Monday, April 28, 2008

Belgin Wit Brew Day

Started a new brewing process this week and felt the pains of doing it as well. After making 5 batches in my small pot I had become proficient, so I decided to throw it all out and complicate things. Last summer I bought a turkey fryer on deep sale from Sears. it turns out that those are a highly seasonal product with most of their sales coming a round T-Day. I got a 60-qt pot and burner for $20. The pot had a spout on it, but more on that later. This was all fine and good, but I needed a wort chiller if I was going to move to a full boil. I got a 25' copper chiller off eBay for $40, and I was on my way. I started off by brewing my first Wit, and my first self assembled recipe. I used 3lbs of Pilsner DME, and 3lbs of wheat DME along with 1 oz of Hallertau hops. The recipe also called for .75 oz of coriander and 1 oz of orange zest. I also got my first vile of White Labs liquid yeast (WLP400 Belgian Wit) for this recipe.

I got up Sunday morning and it was windy, very windy. The burner had a nice big wind shield so I wasn't too worried and went out to fire it up. It lit and I started heating up my 6 gallons of water. 45 minutes and 5 flameouts later I decided that it wasn't going to work in the backyard and moved to the garage. Once moved to the front yard, I also noticed that there was more of a control on the gas gage rather than just on/off and found that I was only about half power. Once I cranked it up the water was to a boil quick. I dumped in the DME and hops and 3 minutes later I had a boilover. The burner sure does burn hot. I cooled it down, boiled for 45 minutes threw in my wort chiller and gave it another 15. At flame out I tossed in the spices and turned on the chiller. The chiller worked great, although it didn't cool evenly and the top was much hotter than the bottom of the pot. I thought the balance got to a good point and tossed it into my carboy and found that the temp was 95. I tossed it into the fridge and waited to pitch. 5 hours later the wort had cooled and I pitched. I am thinking of giving it a 3 week primary and kegging it for a week and be drinking it for Memorial Day. This makes my next brew day May 18th and on deck is the Northern Brewer APA.

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