Monday, January 24, 2011

Making My Own Beer, Part 2

After far too long, I've completed the beast. Mostly. My son of fermentation chiller is now 99% assembled and I'm relaxing with a Brooklyn Winter Ale. After a long day and a run, I'm just far to lazy to post pictures or video now.

Finally get to the rest of those Christmas ales in the fridge. Tonights brew: @BrooklynBrewery Winter Ale.

As for the chiller, I've got the hardware installed, the weather striping in and other than running out of caulk, I'm ready to call it finished. While I plan on doing a full walk through later this week, I really can't impress how difficult it is to get the weather striping to stick to the foam.

I'm quite happy with the few minor modifications that I made to the design of the baffle. Most notably, I did not fix the baffle in place. Instead I've got it hanging in place on some screws. Why? I wanted to have flexibility in my ice chamber - especially when it comes to getting the ice in and out.

I also added a fan to the bottom of the baffle to increase air flow. In my initial temperature tests during my Thanksgiving turkey thaw, I noticed that it did melt the ice faster, but that it definitely increase the chilling power. I'll give it some tests and see if it's really worth while. Worst case, I just caulk it into place.

Then I notched the top of the baffle to house the temperature control unit. It's a nice central location and allows for easy routing of my cables, especially the power cable, which I have coming out the rear panel at the top.

Also, M and I hit JW Dover Beer Supply store this weekend to get my fermentation and bottling buckets. I opted for plastic because, well, they were cheap. The only downside of the Dover buckets was... I have to drill my own hole for the spigot.

Still, I'm very close to my first brew session. With some luck - and more motivation - I'll be brewing some beer this weekend.

As for the Brooklyn, well, it was drinkable. It's already gone and I didn't hated one sip. It's roasted and nutty with a hint of caramel. While I wouldn't list it in my top three Christmas brews, it's definitely drinkable.

And now... it's time for beer two. What are you drinking? Have any recommendations?