Okay, technically it wasn’t quite a 4th of July brew, since we brewed on Monday the 3rd instead… but you get the idea.
I had taken Monday off so my friend Paul (hardcore homebrewer) and I could get together to brew up an all-grain batch of beer. The plan was to brew a Scotch ale (designed to tip the scales at something like 9% alcohol by volume) and then a second-runnings from that. We brought Paul’s equipment over to our house (I’m thinking now that I should have taken pictures of it… d’oh!) and set up for a long day of brewing.
It wasn’t that long, overall, though. The first batch (the big one) started out fine, the mash went well, no problems until it was time for lautering… apparently the mesh screen filter at the bottom of his mashtun had popped loose, resulting in a stuck spigot. We were able to mostly unstick the spigot to get the wort out without too much grain with it, but the sparging probably lasted about an hour longer than was necessary.
The rest of the brew went well. I ended up with about three gallons of second-runnings ("two-penny" ale, is what Paul called it), Paul had four or five or so gallons of full-strength wort, and it’s all percolating away. All in all a good brew day… and we ended the day with an impromptu barbecue with a bunch of friends.
I also picked up ingredients for a batch of bitter. More as the Two-Penny ferments and I brew up the other…