Freezing temperatures of late haven't been conducive to home brewing. For one, standing around in the cold isn't much fun and the outside water supply has been frozen too.
Thankfully the cold spell has relented and Friday will see the brewery fired up for the first time in 2012. My only reservations are that I'm out for a few beers on the Thursday evening, so I might well have a sore head when the time comes to switch on the HLT, which will be pretty early as I like to get finished while there's still daylight. The second reservation is the pump.
The pump failed last winter, albeit under colder temperatures. Some of the internal casing split, so although it's only been down to minus 6C this time around, I'm a little bit apprehensive about its condition.
Tomorrow I'll flush the brewery through to make sure it's all clean prior to the brewday, so I'll find out then if I need to get my hands dirty and change the pump. I do have a spare unit, just in case, but I'd rather not have the aggro.
As for the brew, I'm having another crack at my Best Bitter with a few modifications. The last one came in at 4.8% ABV which is probably a tad high for a pint of best. I'm going to scale the recipe down so it comes in around 4%, keeping the split between Pale Malt and Crystal the same at 95% & 5% respectively.
But, the main purpose of re-visiting this brew is to replace the Bobek hops. Although part of the trio that made up Styrian Goldings , I didn't like the flavour when used individually for the first time in the last brew. This time I'll be using Savinjski as the late hop and I'll be interested to see how it differs.