Well after a little over a two year hiatus, I am back brewing. It feels better then ever. When I started brewing 3.5 years ago I did a few partial mash brews, then jumped in balls deep, built a rig, and never looked back.
I then had a job that I had to do for a friend that forced me to travel for a few months, then I got rotator cuff surgery, then a baby... So life got in the way of brewing. So yesterday I tried to pick up where I had left off. I bought the dead ringer kit from Northern Brewer for ease of a kit, made a starter two days before, cleaned and sanitized the rig, then went to town. I struck my grains at what temp I remember being good, and ended up hitting the 152* sacch' rest temp. I only had to run two heat cycles to keep it with in a few degrees. Brought it up to 170* for the mash out, and was only able to run off a little over 6 gallons of wort. I forgot how much water the grains soak up.
My PVC hop spider decided to get soft and fall lower and lower into the boil kettle. I was pretty much committed. I was able to rig it safely with some ss tig welding rod, gonna have to explore a new option for that.
Coming to the end of the boil I added my Irish moss, and really forgot its purpose, so with fears of gumming up the chiller I put it in the hop sock. I can research it before my next batch, but... I also added some yeast nutrients. Killed the boil and chilled it, I forgot how efficient these chillers are.
Random Brew shot, you can imagine the rubber neckers driving bye.
Measured the gravity which was spot on, aerated the wort, pitched the yeast, and had the blow off tube bubbling 2.5 hours later.
So I forgot what the Irish moss does, but recall it has something to do with the whirlpool and break. I can't get a good whirlpool going with the low flow barbed camlocks that I am using. Another thing I forgot is wether to aerate the wort before or after I pitch the yeast.
I have noticed there are a few new options out there for containing your hops in the boil kettle, what are people liking the best?
Feels great to be brewing again, I made a starter last night for a imperial ipa I plan on brewing on sunday. Gonna be around more often, and maybe not just as a lurker. I am posting this with the baby video monitor next to the screen, thank god for long naps.