I promise that this won’t become a string of disclaimers about two guys who failed to start brewing successfully, but this was at least part of the reason to start a blog — to have “someone” to report to.
I managed to forget to buy (a) a new hydrometer and (b) a pair of new strainer bags. The former I can do without — not knowing the gravity of the first brew in a while kind of sucks, but it’s not game-changing when I have a pretty good track record of hitting gravities.
But the grain bags… yeah. I don’t have a proper mashing device, my my alternatives are few. Cori has the car. Things I considered:
- I could use my spaghetti pot and strainer insert. I think this will fail because the holes in the bottom of the strainer are too big: the mash would simply float right through. The bottom of the strainer is also a bit high off the bottom of the pot, and it would be hard to get good water coverage for 2.5lbs of grain.
- I could use the above device with some kind of filtration over the strainer insert. This leaves the problem of void space in the makeshift mash tun, and leaves the question about what to use as a filtration device. Items considered: Towel (kitchen or bathroom), t-shirt, plastic wrap with holes… I eventually decided that I didn’t want a brew that tasted like Tide, and the plastic wrap had no chance at actually working.
- I could go to a local shop and purchase cheesecloth. Except that I don’t know of a shop within walking distance that has cheesecloth.
- I could mash directly in the spaghetti pot and siphon out the liquid through the small bag that I have. This would require emptying the bag at least 3 times during the siphon, which would require some serious trickery with only my two human arms, and leaves open the obvious question: How the hell would I sparge?
So… Tomorrow, to the brew store for hydrometer + bags. Now, I get out a beer and toast to my ongoing failure at renewing my brewing success.
In other news, I continue to be impressed by Sam Adams. They’re selling hops at-cost to craft brewers around the US. Yes, there’s a lot of this that’s general marketing ploy, and I’m sure it’s all approved by large legal, marketing, and “brew futures” departments. I’m also sure that they think they can make a profit on it — sell for what it cost last year, then buy for less this year. But it’s still pretty cool. It makes me want to give their winter brews another shot.