I got the last three batches of reception beer (the red ale and two batches of hefeweizen) kegged today. I’m not able to fit all five kegs in the freezer so I’ve got one of the hefes cooling down and carbonating in the main keg fridge. The other four are in the chest freezer, with the temperature set at around 50F. I’ll move the CO2 over some time later on in the week and get the rest of them carbonated. As for now, I’m totally beat. Moving 50 – 60 pound carboys and kegs around for a few hours wears on you.
With the wedding coming up and all of the stress around it, we’ve let our date nights lapse. That’s not good, so we’re starting them back up. Tonight we headed up to Denton to check out The Abbey Inn, a pub on the city square. They’ve got a great selection of local beers on tap, including the yummy IPA by (512) brewing company that I had. The food was delicious, and the service was excellent. We’ll definitely be going back there in the near future.
After that we went over to Beth Marie’s for some tasty ice cream before doing a little shopping. First we went to Mad World Records to look for some music for the wedding reception. We found the Marc Cohn and Dawes albums we were looking for, so that was time well spent. Then we hit Recycled Books and managed, somehow, to bring back even more books to add to the ever growing “to read” stack.
Well, mostly done. I finished brewing it and pitched the yeast a couple hours ago. It’s in the freezer, hopefully there’s not too much of a lag time before the yeast kicks off. I saved the hefeweizens for last because they need the least amount of aging. Two weeks from now they go in kegs and we’re done. I’m beat, and this isn’t even close to the workload a professional brewer has.
The first two batches of beer for the wedding reception, the brown ale and the stout, are now in kegs. All in all, the chest freezer fermentation chamber and the Better Bottles worked out better than I expected. The only hitch was that I started running low on CO2 while purging the kegs. So I ran down to Mr. G’s and picked up a second five pound cylinder. Now I shouldn’t get caught with no CO2 again.
This morning I did probably the most technically challenging beer of the set, the red ale. I haven’t had much luck with them, consistently turning out brown ales instead of getting that red color. When I was at Homebrew Headquarters picking up the ingredients, I got some tips on another way to do it. So instead of steeping the roasted barley along with the rest of the specialty grains, I waited until everything was out and I was bringing it up to a boil. At that point, I put just the roasted barley in a hop sack and repeatedly dunked it until I got a color that looked good. It may be a little light, but it’s going to be a lot closer to red than my previous attempts. Yeast has been pitched and it’s in the old fermentation chamber since the stout and brown ale are still in the chest freezer. They’ll get kegged tomorrow or Monday and then I’ll be ready to do the hefeweizens.