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February 4, 2011

I’ve had a busy week of brewing.  This past Friday, I brewed an Oatmeal Stout but went high on my mash temperature coupled with a slow start on the fermentation.  This bothered me a great deal… to the extent I lost sleep over it.  On one hand, it revealed that I still have much to learn with respect to brewing.  I also learned that yeast is a little more robust than we are often led to believe.  I even found this handy little chart relating mash temperature and pH with enzyme activity:

The beer did finally start fermenting, but I seems as though it will be higher in the unfermentable sugars than what I had originally aimed for.  I targeted a mash temp of 156º F, but hit 16o – 162º F.  Not awful, but I knew I could do better.  So, after fretting and losing sleep and such, I decided upon attempting the recipe again.  This time, I would target lower on the scale (150º F) with the intent to blend the two beers.

I set out this past Wednesday evening, less than a week later to brew it again.  Below are some selected pictures from the event.

These are my helpers… Joseph and Katie.


Joseph stirring the mash a little.


Magnum Hops giving me that bitterness we all seek.


The fermentation station.  The two in the middle are the most recent brews.


Now I have 20 gallons of brew fermenting along steadily.  Hopefully, I’ll have some of the balance in the blend that I was originally shooting for.  If not, I imagine it will still be darn tasty beer.  Many thanks to Nate and Mike over at Thank Heaven for Beer for the advice!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Amy permalink
    February 12, 2011 7:28 pm

    Yum! Send some my way!! You know, that’s a really great chemistry lesson for the kiddos. 🙂

    • Big Tex permalink
      February 12, 2011 8:27 pm

      Well, I just kegged 15 gallons of the first round blended with round 2. Still have 5 gallons to bottle, but that will take place tomorrow. And you know, bottles are more transportable on visits and such than 5 gallon kegs. 🙂 This is a rarity, since I normally keg EVERYTHING.

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