Brewing with the Kids: Day Four

11AM Wednesday, July 18th:  We are officially past the halfway mark on our 6-day journey of daily brewing.  Today is my accelerated version of Seth Clearwater’s brewing-in-stages method.  Instead of spreading it out over the course of 24 hours, however, I will attempt to finish within 12 hours.  The schedule I am working around today includes driving Eleri (9-year-old daughter) to Royersford for a summer bible camp (away from home time: 8:15am-9:30am); picking her up at noon with my father-in-law and Lochlainn (14-year-old son), then getting lunch in Phoenixville before taking Lochlainn to his course scheduling meeting at 1:30pm at his new school (away from home time: 11:30am-2:30pm).  Then I have to leave by 3:30pm to help Adam Crockett bottle some Haymaker Mead until 6pm.  We may take the family out this evening as well.  As of this writing that is still up in the air.

Another early start saw me milling my grains for an Irish Red Ale and filling my HLT/Boil Kettle with water at 7:30am in order to be ready to heat my strike water and mash in as soon as I got home from dropping Eleri at camp.  I mashed in at 10:15am and am getting ready to head back down to lauter before I leave on the next leg of my daddy-duties. I will leave the wort in the kettle until I have time to boil.

2:30PM Wednesday, July 18th: It became obvious to me that I could never get to a boil, maintain it for an hour, chill and transfer in the time I had before heading over to Haymaker, so I decided to leave it until I got back.

6:30PM Wednesday, July 18th:  Bottling continues at Haymaker without me.  I messaged Tiffani as I was leaving Montgomeryville around 6pm and asked her to turn the burner on under the kettle.  The timing was perfect and the wort was coming to a boil minutes after I arrived home.  I added my single bittering hop addition and let it go for an hour.  During that time, we decided that the family would go out for dinner and ice cream. If I finished the boil, chilled and transferred before heading out it would be 8:30pm before we even left the house.  I figured this week was all about learning what I could and couldn’t get away with, so at 7:30pm I just went old school and sat the kettle in a water bath in the laundry tub and added three jugs of ice that I keep in the freezer.

10:30PM Wednesday, July 18th: After a lovely evening out with my family I finally had a chance to rack into a fermentor and add the yeast to the Irish Red.  This is definitely the longest I have allowed anything to sit post-boil, but I am anxious to see if any bugs were able to take hold.  I don’t think it will have any adverse effect (after all, how much of a difference is there between this and sitting in the danger zone during the reproductive phase of the yeast?)

Tomorrow will be another challenging day for timing everything, but not nearly as bad as today.  I will be helping Tiffani rebrew her Lavender Vanilla Wit.  Stay tuned.