Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Acquisitions

Wow. It has been a while. Again.

The highlight of my brewing for the past few months has been acquisitions that allow me to brew more and serve more. So I can now brew 10 gallon batches and I have capacity for 6 kegs to be on tap at any given time.


Back in October, I guess it was, I acquired an additional full-size refrigerator for the basement. There was a fellow down in the Smyrna area that posted an ad on craigslist for a free kegerator fridge for whoever came to get it. So I went and came home with a huge fridge that had already been drilled for a faucet out the front. He had also built a wooden platform at the base of the fridge for kegs to sit level inside. After some cleaning out of the compressor and such, the fridge started working great and I haven't had any issues since. The shank he had installed on the front door was very long such that it actually interfered when i tried to fill the fridge with my corny kegs. (I have since acquired 4 more kegs, too) Last week, I sawed off the shank, though, so now I'm good to go. So now I can fit a 10 lb. co2 tank and 4 5-gal kegs in that fridge. It is currently at capacity, but I have two kegs of the Polo beer; so only one of those is tapped at a time.

In late October, I was the recipient of a pretty awesome gift from my lady friend. She gave me a new 15 gallon Bichmann brewpot. That thing is beautiful and functional, and it came with a thermometer, graduated sight glass, and a 3pc. stainless ball valve. Really nice stuff. So this new pot allows me the boil capacity to brew a 10 gallon batch. The other problem with such a big batch, though, was that it becomes dangerous and mostly impossible for me to move pots full of hot liquid around to use gravity for the sparge and such. So around the holiday I finally ponied up and purchased a pump to move hot liquids around. I have done one ten gallon batch (the hoppy pilsner "polo beer") and that worked out pretty well. But I am still needing to improve my process. So there is still some thinking going on.

All that being said, ten gallon batches do pose another problem. I like to drink my own beer and I do tend to save money over buying beer, but one of the main reasons I brew is because I enjoy it and I enjoy experimenting with styles and variations and such. Brewing ten gallons means more beer from a brew session, which means less brew sessions since I have limited beer storage capacity (and who wants to constantly clean and fill bottles?). So I do plan to brew 10 gallon batches still, but mostly when brewing with others where at the end of the brew session, I only keep 5 gallons for myself.

So anyway, that's what's been going on lately in my brewing world. I have a lot of beer at the house (including some Westvleteren 12 from our November trip to Belgium) that I am trying to wade through. But don't pity me, I'll get through it.

1 comment:

Stephen R. Schermerhorn said...

Hey, Stephen here, the guy who gave you the fridge. I'm glad it is working out for you and it sounds like you will get plenty of use from it! Cheers!