Brew Day: Monogamous – Citra (and FREE BEER events!!!)

I (Ryan) have a week off from work, and since I didn’t really get a chance to go anywhere, I’m dubbing it my Beercation.  Let me be clear, that is a vacation WITH beer, not a vacation FROM beer!  A good friend from high school (in Germany!), Chris, came to town as well.  Chris has recently started brewing himself, so we decided that one of the activities while he was here is that we would do his first all-grain brew day, and I decided that I’d try my updated malt bill for Monogamous.  This time it’s Monogamous: Citra.

Our nice digital thermometer broke, so we had to use the manual one (which means sitting over a hot pot in a hot garage...)

Our nice digital thermometer broke, so we had to use the manual one (which means sitting over a hot pot in a hot garage…)

Chris stirring the mash

Chris stirring the mash

I built a yeast starter a few days earlier of Conan aka Vermont Ale yeast (aka the yeast that is in Heady Topper), and on Wednesday we got to it.  This was a pretty uneventful brew day… no major spillage, no major accidents, and the drinking was a bit more reserved on this one.  That is partially because of past experience, and partially because it was hot as hell in the garage.

Mmmmmmmm... Citra!

Mmmmmmmm… Citra!

...and Turbinado!

…and Turbinado!

We ended up getting a little lower volume than expected from the mash/sparge, and it ended up boiling a bit longer than expected, so the overall volume of beer was a bit diminished.  The OG ended up a tiny bit lower than was anticipated as well, but not significantly so.  I have high hopes that M:C is going to be a much better IPA than Monogamous: Simcoe was.  Once I get the malt bill dialed in to exactly what I want, I will eventually re-visit Simcoe hops and see the difference.

In goes Conan, the beer barbarian!

In goes Conan, the beer barbarian!

Fermenting away!

Fermenting away!

And you can come out and try our beers… SOON!  Really!  It’s official!!!  Wednesday, July 1st, BBxB will be pouring FREE BEER and selling glasses at Home Brew Party Bandera (8407 Bandera Rd, Ste 103) from 5-8 https://www.facebook.com/events/411086812419558/ and on Saturday, July 18th, at Boardwalk on Bulverde food truck park (14732 Bulverde Rd) from 3 – ??? https://www.facebook.com/events/1622071531394881/ Hope to see you there!

Brew Day Playlist:
Red Hot Chili Peppers – The Uplift Mofo Party Plan
Soul Coughing – Ruby Vroom
Reel Big Fish – Turn the Radio Off
Saul Williams – The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust

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Brew Day: Monogamy (Simcoe)

Today we crafted what will hopefully be the first beer in our Standard series, our IPA: Monogamy.  It is dubbed Monogamy because it is a single hop IPA that will be brewed with the same malt bill and yeast (assuming we like this malt bill and yeast!) each time, but with a rotating cast of single hops.  The first iteration is Monogamy (Simcoe).

Starting the day with morning coffee in my Branchline mug while filtering some San Antonio water. All pictures ©2015 BBxB

The weather out side is frightful... so today we'll be brewing in the garage.

The weather out side is frightful… so today we’ll be brewing in the garage.

At 10 or so in the morning it was pouring out, so I (Ryan) decided to set this brew day up in the garage.  By 1:30 when Manny and some guests (Roxanne and Mark who were here on academic reasons, and Raul who was here for libation-ic reasons) arrived and we got set up, the sun was shining and the humidity was blasting.

Heating the mash water

Heating the mash water

This mash tun is amazing... with no top offs, it lost less than 1.5 degrees in 75 minutes.

This mash tun is amazing… with no top offs, it lost less than 1.5 degrees in 75 minutes.

The brew went pretty smooth overall.  We hung out, listened to music, drank (mostly) good beers and enjoyed good company in my not-super-hot and not-super-humid garage.  No sunburn this time like Tuesday, no foot burn (because we didn’t lose any mash water due to a not-quite-closed spigot), no big issues.

Manny

Manny “supervising” the wort coming to a boil

Ryan pretending like he's doing something important, but really just enjoying the warm hop steam facial.

Ryan pretending like he’s doing something important, but really just enjoying the warm hop steam facial.

We tried something a bit new today, running the cooled wort through a sanitized filter bag to remove the excess hop matter before putting it in the fermenter… and I wasn’t too impressed with the results.  The mesh was too fine, and it was a pain in the ass getting all of the wort out.  Manny had to literally squeeze it out with his bare (sanitized) hands.  Next time we’re going to look into just isolating the hops in the wort to begin with instead of trying to separate them at the end.

Roxanne and Mark keeping the wort chiller running strong (and trying to kill my weeds with the hot water)

Roxanne and Mark keeping the wort chiller running strong (and trying to kill my weeds with the hot water).

And finally, for your viewing pleasure, here's a pig dressed as a green bunny on a skateboard.  You're welcome.

And finally, for your viewing pleasure, here’s a pig dressed as a green bunny on a skateboard. You’re welcome.

Brew day Playlist:
Soul Coughing – Irresistible Bliss
Allen Stone – Allen Stone
Doc Delay & Godforbid – American Style Cardboard
Primus – Antipop
White Zombie – Astro-Creep 2000