This past weekend I set out with two goals in mind: brew five gallons of beer on Saturday and brew five gallons of beer on Sunday. Anything else I accomplished would be considered a bonus.

Grinding the Pilsner Grain

As an insurance policy to make sure that both brewing sessions would take place, I made two yeast starters in advance mid-week. I am still getting accustomed to blogging my every brew, and forgot to take pictures of the yeast starters. I’ll make it up to you this week.

Hands-free sparging

So as planned, I was in the Drewery (No that’s not a typo, I named my basement brewery after myself–Andrew’s Brewery didn’t have the same ring to it.) for the better portion of Saturday and Sunday while the rest of the tri-state area was experiencing torrential weather.Trees were falling down, shingles were flying off my neighbors’ roofs, and I was brewing my third and fourth batches of all grain beers; a Bohemian Pilsner and a Kolsch. Both recipes were taken from Brew Your Own (BYO) magazine from the Style Profile section.

Recirculating the Kolsch

For every style of beer I brew, I give it two attempts. The first batch I try brewing as close to the style (if it even fits into the style guidelines) as possible. The second batch I usually tweak based on the results of the first. If after two genuine attempts, I feel that neither recipe can be added to my portfolio, I abandon the style until the next year, or until a spot opens in my brewing schedule. My brewing schedule consists of nothing more than a list of recipes I want to brew and their ideal fermentation temperatures: I brew lagers in the fall and winter months and ales in the spring and summer months.

Kolsch Spent Mash

On the schedule for next weekend is a clone of the wonderful Fuller’s Porter. In the meantime, the Pilsner is fermenting in a 50 degree room while the Kolsch is fermenting at 60 degrees. In about two months, I’ll be bottling these brews, and I’ll give you an update on them then. Right now I’m bottle conditioning a Golden Lager (pre-prohibition style lager) and I’ll report back when I crack open the first bottle.

With the empty Pilsner grain sack

(Just a note: Charlotte has power back! She’ll be up and cooking by Wednesday, and you don’t want to miss her festive treats!)