So we brewed the ESB this weekend. It was a chilly day, overcast, air temp 19 degrees when we started, and there was half an inch of sleet from the night before. However, there was no wind and when the propane burner was on, it was pretty pleasant, really. We really encountered no issues this time with the exception of a few floaties in the boil where our screen didn't do its job, but only a few and they'll settle into the bottom of our fermenter as far as I can tell. At any rate, we went for a thin mash due to the air temp, mashed in a little high, at 154, but quickly settled in at 152 after a stir.
The mash held temp really well, which is something we've struggled to maintain in our last few batches. To keep temp, we wrapped the baby in swaddling cloths, lying on a deck bench.
We use a cement pad for the propane burner so as to not set the deck on fire, which I think is pretty good preventative maintenance when it comes to a couple of guys having several beverages. The flame and heat left a pretty interesting pattern in the layer of ice:
We may have miscalculated somewhere, not sure, but we only pulled 9 gallons from the mash plus sparge, so we had to get a couple more gallons of sparge water and I milked the mash tun as best I could. Pulled off 11.5 gallons finally. Hit 13.3 Plato, which I think will be just fine. Here's our first bucket pulled, nice color to it:
Boil was uneventful as well--a nice, easy, non agressive boil. Here's my brewing friend, his scarf is from Belgium, he and his wife went to Brussels last spring on a last second whim and visited Cantalone.
And here I am adding the 20 min hops:
Here's the wort at flameout, we've put the chiller in and the wort got down to 66 degrees in short order, which is where we pitched....
Looking forward to finishing up and comparing notes with you guys!!!