The Civil Life Brewer, pictured left, helps out at the warehouse for a bit. I had told him we had problems with our plumbing company but not that the place was flooded. Hmmm... “Capiche!” I said, “Capris” he responded.
Stuck Mashes and Pineapple Clarification
Holy Stuck Mashes. Arrgh! In fact, my fragile twelve year old psyche is still recovering from the meanest stuck mash of my life. And Mike's ten year shorter life. (That means Mike's pysche is two) Turns out that you can pack a half pound of milled grain around your electric heating element. Sad trombone. Since 'mashing' is the heart and soul of making beer (soaking milled grain in hot water in order to release the 'beer juice'...) its really one of the biggest bugaboos you could face on brew day. The 'stuck' part comes from the fact that you have to drain the hot water (hot liquor) off the grain in order to continue on to 'boiling', and if your hot liquor is all bunged up in a slurry of grain that ain't gonna fly. Fortunately my brawn outweighs my brain and through a few "KAPOW"'s "BAM"s and "ZOINK"s (my other options were "Biff"s and regular "POW"s) we stood semi-victorious, which is how I try to stand all the time.
Speaking of success (or the attempt toward success) I have to talk about the fabled pineapple beer (PB) of last blog post (LBP). Its racked over to a keg awaiting another dose of Ananas Comosus which sounds more like bananas from pluto (It will always be a planet to me...) than pineapples, but things are often not what they seem. Sweet Breads. Right now this beer is an experiment that comes from a brew from nearly 4 years ago. The first incarnation of the pineapple beer had a wonderful acidity to it that unfortunately is often overlooked or at least not clearly defined in many types and styles of beer. So, a noble attempt is being made to find that acidity again and pontificate upon its soul. Will the PB be poured at The Civil Life? Dunno. Its got some room to run though....
Its weird to think that the PB (pineapple beer for those of you who are asleep at the wheel and just hoping this blog post ends soon) has much to do with the other beers we are working on (American Brown, British Special Bitter...wait! Can't let all the fun out!.....) but it does. And I'm not making that up like most things I make up. Acidity pops up again and again in beer, but you have to look for it in different ways. I'm often ho-hum about brown beer when it's a Sweet Show but with a little dry roast it begins to sing. Hops can add tons of acidity. Even brewing water can do its part. Do all beers need Balance? Sweet to Savory? Mouthfeel to Drinkability? Tastes Great! Less Filling! Nah. Some beer is mighty fine when a component is all out of whack, but it can't be just a gimmick.
And finally, to the invisible soul who commented "cerveza de pina por favor"...."Estoy trabajando en ello" (courtesy of Google translate).
Dylan Mosley is the Civil Life’s Brewer. He is also responsible for changing out the pirate flag every 8 months. His annual compensation package here is directly related to the amount of time his beard is a minimum of two inches long.