Monday, March 23, 2009

3/22/09 - Brewday review

Although yesterday morning when we started brewing it was barely 40 degrees out, it warmed up quickly and turned out to be a very beautiful day. Here is a review of the day for those who couldn't make it over:

~Justin, starting things off nice and properly by apparently taking a moment to say the "Beer Prayer"
~Justin checking the temperature of the water for the Brown Ale. You can see the IPA in the keg-kettle in the foreground.
This was our first time brewing our Jedhead IPA all-grain, up until now it has always been brewed as an extract. How we haven't brewed this as an all-grain yet is beyond us. The recipe we did yesterday will be completely different from our previous one: it should be a lot hoppier, with more citrus, and be more copper in color. When we brewed our All Right Then Pale Ale, the recipe ended up being similar to the extract recipe, so the new Jedhead IPA should definitely satisfy the hop-heads.
We brewed our Back Porch Brown Ale last time we brewed as well as yesterday. We're still working on our recipe, trying to get it just right. For this batch we changed up the hops used and also added some molasses to it (Shannon got to add that, along with the hops ~ he knew exactly what Justin was getting ready to do, and made sure he got to help!).

~John Merkwan, the current President of the Star City Brewer's Guild. John brought with him for sampling a nice beer from Brooklyn Brewery, Local #2. A very nice beer. We also sampled some of our stouts, our brown ale, and March's Beer of the Month from Wine Gourmet, from Avery Brewing Co.: 14'er ESB, which everyone seemed to enjoy, and Ellie's Brown Ale, which was pretty decent.

~Harry Montoro, a new member but already proving to be a very enthusiastic member & all around pretty cool guy. When we came inside to show them our new keg-freezer, Harry spotted Justin's guitar and took it back outside with him. You can see Jomo "standing guard" - Jomo has become a little hesitant about new people, but found an instant friend in Harry .. who brought over meatloaf & immediately gave some to him! The smoke in the background is from the smoker -- the food came out utterly fantastic, but not until everyone had left. Better planning required for next time!!

~This is Justin's brother Matt, holding up the skirt I had been wearing. Here is the excitement for the day ---- I caught on fire! *NOTE - I told Matt to smile when I took this photo, as he had just saved my life ... so, know, he isn't just looking pleased with himself for burning my skirt or something like that.
I'm not sure how it happened, and all anyone can come up with is that it was one of those flukes - me walking past the burner, wind catching my skirt and/or the flame just right. All I know is that I was standing several feet away from the burner, facing back towards the house when I thought "do I smell something burning", I looked down and my skirt (at about my right calf) was on fire. I hollered about being on fire, swatted at the flame, and thankfully, Matt sprung into action. He quickly smothered out the flames and saved me from being burnt to a crisp.

~This is Matt sticking his arm through the hole, to show the damage done.
I did get slightly burned on my fingers and on the back of my right knee, but no worse than grabbing something hot out of the oven. No blisters, at least not on my fingers, I can't really get a good look at the back of my knee. No harm done though, except to my skirt ~ which I had specially made for me many years ago. I'm thinking about patching the hole from inside, with some fabric that has flames on it. Might as well have a good story and run with it.
A lesson was learned though. From now on, JUST IN CASE, we will be always keeping stuff outside for putting out a fire while brewing (or smoking food). Thankfully no-one was hurt, thankfully it wasn't a guest or one of our kids that caught on fire. Thankfully Matt was there to swiftly put me out, as Justin merely thought we were joking around and didn't believe I had caught on fire. Only Justin can find a way to get himself in trouble when I catch on fire!!! (He did come back to the bedroom as I was changing to make sure I was ok though).

We will be getting to keg some of the beer brewed yesterday, another first for us. So, expect another post for when that happens.

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