Tuesday, April 12, 2005

I brewed an American Wheat beer this past Sunday. It's a version of the Gall Bladder Ale I brewed last year. It was about this time last year that I started having gall bladder problems and in May I had the angry little organ removed. Unfortunately, brewing this batch was almost as tedious as surgery, as I experienced a stuck mash of some sort. I think the Phil's phalse bottom (plastic) that I use floated up as I was loading the cooler with grain. I think my water to grain ratio was tilted towards more water than grain, which I'll have to watch in future batches -- got to keep that false bottom loaded down. I ended up scooping the mash up with a coffee cup, dumping it in a strainer held above the brewpot and letting it drain -- a royal pain in the ass. I'm sure this hurt my efficiency, which ended up being 43 percent. I may invest in a stainless steel false bottom, or might just attach a weight of some sort to the darn thing. The resulting beer from this brew session should be pretty darn light (both in color and in body) which will make for a tasty treat after working in the garden.

Meanwhile, I'm trying not to gobble up too much of the IPA, mostly because it so intensely bitter and hoppy. The near 86 percent attenuation of this brew resulted in sort of a thin and strong IPA. You would think it would go down easy, but all those anesthetic hops slow you down. I'm planning on setting aside a case for at least another month to see if the hops mellow a bit.