All great epic tragedies start out with the protagonist having good intentions. Unfortunately, protagonists usually suffer from chronic hubris and they manage to foul everything up and something usually dies and then the protagonist experiences catharsis and then suffers from regret for the rest of his/her days. I am the protagonist of this story.
I planned on a simple brown ale. I had obtained 7 pounds (3.15 kilograms) of Gleneagles Maris Otter malt. Gleneagles Maris Otter is a Scottish version of the English Maris Otter malt. I was stoked to try out this scarce floor malted barley.
Let me take a moment to tell you about a tiny little malting company from Blackford, Perthshire in Scotland: Gleneagles Malting Company.
OK, back to how I ruined 7 pounds of precious malt:
I first made err on my strike temp calculation. I was aiming for a mash temp of 154 deg F, but hardly hit 140 deg F. I did not record my maths, so I am not certain how I was so far off. I decided to add a small amount of direct heat to my tun to bring the mash up to temp. I turned on the flame and then, like a twit, wandered off and got side-tracked. Two hours passed. Later, I realized that not only did I leave the heat on the whole time, but I also neglected the amount of water that would be absorbed by the grain. I sparged anyway because it otherwise would've felt like such a bloody waste. I used an English approach to sparging.
Here's the bloody stupid part: like a twit, I neglected to close the kettle valve before I started lautering into the kettle. I didn't have enough initial runoff to notice because the liquid rested below the level of the valve (remember how I miscalculated my water needs?). Well, when I began to drain my mashout, I again walked away to do something like make a sandwich. Upon return to the kettle with my sandwich in hand, my wort was ignominiously coating the floor! I felt the same way Napoleon must have felt when he met his inglorious end. With my head hung in embarrassment, I grabbed some Brawny paper towels and dabbed up the mess. Brawny promises performance and they performed gracefully in their sopping up of sweet floor wort.
Ready for some hubris? Disgracefully, I squeezed the damn paper towels into the kettle to recover as much sweet floor wort as I could. I started my boil as if I'd done nothing wrong.
I have one shameful gallon of the stuff in a glass jug.
--- Potential names for this beer include:
-Mistake Mistake Mistake Mistake