Friday, June 22, 2012

Brewing to Capacity

So I have reached a sad state of affairs.  I'm out of homebrew.  Well, not completely out, but with only about 4 bottles mixed between stout and that "turned out too dark brown Irish Red" -  functionally, I'm out.  I DO have another five gallons of the Irish "Brown" in a carboy ready for bottling, but nary a drop to drink.  Oh, and while my mead from a few years ago has aged quite nicely, it is not a session beverage in the slightest.

It is this utter dearth of beverage that caused me pause to consider - how much could I possibly have at once?  Given that I only have five gallons in any state of progress, how much could I actually max out?  Turns out, the answer is about 50 gallons.  With 4 carboys, 2 kegs, and 8 cases of bottles, I do have room to produce and store a quarter of my limit at once (limit in the U.S. for those playing at home is 100 gallons a year for an individual of 200 gallons a year for a household with two or more individuals over the age of 21.  More adults does not increase the personal consumption limit above 200).  Now, were I to be maxed out, I would run into a consumption bottleneck rather than a production bottleneck, but that's a problem I could try to work through.

Since I'm not FULLY keg capable yet, we'll call my maximum capacity 40 gallons - which means with only 5 gallons I'm at a meager 12.5% of my available load.  With one day off of work (today), the question was, how do I pump so much into the front-end of the production line that I fill up more more more of that capacity to last me throughout the summer.  The answer?  A 20 gallon brewday.


A 20 gallon brewday.

Now, while I could theoretically start at 7:30 AM with boiling and mash in around 8:30 with the first of two 10 gallon batches, that just wouldn't be my lazy procrastinative style (yes, I think I made up procrastinative, but I like the way it rolls).  Rather, I didn't truly PLAN to brew until last night, meaning that I don't actually have any ingredients, which also limits my start time, since my Homebrew store of choice does not open until 10:00.  This leaves me with the dilemma that there is no way to do two 10 gallon all-grain batches by a reasonable time this evening.  So I made some plan adjustments.  The new plan is: one 5 gallon batch of something experimental (I'm trying a Black IPA or CDA or whatever you want to call it), that I will source primarily with extract.  Then one 10 gallon batch of a standard (we're doing the American Brown).  Then, for my last trick (after clearing a carboy by bottling), I will be attempting 5 gallons of hard cider (another test, using some tips from this site).

After all that, I'll have 5 gallons bottle conditioning and 20 gallons fermenting.  62.5% of my carrying capacity of 40 gallons.  Much much better.  One more 20 gallon (double 10g batch?) psycho-brewday in a month or two and I'd be loaded up for the rest of the year, most likely.

I'll be live tweeting my exciting day, along with posting updates and recipes here on the blog,  Hope you enjoy it.  Oh, and such a carefully constructed day requires carefully constructed timing.  So I have a strict down-to 15 minutes schedule.  Here it is:

Time General 10G Brown Ale 5G Black IPA Cider Red Bottling
7:30 AM Donuts & Water
7:45 AM Donuts & Water
8:00 AM Load Propane,Take Dogs
8:15 AM Get Propane
8:30 AM Measure Chemicals
8:45 AM Buy Apple Juice?
9:00 AM Get Equipment Out
9:15 AM Prep/Clean
9:30 AM Drive to HBHQ
9:45 AM Drive to HBHQ
10:00 AM HBHQ
10:15 AM HBHQ
10:30 AM HBHQ
10:45 AM HBHQ
11:00 AM Drive Home
11:15 AM Drive Home
11:30 AM Boil 8 G/Steep Grains
11:45 AM Boil 6.25 G Water for Mash In Boil 8 G/Steep Grains
12:00 PM Eat Boil 6.25 G Water for Mash In Boil 8 G/Steep Grains
12:15 PM Boil 6.25 G Water for Mash In Boil
12:30 PM Boil 6.25 G Water for Mash In Boil
12:45 PM Boil 10.5 G for Mash Out Boil
1:00 PM Mash Boil
1:15 PM Mash Transfer to Carboy
1:30 PM Mash Transfer to Carboy
1:45 PM Mash Transfer to Carboy
2:00 PM Sparge Transfer to Carboy
2:15 PM Sparge Pitch Yeast
2:30 PM Sparge
2:45 PM Sparge
3:00 PM Heat to Boil Sanitize Bottles
3:15 PM Heat to Boil Sanitize Bottles
3:30 PM Heat to Boil Sanitize Bottles
3:45 PM Heat to Boil Transfer to Bottling Bucket
4:00 PM Boil Transfer to Bottling Bucket
4:15 PM Boil Bottle
4:30 PM Boil Bottle
4:45 PM Boil Clean Carboy
5:00 PM Transfer to Carboys Fill & Pitch
5:15 PM Transfer to Carboys
5:30 PM Transfer to Carboys
5:45 PM Transfer to Carboys
6:00 PM
6:15 PM
6:30 PM
6:45 PM
7:00 PM
7:15 PM
7:30 PM
7:45 PM
8:45 PM
9:00 PM

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