Ah, what a glorious day it was today – old man winter has given us a reprieve from his stranglehold – though a temporary one according to the forecasts.  I don’t remember spring ever being this cold in the Ottawa area – everyone’s sick of it!  But back to today… it hit 17 degrees according to the thermometer on my deck, which is usually pretty close to Environment Canada’s estimate for the area.  Imagine – brewing beer in short sleeves and no shoes on.  Last time was with a winter coat and boots!

Brewing only made up a part of my day; I also bottled a 5 gallon batch before making a quick trip into Renfrew to pick up some wood chips for my smoker.  Yup! I also smoked 2 racks of baby back ribs, which turned out totally awesome.  The chips I used were from retired Jack Daniel’s oak barrels, so first time trying it.  All I can say is, if you’re mouth is watering, it should be – the ribs turned out pretty awesome!  On top of that, I also found the time to make up a batch of coleslaw, a perfect compliment to the ribs.  (Pics below.)

Now, I titled this saying BIG beer… I thought I’d be adventurous and try doubling the ingredients to make a ten gallon batch.  My equipment is just big enough to pull this off, and with summer coming (maybe!), I’d like to spend less time brewing and more time doing other pass times. A brewing day is usually a 6 hour ordeal, so cutting that in half by doubling my capacity would be cool.  It was crazy to see how much grain goes into a 10 gallon batch!  I did up a simple blonde ale (remember White Moustache?), so there was almost 20 pounds of barley.  That, with over 10 gallons of water… I’m glad I purchased that propane turkey fryer.  100,000 BTUs goes a long way.

So, here’s to great food and great beer.  I may just make somebody a good wife some day!  😉

 

Cheers for beers,

Jim

 

Saw these in Canadian Tire - thought I'd give'm a try.

Saw these in Canadian Tire – thought I’d give’m a try.

S-s-s-mokin'!

S-s-s-smokin’!

 

 

 

19 pounds of grain is a lot to handle!

19 pounds of grain is a lot to handle!

My new 100,000 BTU propane burner makes boiling 10 gallons of wort a breeze!

My new 100,000 BTU propane burner makes boiling 10 gallons of wort a breeze!

Time to enjoy the fruits of my labour!

Time to enjoy the fruits of my labour!