National Homebrew Day is Saturday, May 4th and Bosco’s is celebrating by hosting another Big Brew Day.
For those of you unfamiliar with this event, it is something that has been promoted every year by the American Homebrewers Association in honor of the passage of federal legislation that officially legalized the practice of homebrewing at the national level.
Our version of National Homebrew Day has been an annual event that is sponsored by Boscos for any MCB club members in good standing (i.e., have paid dues for 2013 year) who want to participate. Boscos produces the wort on their brewing system, and homebrewers bring their own equipment from home to boil the wort, add their own hops, and cool it down before pitching yeast. It is usually a rain or shine event, so some folks bring tent-type canopies to provide some shade from the sun as well as protection in the event of a light shower. Some of us even stuck it out and brewed the weekend of the great flood in Nashville several years ago!
We are doing something a little differently this year to make things as fair as possible as well as encourage (and reward) those interested in signing up with Karen to do so as soon as possible to help with her planning. As people sign up, they will be placed on a list in the order they have signed up. This will also be the order that wort is distributed the day of the event. You will receive a ticket with your number on it on Saturday, the day of the event. When it comes time to distribute the wort, you must be present to get your wort. If you aren’t there when your number is called you will be placed in the front at next available spot in line when you do arrive.
Also, as a reminder, your membership must be up to date. If you request wort and your membership is NOT up to date, you will be placed on the waiting list and added to the next available spot on the reserved list when you do renew. This event is one of the big perks for being an MCB member, so we want to be sure that everyone who participates is current. Of course, anyone is allowed to come and be at the event, even if your membership isn’t current, or you are not presently a member, or have friends who aren’t members. It is a great time, and also a great way to see a wide range of brewing set-ups (including my 12-volt car battery powered counterflow chiller apparatus).
Specific brewing details:
The wort composition will be 100% pale ale malt. Anticipated Wort Gravity: lower 1.050’s. So for a 90 minute boil, you should end up around mid to high 1.060’s.
Brewers can request 7 gal each of first runnings that are much higher wort gravity. There is usually a limit of about 20 gallons of first runnings. After that everyone else can request to receive 14 gallons each of regular runnings of the wort. More than 14 gals can be requested but each brewer wanting more will have to wait and see if there is any extra wort if there are no shows and such. Please email Karen with your wort requests. She will be keeping track of who gets what.
7:00 – Mash in at Bosco’s. Karen always needs volunteers to help with the brew process and wort distribution in the brewhouse, so anyone interested, please email Karen.
8:30 – First runnings should be available
Hot Scotchies will be available shortly after that for the Annual Blessing of the Wort
10:00 – Rest of the wort should be available. Hot pads, oven/fireplace/grilling mitts or gloves would be a good thing to bring as well, as the wort is close to 160F when it is distributed.
Only pre-designated club members will be allowed into the brewery except at the point when wort is picked up.
You may begin setting up your system as early as you would like in the parking lot. If you are new to this, you will need to be all-inclusive and portable with your brewing set-up. We will check with Karen to see if there will be any access to an electrical outlet that people may be able to run extension cords to for those who may have electric transfer pumps.
Bring extra malt extract and hops in the event that the wort ends up being lower gravity than expected, less volume of wort available than you expected, higher gravity than expected, or higher volume than expected. Anything can happen, and the best strategy is to have some additional ingredients on hand to adjust your batch as needed. Some people may want to steep some specialty grains to adjust their recipe, or add filtered water to lower the gravity or extend the volume.
If you want Boscos yeast (Wyeast 1056 strain), be sure to bring a plastic sanitized container with a screw-top lid with an opening that is at least 2 inches in diameter. Nalgene brand hiking bottles or Tupperware water bottles work great for this.
Chilling your finished brew is always the biggest delay in Brew Day. Bring several large bags of ice if you plan to use a pre-chiller set-up for your wort chiller. Boscos will not have ice available for us to use for this purpose. Bring garden hose if you have it. Label it in advance so you can make sure you get it back later in the day.
Clean-up is always a challenge. Unfortunately, there is always someone who will be last to get wort and last to use a chiller. Any of you who can stay late into the afternoon to help everyone get their space cleaned up and put away is always appreciated.
Finally, please support Boscos by purchasing food and drink from them, and handsomely tipping the servers who wait on us. We try to keep it fun for them as well as for us. Be sure to pay your tab before you leave. If you do bring some homebrew, please be discreet with it and don’t go overboard. No kegs, please. Remember, we are Boscos’ guest, and don’t want to overstay our welcome!
There is obviously a limit to how much wort is available. Boscos makes one 7 barrel batch (about 294 gallons), and the wort will be reserved and made available on a first come, first-served basis. Anyone interested in participating should email Karen Lassiter, head brewer at Boscos, for wort requests.
E-mail Karen to reserve your wort: firstname.lastname@example.org