When John and I prepare for a brew day, it's always an adventure. Waking up with the sun after a long night of drinking isn't ideal but we make it work. Cream-filled donuts from McMillan's with at least "6" cups of coffee is a must. We strategize every part of the day except our gear. One would think that after all of the times we've brewed together, we would figure out a way to right our wrongs, but who's counting anyway?
For our first all-grain brew, we went with a Very Pale Ale with spicy and citrusy notes (thanks to Bitters & Esters). While we had all necessary ingredients and gear, there always seems to be a lose knot somewhere along the way. The brew pot that we finally purchased was 2 gallons short of what we needed; foolish. The cooler that was to be the mash tun was not wide enough for the filter. The ball-valve spout for the mash tun was leaking. Well, the more mistakes you make, the fewer mistakes there are left to make.
With all of these epic fails, we still got a 69% efficiency with our mash, which is just a point short of what we were aiming for.
The mishaps didn't end on the brew day. Due to a hectic morning in Brooklyn, the extra bottles that were to serve as cushions were forgotten. Much to our good will, "The Captain", a.k.a Mr. Fielding, was in town and had quite the thirst for craft beer. He helped polish off just enough bottles to save us from drowning the night before. When the morning came, we had donuts awaiting us in the kitchen and beers to wash them down (only needed 2 more bottles to fill 5 gallons worth). We cleaned clean, bottled, and drank.
Given the turn of events, the brewing of this beer was a major success and are counting the days until they can be uncorked.
Cooler courtesy of Lowe's Home Improvement, the real deal.