Last night was my fastest and most secret AG batch so far. SWMBO doesn't want us to move much beer at all when we move, so I have been stepping back on producing new batches. But when I talked to a friend last week, I found out that our annual canoe trip is actually happening this year and I felt the urge to use some left-over specialty malts and the Pilsner malt that I bought a 55lb bag of, to make an easy drinking pale ale (similar to the Chubby Angel) for the canoe trip. But I didn't want to bother her with it so I had to do it when she and my daughter were in bed. Since she went to bed early I started heating the mash water at 9.30p. I also shortened the boil to 60 min since I haven't had a problem with AG batches and 60 min boils before.
I gave mash hopping a try (since I had hops left over) and added 1oz of whole Hallertauer to the mash. The pre boil wort didn't have any detectable hop aroma and flavor. I'm not sure if this is supposed to be like this for mash hopping. Assuming that it failed I added some Cascade for flavor and will be dry hopping in the Secondary.
4hrs later (1.30a) I was able to pitch. But our tap water is already at 70F and I was not able to get the wort below 80F with an immersion chiller. Since I didn't want to rig a fancy post chiller, I pitched at 80F and had low kraeusen 5hrs later. I hope the ester production wasn't to bad since most of the esters are actually caused by warm temperatures during the first 24-48 of the fermentation. It is now down to 65F.
Batch sparging and 60 min boils definitely make 4hr AG batches possible. But without being able to just sit and relax on the back porch, this batch was certainly not as enjoyable as other batches