Yeah, so, anyway, seriously, I had an excellent brew session yesterday. Woke up at 5:00am, let the dogs out and got the strike water on the burner, and was doughed in for the Rochefort by 5:30. Since I was doing two mashes - an AG Rochefort 10 clone and a PM (high grain:extract ratio) Porter - I decided to stagger the dough-in times by about 30 minutes.
I only have 2 burners, and I wasn't about to stink up the house before my wife was even out of bed...so, given that I needed to boil down quite a bit of volume, especially for the 1.092 OG Rochefort, I ended up with a very long brew session (since I had to wait until I could combine the two Rochefort boils into one kettle before the porter could go on). All in all, it took about 6.5 hours. Whew. But everything went just as planned. Had good efficiency on both of them. Here's my dual-kettle boil-down of the Rochefort:
And here's the wort straining:
I pitched and aerated them both before noon. The Rochefort got the Wyeast Abbey II with a huge starter, and the porter got some harvested Scottish High Grav, also with a big starter. After an hour, this is the Rochefort. I wasn't sure if that was Krausen or just foam from the residual Star San...
So, I kept an eye on them over the course of the evening. The krausen on the Rochefort was growing pretty quickly, while the porter was bubbling but had no krausen. Then, before I went to bed last night, I went downstairs, and the Rochefort had popped out its bung & airlock (luckily it was one of those universal bungs wich don't provide much resistance, so there was no splatter), and some krausen had escaped the rim of the carboy. I sprayed it with Star San and wiped it down, then put a blowoff tube on it. Here it is this morning:
Thus, my very first "real" blowoff! Yipee! And don't let the porter fool you---even though there's no real krausen, it's swirling around like a witch's cauldron and the airlock is spitting about 2 or 3 bubbles per second.
Damn, what a great time...a long session due to large volume boil-downs and long chilling times (it was hot outside!)...but a great time nonetheless. And the best part, the rain gods waited for me to finish. As you can see from the pics, I had beautiful sun-drenched weather for the brew session...but later that afternoon, the skies opened up and smashed us with a really heavy rain and hail storm. Whew! I would not have been too happy if I had gotten pelted with hail out there...