Mad Zack Brewing
Purveyors of fine ales, ciders and meads for the discerning post-apocalyptic survivor...

Blog of Mad Zack Brewing

Sun, 27 Nov 2016 14:23:00 -0800

Brewing "The Bitter End" ESB...

I've been wanting to brew an ESB for a while now. I stumbled across a recipe called that people rave about, so I thought I'd tweak it a bit and try it out.

The recipe calls for Maris Otter malt as the base, but I couldn't find that in organic, so I went with organic Crisp malt, which is similar, but whereas the Maris Otter is a bit more bread-tasting, the Crisp is more "biscuity". I also subbed in American variants for the English hops, and C60 malt instead of C55. I stuck with a traditional ESB yeast, though.

I figured I'd do a photo timeline of the all-grain brew day (or most of it anyways), so here goes...

Heated the strike water; I use an outdoor propane burner:

Mashing in! Stirring the grains into the strike water:

Adding the specialty grains:

For the mash rest, I need to maintain a constant precise temperature. It helps to insulate the mash tun:

Insulating it really well helps:

I'm a "brew-in-a-bag" brewer, as it keeps things neat and easy for these small batches. Once the mash is done, I drain the grain bag through a colander:

And then "sparge" with hot water:

#BrewDay #ESB #BitterEnd

kelly jacklin

Sun, 27 Nov 2016 19:56:50 -0800

Boiling the wort...

Once the mash is done, it's time for the boil. I raise the temperature of the wort (that's the term for unfermented beer):

until is is boiling:

The hops get added at various stages for bittering, flavour and aroma:

Once the boil is complete, I cool it down with an immersion chiller (sorry, I didn't get a picture of this step), which is basically a copper coil that you plop in the wort, and run tap water through to act as a heat exchanger to leach out the heat from the wort.

The cooled-down wort then sits in a sanitized fermenting carboy for a bit:

And then we pitch the yeast:

Finally, we add an airlock, so the yeasts can off-gas (erm, fart) carbon dioxide, but nothing gets back into the fermenting beer:

At this point, our work is done (well, mostly), but the yeasts' work has just begun...

And when I say our work is done, I really mean that it, too, has only just begun... As much time as I spend brewing, I spend the same amount, or perhaps even more, cleaning up. The brew kettle is a bit mess to clean up, with beer stone from the baked-on hops and protein break, and everything else needs a good scrubbing as well, so we can be ready for the next brewing day...

kelly jacklin

Mon, 28 Nov 2016 07:47:51 -0800

Mash temperature chart...

Chart of mash temperatures over time:

(For some reason I cannot explain, Google Sheets decided to adjust my times by 8 hours, even when I edited the timezone to GMT... And iWork Numbers will not let me do a non-linear plot against time, so that's why I resorted to Google Sheets...)

kelly jacklin