Cleaning Up

BYOB by | Jan 2013 | Issue #72

Illustration by Michael Rapa

I preach about keeping the brewery spic and span, but the demands of a busy brewing season and even busier life keep me on my toes, and I fall behind. Every few months, it seems that the mess in my brewery comes to a head. Things are in utter disarray, scattered to the winds or encrusted with the remains of who knows what. So what do we do? We organize!

Right now, as we speak, I have a list of 10 different tasks that need tackling in the brewery. Tomorrow, I’m going to brave the Southern California winter and get to work on it. Here’s my methodology—it might help keep you on track, too:

• Start with the bottle cleanup—I swear, I’m always finding random empties.
• Get everything grungy soaking. Lavish your gear with PBW, Oxiclean or other favorite cleaner.
• Don’t get lazy and let it sit for a long time! That’s how you got in this mess, and the chemicals could hurt your gear.
• Wait until you have four empty, dirty kegs, then rinse and seal them. I always do this with my kegs. Saves time and chemicals!
• While everything’s wet, start on your inventory. Figure out how much grain you’ve got on hand. Look at all your parts and supplies.
• Replace your hoses and soft bits.
• Go scrub and rinse the grungy stuff.
• Have a beer! (or two. Not three.)

For the New Year, I’d love to swear it’ll never happen again, but I also swore not to lie.

For 5.5 gallons at 1.054 OG, 40 IBU, 4.6 SRM, 5.8% ABV

11 lb. pale malt
1 lb. Crystal 8L

Strike at 153°F for 60 minutes.

0.75 oz Magnum | 11.6% AA | 60 minutes
0.50 oz Columbus / Tomahawk / Zeus | 14% AA | 10 minutes
0.50 oz Columbus / Tomahawk / Zeus | 14% AA | 0 minutes

WLP001 California Ale