like it and I was pleasantly surprised!  I recently fell in love, a beer this time, with another Widmer beer, Rotator IPA – an ongoing changing recipe. Great concept! A bit like the Yazoo Brewery’s Hop Project!

Beer | Widmer Brothers Brewing  Take a look – first class website and a great overview of how to brew!

It was well after my planned finish time before I pulled the brisket, cooled the beer & pitched the yeast, cleaned the pots, sequestered the fermenter in a cool dark spot and sat down for a brief respite. this looks to be a stout stout….starting gravity of 1.093! I sampled the sweet wort after checking the gravity and the flavors a very interesting even at this early stage of the process. Aroma is nice – if it mellows/matures as I expect, it should be an awesome beer. I am still deciding what to do after transferring to the secondary……coffee – maybe, oak – that is a possibility and maybe oak that has been soaked in a decent bourbon, chocolate – hmmmm maybe not. I have 8 or 10 days to decide. Maybe I run a poll!

Poll Daddy Poll

Sitting back in the shade on the patio – the beer is boiling, the brisket is smoking and a cold beer in my hand.

The brisket – smoked for 7 hours. The thick end was cut off, wrapped tight in foil smothered with Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce and 10 hours in the oven at 200 F.

That dark crust, enhanced with oak chipped from Jack Daniels bourbon barrels – the bourbon flavor/aroma was not noticeable in the meat but the smoke off of the smoker was pretty yummy! The brisket just fell apart….

TTFN

Bishop

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