The warm British summer this year hasn’t been ideal for someone who makes beer without the advantage of any cooling equipment so brewing has taken a bit of a backseat for the past couple of months. The temperature however has recently dropped, convenient as we were out of beer.

Last weekend I brewed a small batch of an American Pale Ale I’ve made before – I still had all the ingredients sat in the cupboard so this didn’t even involve any shopping!

 

maris-otter-caramalt-grain

Grain ready for another brewday.

I managed to get some eco-friendly insulated packaging material that was being chucked out at work – its just wool in a plastic bag, designed to keep things in the post cool, but I figured it would be useful for wrapping my “mash tun” in to hold temperature more efficiently. My current mash tun is just a stainless stockpot, which holds temp fairly well for 60 minutes, but I was hoping this wool would help improve this again….if only I had remembered to check the temperature at the end of the hour!

woolcool

Woolcool packaging to help sustain mash temperatures

I used Beersmith3 to track the brew, I hit most of the predicted values for efficiency and gravity with the exception of the gravity once the wort was transferred into the fermenter – looks like this beer will turn out a little weaker than expected, that’s no big deal though.

brewsmith3

Brewsmith brewday record – spot on for post mash gravity and efficiency!

A few hours brewing and almost a week later and 5 litres of beer are still bubbling away nicely in our utility room – temperature in there has been holding at a useful 21C or so which is ideal fermenting temperature. I’ll add some hops in the next day or so and then look to start transferring to bottles in another week.

small-fermenter-5-litres

Temperature looking good