Chicago Beercation 2013 – Part 2

Train Station in Plainfield, IL
Train Station in Plainfield, IL

Our recent trip to Plainfield, IL (read Part 1 too)  included several interesting and valuable homebrewing events. I was able to stop by Chuck’s local homebrew shop, Chicago Brew Werks, where I met owner Brandon Wright.  I had a good visit with Brandon and left with several useful items. Be sure to visit his shop if you are in the western Chicago suburbs. They even have a tasting bar with several beer choices to try during your visit. Read this recent article from the Chicago Tribune.

Chicago Brew Werks
Chicago Brew Werks

I brewed with Chuck and his friends Eric and Paul. We made a 5 gallon batch of a Two Hearted Ale clone (Dead Ringer) and a 10 gallon batch of a Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale clone. See the beers in the fermenters below.

 

homebrew_results

Chuck made a 15 gallon brewpot from an old keg and a stir plate to help propagate yeast (see pictures below) for me. These items should come in handy for years to come. Thanks Chuck! He also helped solve a problem with my mash tun. The screen from Northern Brewer resulted in a stuck mash about 2/3 of the time and was very frustrating.  He has been using a stainless steel plumbing braid with no problems, and he made one for me (see picture below).  We used it for the two homebrew batches with no problems. Now I’m set to start brewing again at home.  I have a Zombie Dust clone and rye IPA on deck.  Good trip!

brew_keg

Stir plate with opened lid
Stir plate with opened lid
Mash tun braid (coil)
Mash tun braid (coil)