Some days just beg to be taken advantage of ... and today is one of those days. This is going to be one long post; edited periodically.
10am: Filling up the brewing keg with filtered water and got the burner going. It's a bit windy on the porch, but sunny and warm.
11:30am: Just started the mash for my Commonplace Coffee Porter in a converted picnic cooler. 12 lbs 2-row pale; 1 lb British chocolate malt; 12 oz 60 °L crystal; 6 oz. dextrin malt; 4 oz. black malt; and 1 oz. roasted barley. Added 14 qt of 155° water and brought mash up to ~144° Letting it sit for 30 min.
While that's steeping, I'm trying out the connections of my newly-crafted wort chiller (same one from before, just better fittings). ... :( ... one of the hoses will fit but the other won't. That's confounding, as they're both garden hoses, and both fittings are the same. Well, the input hose is leak free, so I'll just have to hold the output over the porch railing. Back to the drawing board for that!
12:10pm: Just added 6 qts of 200° water to bring mash up to around 150° which is a tad low. In keeping with what I did last time, I'm going to take a few quarts of the mash and boil, then add back to the mash. I think it gives it a bit more maltiness - like a decoction mash.
12:15pm: Just finished adding the water above when the phone rings ... it's a reporter from the local paper wanting to know if he and a photog can come to tonight's homebrew club meeting. This day is just getting better and better. Time for a lunch break.
1:30pm: The starch test was good, ready to sparge. Forgot how much my keg cools down, so I have to wait a few minutes to get my sparge water up to temp again. I'll wait while sipping a Stone Pale Ale.
1:45pm: Startin' the sparge.
2:30pm: Sparging is done. Pulled off approximately 6 gallons of wort, then started the burner.
3:25pm: Windy out ... took a bit longer to get the boil going. After the hot break, added Cascade and Northern Brewer (used 3/4 oz. each) in a hop sock. Let 'er go for 45 minutes. Added the irish moss, and put in the wort chiller to sanitize.
4:40: Started chillin'. Got the primary bucket ready & sanitized.
5:05: Chilled to about 90°, transferred to primary bucket. Got just under 5 gallons, so I added a bit of cold water to bring to 5 gallons. S.G. at 80°F was 1.058, so that's 1.060 at 60°F. Pitched Wyeast 1056 and locked up.
7:00pm: Went up to Dave's for a pre-meeting meeting. We (Dave, Justing, and Eli) sampled a Three Floyds Dreadnaught and a 'black lager' homebrew. From there, we all went up to the Coney for the January Indiana Homebrewers Club meeting, where we watched a DVD on all-grain brewing after getting some pictures taken for the local paper. After the video, we sampled four different beers from various members.
All in all, quite a nice beer day.