Adventures in Homebrew – Three-beer Day, 4/21/2012

Homebrew Idiots
Homebrew Idiots

This past Saturday Jeff and Bill and I set out to brew the three joint beers I mentioned last week. I say set out because… for the first time ever, we had a total brewing fail.

The day started smoothly enough. First up was the Ahtanum Brown. I don’t have any of the recipes on me, but for the most part, this is a standard brown using a combination of pellet and leaf hops, exclusively Ahtanum as per the recipe requirements. Looked, smelled, and tasted good going into the fermenter.

Meanwhile, the ingredients for the Platinum were steeping away in the mashtun. This was the first time Bill and I had used flaked rice or corn adjunct, that I recall. I know I never have in a personal brew. Not sure about Jeff. But we did not account for/were not prepared for the sludge that stuff would create. Our sparge was stuck pretty much from the start, and no amount of effort would get it flowing. We tried everything. And kept trying. As you can see, even with the valve wide open, nothing. What did come out was nice and pale, and within SRM spec, though! All 2-3 pints of it.

Platinum Ale
Platinum Ale

While this was going on, the THIRD beer we started, the Black IPA, had already caught up and had been run off into the boilpot. Everything was right on target there too. It’s a completely different recipe from our award-winning Black IPA, but the part that’s got me intrigued the most is the special twist we put on the fermenting. Can’t wait to taste this one on rack-down to secondary.

I had to leave for the Urban Roots event at Brown’s, but the guys kept working on the rescue. To no avail. I texted Bill later, and the verdict was in: compost.

Oh well. Jeff is going to do some more research and try to brew it on his system, and I may try to make a beer within these specs on my own too. If I miss the color, oh well, throw it in a keg and have a nice summer beer.

But still. Our first total failure in 6+ years of brewing? We’ll take that track record.


  1. says

    The Brown and Black IPA both came out well. It was that damn Platinum that screwed us over. And we agonized over that for HOURS, long after any reasonable brewer would call TOD and shroud it over. I think even keeping the ingredients but changing up the mash schedule would have worked better (steep adjuncts in a bag, squeeze well, separately mash grains, then vorlauf the whole mess together, perhaps). Ah well. First failed beer ever. It feels a little bad, but not much, after 6+ years of fairly excellent results.

  2. Angelos says

    Yeah, I liked the way the brown tasted, and I’m not a big fan of the style in general. Black IPA went well too.

    When I get my equipment back here, I’ll give it a whirl too, like I said. Maybe Jurus will actually drink some home-made rice beer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *