RDWHAHB is the first rule of home brewing…..
Rich arrives first thing in the morning, and I had everything setup for a solid brew day, and beer on tap and even the sun came out. We started heating the strike water and I measured the brewing salts for the recipe and life was good…….until i poured the strike water into the mashtun……. Now normally I am always preaching the importance of Mise en place in all aspects of brewing and this time I totally neglected to to run the changes to the recipe through Brewersfriend which would had told me my mash was too large for the mash tun. We started to dough in when Rich and I realized how incredibly wrong this was going to go and we tried to compensate and pulled some of the strike water out and just have a bit of a thicker mash. This then lead to a completely horrific stuck sparge and things went from bad to worse! Rich and I tried to dislodge the blockage in the manifold but the grain bed had packed down quite firmly I ended up having to scoop about half the mash tun out and then add the sparge water and give it a good stir and let stand for 10 minutes to allow the grain bed to reset and then clean the manifold out and repeat with the rest of the mash that was scooped out. This really put the brew day behind schedule by almost an hour and a half but was a very solid reminder to have good MISE EN PLACE!
The rest of the day however was nice and smooth, this recipe only has a single hop addition so we finished the boil and chilled with a immersion chiller. Due to the stuck sparge we were left with 8.25g instead of the expected 10.5g and the Gravity was 19 Brix (1.078 SG) so I topped off the ferementer with another 2 gallons of water and got the gravity down to 16 Brix (1.065 SG) and then pitched two packs of Danstar – Windsor Ale Yeast.
Currently the fermenter is happily bubbling away and smells very nice!
Thanks Rich for a solid research and development day & next time we will certainly have a much easier brew day haha, and like they say “Relax, don’t worry, have a homebrew”. We are always going to have good and bad brew days but if you don’t make mistakes you will never learn.