After a few weeks, three brave gentlemen reassembled to continue the brewing process. The goal of this gathering was to rack the wort, or transfer it to a new holding container where fermentation would continue. This process involves the use of a siphon, which, for me, is not an everyday occurrence. In fact, if you are using a siphon every day, I would like to meet you and shake your hand. We can talk about siphons and stuff.
Aside from the siphon, there are several other critical factors that determine the success of the racking. The first of which, is Greg Ostertag's rookie card:
(Accompanied By Moochie Norris Duck Hybrid Thing)
Some of you may wonder who Greg Ostertag is. Most of you will not. Just know that he played for the Utah Jazz and you should not like him because of this. The second critical ingredient for success is sanitation, so Iodophor was added to the destination container along with water. The siphon was sanitized as well.
After placing the wort on the counter and the receiving vessel below, the siphon was dipped in and a vacuum was created which drew the liquid up out of the Ale Pail and into the feeding tube. Physics took over and the wort flowed down into its almost final resting place.
As this will be an unfiltered home brew, the removal of solids is very important as most people do not enjoy beer with a "good chew". The sediment that collected at the bottom of the pail is, quite frankly, disgusting.
The last step for racking the wort involves three dogs. You must gather them around the transfered brew and give them room to explore. Here is a haiku that explains this phenomenon:
three dogs gather 'round
they know not what they see here
let them rest with beer
I wrote that. I hope it's the first beer brewing haiku ever.
Of course, no brewing step is complete without indulging in a little gastronomic adventure. Stone Cold was the executive chef of a menu which featured guacamole, cheeseburgers, and bacon-wrapped, cream cheese-stuffed jalapenos. I'm hungry.
(Look But Don't Touch)
After removing the seeds and membranes from the jalapenos, a few were diced and folded into the ground beef for something to dance on the lips and taste buds. And the bread? Texas Toast. That's right, a burger escorted by Texas Toast. Although not unprecedented, I feel it is so deliciously indulgent that it bares repeating.
Horseradish and mayonnaise were blended to provide a creamy and spicy layer of moisture which was balanced by the sweetness of caramelized onions. The patty was smoky and offered a delicious zip from the jalapenos which got along nicely with the sweet and spicy toppings and oh-so-buttery bread. To be sure, this was a three napkin burger. Did I mention the Texas Toast had cheese on it? I didn't want to overwhelm you.
The remaining jalapenos were filled with cream cheese and wrapped in pepper bacon. After some quality time in the oven, the jalapenos cooked down to a bitter sweetness that was the perfect counterpart to the cream cheese and smoky, salty bacon jacket. These were far too easy to eat. There were at least three dozen when we started, and three left when we were done. Of course, Stone Cold and The Captain ate way more than I did. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Next time it's headed for the bottles but for now it's time for more waiting. So, here's a special treat from Richard Marx. That's Marx with an "X", by the way. He had a World Tour. He also had a perm. I don't think he had a siphon.