Updated 3/30 - Kegged. Strong, delicious. Can't wait for tapping time.
As revenge for doing an entry level brew last week, we did a partial mash last night. I still have yet to get the volume of water right for this process, as I ended up with far less than the target 3 gallons of wort from the mash. I know part of it is that the bottling bucket with a grain bag isn't the best lautering system in the world. I also don't have a spare kettle large enough to heat the 2+ gallons for sparging if I want a collection vessel. The centennial hops smelled pretty good, but I'm not so sure about the rye...I had my first rye beer a couple days ago and I wasn't that impressed. Hopefully it will be balanced well enough by everything else that's in...
"Fire in the Hole" (MoreBeer MiniMash Kit355)
English Ale Yeast (White Labs...1 L starter using 1 cup light DME)
--7 lbs Ultralight LME
--2 lbs 2-row
--1 lb Flaked Wheat
--1 lb Crystal 75L
--8 oz Rye
--8 oz Munich
--2.8 oz Carafa
--1 oz Magnum 13.1% (60min)
--2 oz Centennial 10.4% (5min)
--1 Whirlfloc tablet
The target gravity ranged up to 1.075, so I tried making a starter. Boiled 1 cup of light DME in 1 liter of water for 10 minutes, let it cool, and pitched my yeast with a teaspoon of fermaid K. It built up a nice layer of yeast at the bottom and was still active when I chilled it to knock the live cells out of solution so I could pour off the top half-liter or so before pitching to primary. I used an empty vodka bottle, largely because I felt I could skip sanitizing something that lived in the freezer and contained 40% alcohol. If I had any doubts, the batch is bubbling away right now.
As always, the Fonz was in for the last 10 minutes of the boil, and I still haven't tasted copper in any of my conditioned brews.