I finally have the new freezer door seal for the second kegerator. Now its a matter of putting it back together again. Once it is up and running I will at least have a lagering unit for a bit. Next step for this will be the CO2 tank for carbonating/dispensing.
After some consideration I have decided that I will be naturally carbonating the Saison. I still have some champagne bottles that I will be using for this. Eventually, I will be moving into Belgian style bottles and corking more of my Belgique (can I use that as a descriptor?) styles. It will probably take a bit of experimenting with my corker but I think I might be able to do it.
I am also moving into the final stages of the mead now. My next step will be to clarify. I will be using some wine clarifier to hopefully clean it up and have it ready for bottling next week. This will have given the mead roughly three weeks on oak. I am so ready to see how this one has turned out.
I am planning to expand the brewery a bit more so I will be able to brew up some sours. This expansion will also allow me a bit more room to do more than one mead a year. A couple cases of mead just isn’t enough to make it through.
And now its time for a pint …
I managed to get a bit of work done earlier today. Transfers being an important bit of it. My darker Belgian is now conditioning and I am ready for it to be ready for drinking. It finished out at about 6.75% and the flavor is still strongly reminisent of oranges. I also put the Saison in secondary. Its sitting at 4% and seems lite and drinkable. Should be a very refreshing beer when it is finished. It does seem odd that I am making what would seem like hot weather beers for the fall.
Now with fall in mind, I am planning to start this years cider sometime around this coming weekend. I do believe that this one will be aged with a touch of oak (a slight move away from the current recipe). As always something to look forward to.
I have now added oak to the mead. I am that much closer to bottling the beast. I also picked up a corker so I have my own power to bottle the meads properly. It does feel good to have gotten another piece of equipment I have been wanting for the expansion out of the way. I do have a number of other odds and ends that need to be acquired but every little bit gets me closer to being done again.
And now for an important piece of info. Make sure you clean your faucets on a regular basis. I started the day by tearing mine apart and doing a deep clean on them. One thing I will say about this is … wow, they sure was ugly. I feel much better now knowing that they sparkle at least for a little while again. But damn the amount of nasty that accumulates in there is in simple terms “icky.”
Now, its time for a pint…
The battle is done (for now anyway). It would seem that the decoction is what was needed all along. I finally came close enough to my predicted OG to make me happy. Of course, now I know I need to add at least 2 to 3 hours to my brew day when working with lager malts.
Aside from that, the brew session went pretty good. I did have a minor slip up or two with the decoction, but it was to be expected considering it is still in learning zone. I got some good notes and saw a new dimension of brewing. All in all, I dare say a victory for me.
With that settled (of course more time spent working on it is in order as well) I realize I do need to work on my sparging technique. It would be nice to have a higher efficiency now that I am working on more advanced mashes.
And now, time for a pint…
At this point I am now getting last minute preparations settled and going over the process a few more times to make sure I have a good understanding of what I am going to do. In the morning, I’m making waffles…
Wait, thats a whole different story. Currently, my plan is to do the decoction in the morning. I have the hops set, my grain is crushed, I don’t plan on making candi sugar currently (at least on this first attempt anyway). I find there are a few calculations for the mash itself I will need to make. So I will be working on setting up those calculations here shortly.
I got my score sheets from the Ren Faire earlier today. Aside from the medal and prizes (yay me!) I found some interesting info about the Irish Rye. The beer itself wasn’t the problem. I am finding that I may have some issues with the way I have been bottling lately (unless it is only that beer and then I have no idea whats going on). Of course, this now means that yet another project is added to the ever growing list of things that need to get done in the brewery.
And now, its time for a pint…
Earlier today I had a moment of enlightenment. Looking at the way the seal is attached I realized that it may be possible to flip the seal over and it might work as it was originally intended. What is this rubbish I am referring to you ask? The seal for the freezer for the kegerator I am doing the build out on needs to be replaced. I have decided to try my free options first before I invest in a new seal. If nothing else I need to remove the seal any way to put the new one on when I pick it up.
If you have never actually removed the rubber seal on a fridge or freezer I will tell you now, it actually isn’t that difficult. The real issue is the extreme number of screws the manufacturers use to ensure that the seal goes no where. Looking at what I have now, I may actually leave the door pockets off, and only use the main freezer when I get it back up and running again.
The bottom of the seal was actually pretty ugly. After soaking and cleaning it does appear to be fairly good still. Perchance it was solely the nasty that kept it from sealing correctly, or maybe the nasty was simply a symptom of the problem of a bad seal. I will find out soon.
In other news, I am working on the yeast starter for the Saison I will be brewing in a few days time. As I have mentioned my plan is to do a decoction mash (though I am not sure how intensive yet) plus I will be doing some candi sugar for this beer. I haven’t settled on what hops I plan for this beer as yet. I am leaning toward some saaz or a similar hop though. Perchance I may step out on a limb and use an extreme American hop. I think I shall leave it up to chance and see what jumps out at me when I go to the shop.
And now, its beer time…