Friday, 22 January 2010

Brewathon, 4 and 5 of 11

I've mashed in 10 times this week. The way it works is thus: I start on my own (only way to be) at 06.00 hrs and Chelsea Boy (2nd brewer) or Hang 'Em High (3rd brewer) take over after I've mashed in the second brew at 13.00 hrs. They get most of the cleaning and a little responsibility, I get the obverse. Getting the logistics right is crucial and the morning is pretty much total, and high, concentration. And whilst it's exhausting it *is* extremely satisfying and, ultimately, relaxing: the phone is switched off, conversation is minimal and as many senses as I can muster are focused on the job in hand - making beer. Wonderful.

So we *can* brew this much over a sustained period. But can we get the fermenters empty on time and ready to fill next week? Two questions arise:

a) With the new shape of vessel (they're tall and thin, not short and squat) will the fermentation proceed according to plan? Early indications suggest yes, yes they will. Which is as per text book and a boon to our process.

and b) Will the cooling system be robust enough to reduce temperatures, at the end of fermentation, sufficiently fast to allow us to cask the beer on time (we like them at 7 degrees Celsius for at least 24 hours)? Early indications suggest no, no it won't. Well, not in the height and heat of summer anyway. We may just shade it for a couple months but further investment is clearly necessary. Anyone fancy a part stake in a brewery cooler?

I have to confess to feeling pretty weary. But we're in the zone and I'm already looking forward to next week's challange.

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