Trouble Brewing

I’ve not made much beer in the last year, so having ordered 25kg of pale malt and various other bits and pieces, last week I decided to crack on with a few brews. Protz and Wheeler’s “Brew Your Own British Real Ale At Home” has been something of a bible for me, so I worked my way through a few recipes.

Over the course of several days I did five gallon batches of Arkell’s Kingsdown, Morland Old Speckled Hen, Eldridge Pope/Thomas Hardy Royal Oak, Big Lamp Big Bitter and Courage Directors. I was in the process of heating up some water to start a mash for some Fullers London Pride when the power went off. Down in the cellar I could see that the earth leakage trip had flipped. I reset it only for it to trip again. A second reset allowed me time to discover that the connector for the heating element in my boiler was making an unpleasant crackling noise and was almost certainly the cause of the electrical problems, so I disconnected it immediately.

Unfortunately the thermostat on the boiler has also been playing up and to replace both the element and thermostat is little different to the cost of an entirely new boiler, so my mind turned to what I might replace it with that would make brewing a bit more efficient and allow me to work somewhere other than the kitchen, as for some inexplicable reason my wife seems to have an aversion to sticky floors. I have some ideas now, but they may have to wait a while as it could easily turn into another “project” and right now I have quite enough of those to finish as it is. So, the weighed out London Pride mash ingredients have been bagged up and put away and I’ll come back to that another time.

Whatever my new arrangements, it will be interesting to see how efficient the mash is. My OG figures always come out a few degrees lower than those suggested by Wheeler and Protz. It would be encouraging to achieve something closer, either as a result of improving the mashing process, or by better sparging.

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