Now that my grades are in, my children are on the mend, and I've shoveled my driveway, I finally got a chance to brew tonight. I brewed a cream stout.
Not only did I brew a much needed batch, I got to break in my new brew kettle. I recently purchased a 22 quart (5.5 gallon) stock pot. This thing is awesome. I am now able to do full boils (i.e. boil the entire 5 gallon batch). There are a lot of benefits to doing full boils. One of which is hop utilization. The extraction and isomerization is more efficient in a full boil.
Here is a picture of my new baby. I put a pint glass next to it for reference:
Since it is butt-ass cold around here and there are mounds of snow everywhere, I decided to let Mother Nature chill my wort for me. So, I stuck the pot in a drift on my deck:
The snow was cold and the air was a zero degrees Fahrenheit. I moved the pot around as it melted the snow. Here is the aftermath:
My spent grains are in a bucket to the left waiting very patiently to be composted.
This version of my cream stout was a partial mash version. I changed the recipe a bit. I'll let you know how it turned out.