Return to the Tun

Last weekend we finally blew the dust off the brew kit and sparked up our 32 jet Mongolian gas burners to put down an American pale ale.

And when I say “blew the dust off”, I mean dismantled the kit, marvelling at the build-up of mould, giving it a thorough brush clean and a soak in some high concentrate cleaner/sanitiser.

Evidently, when you leave your brew kit alone for several months after a questionable clean/rinse it gathers a few cultures. Who knew?

During our long hiatus from brewing a couple of the boys got married and another welcomed his first son into the world. The arrival of said child meant the brew kit needed relocation and also provided the motivation to make some alterations to improve its performance and maneuverability.

However it also meant that we left a few essential pieces behind; like our mash tun wrap, so we immediately had a few complications in holding temperature. Memories from our last brew days had faded a bit too and we found ourselves a bit rusty in regards to the process, forgetting when we should be paying attention and what needed to happen at certain times.

Despite a few hiccups along the way and a rather long brew day, we managed to achieve our largest yield for wort so far.

The brew kit relocation also necessitated some adaptations to our fermentation process. Due to the inconsistent temperatures around my home the only place that was relatively stable was the bathroom. Following a little research we added a blow off tube to cope with volatile fermentations and hopefully avoid an angry wife.

Alternative to an overflowing airlock
You'll note the fermenter on the right shows our previous, less-refined method of dealing with explosive fermentations

Fermentation is progressing nicely at this point and a Cascade dry-hop addition is imminent.

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