Monday, July 29, 2013

New House, Planning Inaugural Brew

As previously mentioned, Mrs. Shegogue Brew and I bought our first house recently.  The previous owners were smokers so we had to do a lot of painting, wall washing and needed to replace carpet.  While at it we decided to take down a wall between two extremely tiny bedrooms (they barely had space for anything other than a twin bed) and extend the master closet into one of the stated bedrooms - resulting in a good sized 2nd bedroom and a generous walk-in closet off the master.  It was a lot of work and we crammed it all into a 3 week time period. I then went to NHC and then Las Vegas for a friends wedding.  This past weekend we had a housewarming party, which officially marked the completion of all of our hard work!  There is still a bunch of other stuff on the long-term house to-do list, but I finally have a chance to get to the all important beer to-do list!



Currently, I'm tapped out!  The last beer I made was the German Pilsner which was brewed back in February.  I wasn't able to keep stuff cold during the move or after, and the beers I had just did not hold up with the temperature fluctuations and general age (over 6 months).  Additionally, the new house is lacking power receptacles in the dedicated brewery area.  I currently am running an extension cord from the other side of the unfinished basement to power my kegerator as a stop-gap until I can get electrical installed.

I hope to brew this upcoming, but I need to do a bit of planning.  Brewing in a new space always presents some challenges so I will use the rest of this post as a checklist to help identify and remediate any potential problems in advance to make the brewday go smoother.

New Brew-Space Checklist!

  • Weather - Until I can get the all electric setup going inside of the basement (monetary donations welcome!), I will be back catching some sun in the great outdoors for my brewing (no garage at the new house).  While this isn't a huge issue, weather was something I had conveniently forgotten at my rental due to the garage.  If its raining I may have to postpone things.
  • Utilities (Water and Fuel) 
    • Where will I get my brewing water from? - I don't have a potable hose, so it looks like I will need to fill up carboys in the kitchen and lug it downstairs and outside for my mash and sparge water.  There is a spigot for chilling and cleaning water outside already, so that will make clean up easier.
    • Do I have enough propane? - I have one tank that is low and a mostly full one connected to my grill.  I should have enough for a brew, although there may be need of some regulator switching
    • Electricity - Sometimes I use a pond pump to recirculate icewater through my immersion chiller to get temps down into the 60s.  I hope my extension cord reaches!
  •  Salts, Cleanser and Sanitizer
    • Do I have all necessary mash salts? Need to check on this one, think I have gypsum, CaCl, and campden.  Should be all I need as long as I have acid malt, which i think I do.
    • Do I have enough cleaner? - I know I am low on PBW, and I will most likely need to pick some up.  I know i always have some C-Brite from my first kit I never used in a pinch.
    • Do I have Sanitzer - Luckily, I know i have an ounce or so of Star San left, as well as an unopened 8oz.  Good to go here!
    • Random items - I think i need more fermcap-S as it has been out of the fridge for 3 months
  • Brewhouse Tools - Are all thermometers and refractometers calibrated? Are my scales accessible?  Are houses/racking canes clean - maybe I should just "snap myself off a fresh piece!"
  • Recipe/Ingredient
    • What style and what recipe? - This is always a big question mark if I havent brewed in a while.  Inevitability it will be something of medium to low ABV and leaning towards the hoppy side - maybe that session IPA I have been dragging my foot on!
    • Do I need ingredients I don't have in stock? - Once you have your recipe, make sure you have all the ingredients for it.  I have had my yeast sitting at room temp for 3 months.  The dry yeast is probably ok, the liquid yeast most likely is very low of viability.  May need to pick up yeast based on recipe.
  • Fermentation Control - This is usually not a problem, but because of the move and my lack of power, I will need to figure out how I am getting power to my ferm chamber.  I may need a new extension cord if I can't determine how much power is available off of the circuit the current one is on.
Anything I missed? Be sure to let me know in the comments below.

2 comments:

  1. If taking requests...Plan now for more of the "Plastered Pumpkin" for November.

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    1. Funny you say that as it is about time to start brewing that beer soon in preparation for fall. Not sure if I want it for my first brew at the new place, the pumpkin causes some issues with slow draining from the mash. Maybe brew #2 though!

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