It was a beautiful Saturday for a brew day and specifically this brew day where we planned to homebrew a Jasmine IPA. I set up my canopy on my deck as has become tradition so no leaves or pollen fall out of the trees into the batch. This was going to be the first time we used our brand new sparge arm The Ultimate Sparge Arm. This was going to be great. I mean, look at this thing…

It also meant this was the first we’d have a real opportunity to use our pump and brew “the way the pros do”. On top of all this, we also had just purchased a brand new kettle from Spike Brewing that we were going to use as our first try at a direct heat mash tun. We love what Spike does and if you haven’t had the chance to check out their equipment, go check out what they have available on their website. Our entire lot of equipment is made by them. But, needless to say, I was really looking forward to this session.

We had plans to try and recreate one of my personal favorite beers, Elysian’s Avatar IPA, which is a light floral IPA brewed with a healthy amount of Jasmine flowers. It’s a very sessionable beer with a light floral aroma. I had found a clone recipe in a forum online and decided to try it almost one to one. We almost always put our own spin on every recipe we try, be it intentional or accidental. This time we decided to dry-hop (dry-flower?) some extra flowers instead of the pure boil the recipe called for.

Once everything was cleaned, I had to setup the equipment, lines and pump to verify everything was flowing correctly and we didn’t have any leaks. I filled out liquor tank with some water from the hose and decided to kick the pump on. Everything worked great, right off the bat.

Testing pump and lines with water

We got a nice flow of water through the sparge arm, so I knew we were on our way to our first recirculated batch and hopefully a very high conversation rate.

The mashing was definitely an interesting process. We have previously used the cooler method, which has a tendency to lose some temperature over the hour mashing period. Direct heat is a whole other animal. You need to keep regulating the temperature by turning on and turning off the burner, trying to make sure you don’t scorch the grain, but keeping the temperature high enough to pull those sweet, sweet sugars out of it. There is definitely minimal room for error and this is probably not the time to be sitting back and having a beer or two.

The day started heating up pretty rabidly and it wasn’t just because we had a couple burners going. Just look at our brew dog Remy trying to stay cool from the heat.

He’s cute, isn’t he? He was hot, but he was enjoying the time outside with his dad and uncle with all the smells that come out during a brewing session.

homebrew a Jasmine IPA.

Beer while brewing?

BBCo's Strawberry Whale Cake

Music while brewing?

Foo Fighters - Concrete and Gold

Categories: Brew Day


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