First brew in the beer shack

The conversion of my stainless pots to brewing vessels still awaited, so with the beer shack at the point of usability (by some definition — there’s still no water supply) and my old boiler repaired I had to go for a trial run. The planned brew was the Morland’s Old Speckled Hen clone from Graham Wheeler’s “Brewing Great British Beers” book.

The brew generally followed the same procedure as I’ve been using for the last twenty years, with the important changes coming with the boil and for fermentation. In the fullness of time I intend to have a “chimney” taking the steam and other volatile products of the boil directly outside the shed, but for the short term I sat the old boiler in place of the new one and bodged up some piping to allow the steam to escape outside.

This meant I could do my first ever proper rolling boil. To stop condensed gases (some of which you really don’t want, such as DMS — dimethyl sulphide) running back down to the boiler I created a sort of trap, so they’d run into a separate bucket instead:

The top end of the pipework is demountable and just pokes out of a window when I need it to. Here you can see it working well (and you can see that this is before I’ve glued down the EPDM roof covering). The graininess of the photo is down to our weather. It’s been like that for a lot of the last few years 🙁

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