Crazy turn of events

Murphy’s law states “anything that can go wrong will go wrong at the worst possible time.”  This isn’t anything new.  Most of us have known old man Murphy for quite some time.  The problem usually comes when we forget about him.  That’s when he sneaks up and says hi. 

He came to visit me last night while brewing.  It wasn’t anything major but enough to give me a bit of a smack in the back of the head.  He struck twice last night, both times during the lauter.  The first time, I happened to be checking flow rates at the halfway point.  This is when I notice that the grain bed had formed a well in the center of the mash tun.  It was blaringly obvious that the center was not nearly as thick as the rest of the mash.  I think we might have developed a channel. 

The next attack came from an area that seems a bit more probable.  My hose managed to slip from the brew kettle to the garage floor.  I didn’t lose much but I think this added with the odd filter bed added together for a hit on efficiency.  I came in about 10 points lower than expected.  Hurt a little but should still be a decent beer when all is said and done.

And now we move to today.  I had some time to make bread earlier.  I have started using the sponge method when I make breads; it seems to make a better loaf overall.  This is similar to making a starter when you brew.  Building the environment that helps the yeast do their job makes them stronger and healthier overall.  Happy yeast is happy beer and great bread.

In a way I have been using a brewing approach to making bread.  I am shooting for a certain size and look to the finished loaves.  The last time I did this I weighed each loaf out at 1lb 6 oz (precooking).  They were slightly smaller than I wanted.  This time I was going to go with a pound and a half.  That would give me three loaves and 3 ounces left over.  Of course I didn’t wanna waste the 3 ounces so I divided it between the loaves. 

As it turned out, I ended up with some monsters.  Mind you, they came out great.  They are just slightly bigger than I want them to be.  The next time I make bread I may actually have narrowed down the amount I will be using for each loaf. 

Time for a pint…

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