Friday, 9 March 2012

Pandazilla Week

Pandazilla week. After all the suspense it finally came round. Pandazilla week was no ordinary week. For a start we had to spend the entire Monday without a working cask washer, and since it was Monday/cask washing day this was detrimental to our productivity. Sadly this meant the actual Pandazilla brew would have to be postponed till later in the week so we could make up for lost time. How much time no one knew as we were reliant on the technician's arrival which meant we would probably end up behind scedule. Many people that know me will know that I don't do behind.

Tuesday; Arrived at work to find still no technician. To cut the story short it turned out that we needed to find one thousand brown M&Ms to fill a brandy glass or else the technician wouldn't turn up that morning. So assistant man Dave pops his head round the door and mentions a little sweet shop at the end of town. We go, and it's closed. So there was me Dave and Matt Fawson breaking into this sweet shop at the end of town. Guarding the shop was this huge Bengal Tiger. I managed to take out the tiger with a can of mace, but the shop keeper and his son...

That's a different story all together...

Well I won't finish because by now many readers should have realised that most of that last paragraph was ripped straight out of Wayne's World 2 and was mostly fictional. But sure enough the technician did turn up and taking advantage of some free labour from some brew lab students (thanks Chris and Adam for all the hard work) we managed to blaze through a lot of casks, rack a heap load of stock and generally catch up.

Wednesday; the brew kit gets warmed up with a batch of Workie Ticket and Me and Dave head out to Sunderland for a meet the brewer at The Corner Flag. Sadly the place was largely empty so it wasn't to be.

Spot the strategically re-labelled product
Sunderland is a lovely place filled with lovely people. Remember that, lovely.


Waking up like a coiled spring, it was finally the Pandazilla brew day. Since this was to be the second batch of a double brew this gave me time to get in early and get my multiple hop additions for my complex hopping schedule weighed out. Summit hops really are quite pungent. I get earthy spice and orange and a feel of raw, uncompromising hop power. I have often thought that if Darth Vader had a favourite hop variety, he would choose this one.

It could only be described as one colour. Black. Aroma; roast grain and coffee.
When you run out of hop tubs, turn to cardboard boxes.

After a runoff to the fermenter that lasted a little quicker that I would have liked, worts were brought to the boil and a copper up gravity was taken: 1058! I know I over sparged but F**K! That's like out by nearly ten degrees! In short the situation was recovered by boiling the shit out of it for an extended boil time. This, combined with a massive hop bed in the copper (bigger than any I have ever seen for a 20 barrel brew... But this was only ten) meant  a fair volume may have been lost (mainly) due to evaporation. But I was pleased that the wort that was pumped into the fermenter smelt awesome.

A day on and I'm taking the day off chilling out on the sofa. Then I see this picture on twitter...

It's! It's! Some kind of monster!!!

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