Sunday, April 29, 2012

Homebrew: Bourbon Dubbel - 03

We're going places! I have added the quarter-pound of Bavarian candi sugar, the bourbon-soaked oak chips, and the 1/3-cup of bourbon. Luckily, there is still enough bourbon for me to drink.

Toki hasn't been in the kitchen for a long time, which is kinda crazy since right now the kitchen smells awesome. The bourbon, the oak, and the four grains that went into the malt all combine to make something really delicious. And I would be tempted to sample it right now except I have very good self-control and long-distance imaging, or whatever they call it. Delayed gratification. I know that the beer I'm going to make is going to be better than the freakin' awesome brew sitting on the stove right behind me right now, so I'm not going to ladle a sample into a little IKEA tumbler, let it cool, and... no, I won't even think about it.

I'm just going to have some bourbon. That's good enough for now. And maybe I'll walk up to Sebastian Joe's for some ice cream, if there's some stage in this process that will let me step out for a few minutes. But I'm terrible at reading ahead (see also sparging) and it might be important for me to always be around at all times until it's sitting in the carboy, in my closet.

It's interesting because the Brooklyn BrewShop's instructions don't mention a wort chiller at all: they actually suggest filling up your sink with "five inches of water and ice cubes." Isn't that quaint! Seriously, this is totally written by two people living in a little apartment! An apartment a lot like mine, I imagine, a little... I think this is a kitchenette and not a galley kitchen, but what do I know? It's a small kitchen, I think mine is like that of the authors', and I've totally got a sink full of cold water and ice cubes waiting for the hopped malt, sugar, and drunken oak chips. I would've done this in the bathtub, since I did it before and it worked out most handily, but I'll take these authors at face value and follow their disarmingly specific instructions. I mean, they've published a book and I haven't. I'm going to take the authorities' lead, and I don't think the philosophers will fault me for this.

Ugh! It's supposed to chill for 30 minutes, and this would totally be a great moment to run out for ice cream, but I just read ahead (contrary to my nature) and apparently there's some equipment I should be cleaning and sterilizing right now. Excuse me, I have to go wash a carboy, a funnel, some tubing, and evidently my own hands for the next step.

I was about to say, Boy, this beer better be worth it, but I totally know it will be.

Crap, the ice cubes have already melted! We're not even ten minutes into this! I can't make new ice cubes in so short a time! Guess I have to deviate from the printed word and do this bidness in my 'tub.

I prefer StarSan as a biodegradable, environmentally friendly sanitizer that does the job so well, even the pros recommend it. OneStep is great for cleansing, but you must remember that's what it's for, and cleansing is not the same as sanitizing. And as it turns out, I have sanitized a bunch of equipment I don't need right yet. In fact, I have transferred everything from the 5 gal. carboy into a 1 gal. carboy, which was a tedious and stupid process, but I'm not making that much beer so it was necessary to do. Especially since the book has specified a complicated process in which I allow the pitched wort to "off-gas" for three days, a stoppered tube running into a bowl of sanitizing fluid (why?) before swapping it out for the conventional airlock. I guess I'll go along with it, but I really wish the stupid book would explain why this was necessary.

On the other hand, I'm one step closer to my ice cream.

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