Moment of Truth, part 2

I successfully brewed a robust porter on Sunday. The entire process lasted about 5 hours from setup, to tear down and cleaning. The mash tun worked very well, and only leaked a couple drops when I wrenched on the faucet the first time. It held temperature like a champ, though my strike temp was a little low, so I was mashing at 151F for the first 20 minutes. I got it up to 153, but it was a pain with the small 1 gallon kettle. Note to self, get 5 gallon back from Alan.

I didn’t take any pictures, mostly because I was so focused this first time, and because I was trying to fit some other chores in as well, like playing air guitar to a few Primus albums. Pictures will be taken, however, during the next batch for photo proof of the success of the mash tun.

Measuring temperature was a challenge at first. I bought a small thermometer that can be twisted to adjust the sensitivity. The problem was that the sensitivity is in the 10 degree Fahrenheit range, and each twist is in the 10 degree range as well. So,I was on my mashing temp + or – 10 degrees. I quickly realized this wouldn’t work, so I snagged my wife’s electric meat thermometer and set it on Pork, partly as a nod to B.S. Brewing, and partly because 170 (Pork), is the mash out temperature.

This thermometer worked much better and I could see it from the doorway, so I asked Michelle, who was out running errands, to pick me up my own. I don’t want to end up with another Salted Ham IPA. She also picked up a new timer, a kitchen gadget we both use, but the steam from my brewing is probably what made the battery corrode and the LCD go bad.

Anyway, so the mash went really well, though I ended up stopping the lauter process a few times to heat more water. This probably inadvertently mashed it a little more, but the mash looked good and I got 7 gallons that I boiled down to around 6 gallons at an O.G. of 1.060. The tun worked well, and I only had one “oh shit” moment when I realized I forgot to pick up some iodine to check for starch conversion. I remembered what Palmer said though and tried a little iodophor, which did not turn black. Now the beer is happily fermenting away and should be racked to secondary on Friday or Saturday.

5 Responses to “Moment of Truth, part 2”

  • I really enjoy hearing your first hand account. Like I said…all grain…one of these days.


  • Alan, did you brew again with it? The last batch you did was good, so your next batch will be awesome. I’ve got hops if you want some.

  • starch conversion…yeah I should probably start doing that. Glad all went well. I’m curious to hear how the braided steel would work with wheat beers, sounds like a good idea!

  • Can I just say that about all I understood from that post was that you made a Porter. Mmmmm…Porter. I want a good beer so bad, though I did find a ginormous packie store out here that, among other things, carries the entire Stone line (including Ruination and their XI Anniversary Ale) and the entire Rogue line (including the Imperial Pilsner). Now I just have to get money…or find friends that brew out here…so I can go visit them…and steal their beer.

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