Its 11th November 2015. It is Armistice Day of which I wholly approve and support. But I am worried that there are so many things I need to do today will I be able to stop for 2 minutes. How sad does that sound? I stop work and it is a pretty uplifting moment but that is digressing.
I’m going to refer to brewing for 11 hours solid yesterday to recreate Gift O’ Gold. This is an unrecognised Christmas craft beer IMO. Lovely flavour. It’s main downfall is for the brewer – the onerous peeling and squeezing of oranges and the crushing and preparation of different spices, in addition to all else. It’s not often I put beer to cask whilst brewing but yesterday was one of those days where it just had to be done. Beer had to go into cask and beer had to be made on the same day. For the sake of the beer mind! A day later into cask and the beer would not be the same!!! Yes I’m paranoid. But with good reason. So I’ve set the scene. It was a long day yesterday but I coped and I knew on the schedule it was going to be a big day in the morning i.e. right now. There is no time and I have to brew Imperial Mancunian Stout on 11th Nov. No flexibility. So many beers to brew. So I get up… And start the mash on a stomach full of tea alone.
Fortunately with the Impy it’s a long mash schedule which gives me a window to get down to the unit and drop off those casks filled yesterday and help Paul to set up the bottling run of Rammy Ale. Before I know it times up and I get back to Rammy to start the sparge, whilst juggling the finishing of cleaning the copper from the last brew just in time to be filled again!
Annoyingly, Mango Beach is ready for cask today so for the second day running I am going to be filling casks during brewing a beer. Thankfully the boil is long on this stout so I have a window. But all this means that it’s going to be non stop until I’m filling the FV. No time to eat. No wonder I’m losing weight.
Tonight I am going to see my best friend who I haven’t seen for absolutely ages because he lives across Manchester and I’m always so bloody busy! I decided Marble Arch would be a great place. He likes good beer. So this means it’s going to be a right old dash to get things a bit tidy, shower and out. Anyhow I’ve got the wort in the fermenter. Temperature control set. Recirculation timer set. But not enough time to empty the mash out and copper. That will have to wait for the morning. I hate leaving it til tomorrow. I get paranoid about cleanliness but sometimes there just aren’t enough hours!
Walk the dog. Taxi to Bury Metro. £13 to get to Bury! Bloody hell – I’m in the wrong game.
Just make it in time. But can’t switch off and relax even now. I’m trying to get in the Marble Arch as guest beer. So selling head on. But that’s really quite difficult for me when I’m so bloody laid back most of the time. And when I am knackered – capital K. Enough of pitching and tasting head on – their beer IS excellent.
Great night albeit so short. Trotting back to catch the last tram after some rather strong beer including Earl Grey IPA – which I think is my favourite non Rammy Craft beer of all time – I manage to twist my ankle on the tram track. Bollocks. That’s going to be a pain in more than one way. Deliveries to do tomorrow as well as clean up in the brewery lugging heavy stuff around (as always).
I keep it moving so it doesn’t seize up on me. Finally get home around 1am. Stick head in to check all fine with FV’s. OMG, massive meringue head on the Impy. Explosion all over the floor. WTF #%%#. So I’m guessing as this has not happened for months we have had a problem. Likely the mechanical timer I use is defective. AGAIN. I mean why can’t they make anything properly these days. China is really getting a great name for manufacturing CRAP SHITE!
Anyhow can’t leave the fermenter in that state. All the yeast will dry on everything and be a right nightmare to clean up tomorrow so I clean up and re-cover. Bed at past 2am. What a day!
And after just four and a half hours sleep I get up to find the fermenter has popped again and it’s starting all over! And my ankle really hurts!
Anyone thinking of making a living from brewing…Hah ah ha ahah aha ha ha! Do something else for your health and sanity! Oh, and your pocket!
And it’s now Thursday and its Rochdale Beer Festival tonight. They went all National with it so there is no Rammy Craft and very little local brewery beer. Don’t get me started on that one. But it will be a good chance to get beers you don’t see every day, if they have travelled well….if I have the energy lol I may go.
Oh and brewing again tomorrow! So need to mill my grist for that at some point. I only use freshly milled malt. Just one of my labour intensive quirks that I think makes a difference to flavour.
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