31 December 2005

posted by benjy edwards

The last day of the year, New Year’s Eve, was the final brewing session and report of the year.  We made the second batch of Wadworth 6X, the first being brewed back in 2003.  The mash was tiny, just 15 pounds of pale, a bit of crystal and a touch of black malt, yet we still achieved an original gravity of 1.042.  Hops during the boil were Fuggle and Willamette, none in the hopback.  The brew was trouble-free, but I changed the water treatment so that the gypsum was added to the mash instead of the sparge liquor.  It didn’t seem to reduce the pH of the mash by very much (5.01 instead of about 5.05 to 5.10 in the last few brews).  I did add a couple of tablespoons of calcium carbonate to the mash as well.
On brew day, the Two Hearted clone brewed two weeks ago was racked to secondary, and the yeast in the primary used for the Wadworth clone.  Gravities were in the high teens.  On Monday I swapped five gallons of the Dark Chocolate Stout for five of John’s Belhaven clone.  The night before brewing I replaced three of the valves on the co2 manifold in serving tank 1 with check valves and then connected the manifold to the cask breather so all three valves are fed by the breather for the three handpumps.  That should stop the previous problems I’d had where pulling on one of the handpumps would create a vacuum in the other gas lines and pull beer into the breather lines.

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