So a few weeks ago, I did my first AG batch of beer. It was an amber ale, and I ended up making some mistakes in the process and my efficiency was only 60%. I was discouraged for a bit, but then realized two things I did wrong:
1) I did not stir the grain very much, and I think I ended up having hot/cold spots. This time, I stirred the hell out of it.
2) When I sparged, I kind of slowly trickled the water out of a tube as the water ran out....I guess this is sort of a psuedo fly sparging but I didn't have good luck with it. This time I let all of my initial mash run out and then added the sparge water.
Well it worked, because my efficiency was 77%! Much much better. Due to some screwiness with how I bought the grain (I had somehow scaled my recipe down) I ended up adding DME, but at least I know my mash process is working
I also was making my first truly big beer (1.093 OG) and so I was concerned about fermentation. I added 3 packs of US-05 on the recommendation of LHBS and let the aeration pump go for an hour or two. This morning is is churning away! I was actually seeing it swirling around in there and my 6' blowoff tube is half full. It's flying!
To celebrate, I designed a label for the latest beer I bottled. I borrowed a bit (a lot?) stylistically from BrewDog, but I thought it came out good:
So all in all, not much meat here I guess, but I want to nerd out about my good day and my coworkers are tired of hearing me talk about beer!