Following our meeting the other day, I’ve been devising a brewing plan for Saturday, October 8th. I have prepared a recipe we can use to make the two styles we decided on last night (a hoppy American-styled pale ale, and a Saison). It will be a little trick to get the blending of different liquids exactly right, but I think we can do it.
Here is our plan for the day:
10:00 am: Meet in the basement of the International House (the building where we had our last meeting), and set up our equipment. I may have already set up the mash, and be heating the water, depending on how much time I have the night before.
12:00pm: step 1 and 2 — soaking the grain in hot water to make sugars and then removingthe water, and rinsing the grain with more water — are finished (or almost finished).
1:00pm: We have started boiling the beers (the hoppy American Pale Ale and the French Saison), adding hops as the recipe suggests.
2:00pm: We stop boiling the first beer (the hoppy American Pale Ale) and let it rest for a little while.
2:15/2:30pm: We chill the first beer.
2:45/3:00pm: We move the (now chilled) first beer to a sterilized fermenter and add yeast.
3:30pm: We add spices to the second beer and quickly stop boiling it (after a long! — 2.5 hours! boil).We let the beer rest for a while.
3:45/4:00pm: We chill the second beer.
4:15/4:30pm: We move the second beer to a fermenter, add cool water to make sure it is the right size (because with a long boil, it will be much smaller) and add yeast. Then we clean up.
5:00pm: We put the fermenters where we will be leaving them for two weeks, and then we all relax and wait till the yeast finishes its work! Until then, we have no more work to do!
Note: this schedule is probably a little optimistic, but I cannot imagine we won’t be finished by 5:30pm or 6:00pm at the latest. With so many people, we can split up jobs and get everything done in time — including measuring hops, adding yeast, mixing up cleaning chemicals, and so on. If we work as a team, it should be easy.
As I said, it’s fine if some people leave early, or come late, but I do expect that some of you will be around for the beginning, and some will be around for the end. If you want to understand the process, it’s a good idea to participate in it as much as possible.
As for preparations, I suggest you:
- Wear comfortable shoes that you don’t mind getting wet, and can wash easily. Sometimes liquids spill and makes things sticky. I recommend running shoes, NOT sandals.
- Wear clothing that covers your skin — I mean your arms and legs. We’re dealing with boiling hot liquid! We will be very careful and I’ll help you with how to brew safely, but accidents are possible, so it’s best to dress carefully. I recommend jeans and a long-sleeved shirt.
- Bring a change of clothes. It’s a good idea, just in case you do spill something on what you’re wearing, or need to change in a hurry.
- For the ladies: Do Not Wear Heavy Makeup. Makeup has oils and chemicals in it that can ruin our beer. Light makeup should be okay, if you simply must wear something, but heavy makeup flakes off constantly, and if it falls into our beer, it might ruin it!
- Tie your hair back if you have long hair. We don’t want your lovely hair in our beer. :)
- Bring a water bottle. Making beer involves sitting in a room with boiling liquids for a long time. It will be humid and you will probably get thirsty. I’ll share some of my beer with you (including a few you didn’t get to taste the other day) but you should also have some water on hand.
I think that’s about it for things you need to know and need to do before Saturday. Remember, we will be brewing in the basement. Come in the front door (the left side will be unlocked for you) and go downstairs, down, down, until you are at the bottom floor. Then go down the hall until you find the kitchen.
See you then!