We’ve had a serious heat wave going on for the past few days here in North Carolina. I had meant to brew last weekend but was distracted by a quick trip to Kitty Hawk with some friends. Despite the record-setting heat (105°!), the wife was demanding that her favorite Panty Dropper Kölsch be on tap this summer and you know I can’t say no to my wife. If she demands the Panty Dropper, she will have the Panty Dropper!
So I set my alarm to wake me up early on Saturday in a feeble attempt to beat the heat. I set up my brew pot with about 8 gallons of water and prepped my mash tun with the Vienna Malt and Pilsner (2 row) German grains. Then I hit up the AC in the house as the water reached 157° F. Once at the correct temperature, I mashed in with 4.73 gallons of water and let sit for an hour. The temperature in the garage was quickly hitting the mid-90°s so I indulged in some AC as the hour passed. After an hour, I sparged the mash 4.25 gallons of 168°F water for 10 minutes and started the boil. Once the wort reached boiling temp, I let it do its thing for 60 minutes as I retreated once again to the comfort of my air-conditioned house. 60 minutes into the boil, Hallertauer hops were added and left to boil for another 30 minutes. After an hour and a half of letting myself cool down, I had to cool the wort down. I ran my counter-flow chiller for about a half hour and quickly realized that it would be nearly impossible to cool the wort to an optimum temperature of 50° when it was over 100° outside. So I dropped the carboy of wort in my keezer and dropped the temperature setting to 50°. Once the wort hit the sweet spot temp, I pitched the kölsch yeast and raised the temperature in the keezer to 60° where it will ferment for about 2 weeks.
I gotta say, even though it was a miserable brew day and I wasn’t able to enjoy my usual hang in the garage and drink beer plan, everything went perfectly. By early August, the Panty Dropper will be kegged, carbonated, and ready to pour along with the Scottish Ale and American West Coast Red Ale that have just finished fermenting. Once again, Goodell Brewing will have three delicious homebrewed beers on tap and ready to enjoy.
I’m hoping to have a backyard party in early August to celebrate and cannot wait to wheel my keezer out the back yard. When we built it, we designed a dolly with wheels just for the purpose of being able to set it up outside for parties. It should be a major hit!