It’s Fermentation Friday for May 2009 and Ted from has a two part theme:

a. What part of the your brewday brings you the most JOY?
b. What part particularly brings out a good deal of STRESS?

I think we will answer in two parts as well.

John:  The boil brings me the most joy during the brew day.  Not sure exactly why.  Maybe it’s the part of the brew day where you can relax a bit, grab a brew, and chat it up with a fellow brewer.  It’s the part of the brew that feels like “cooking”…where everything comes together to make something larger than the sum of its parts.

Mike: After the mash is over and before I start the boil, I get the most joy checking my gravity.  To see my sparge hit my target value is usually a big relief and the most rewarding part of brew day.  It means that the wort is coming out as best as I intended originally.

John:  There is stress in calculations for me.   Making temps, weighing out ingredients, figuring out how much water I need to sparge with, etc.  To me, this is the science part of it…which I like….don’t get me wrong.  I guess I am more into the art of the boil…rather than the science of the calculations or something.  The calculations always make me feel like I could mess something up because I forgot to carry the 1.   I just keep rechecking my figures to make sure I didn’t make a mistake….

Mike: I stress the most over clean-up.  I usually brew late at night, so when the fermentors are filled I pretty much want to just put it away and hit the sack.  I often leave the kettle filled with trub and some wort.  Then the next day is spent worried about when I can get back and clean it out.