Well, I've been wanting to get into homebrew for quite some time
now, and never took the plunge until a guy I hired at work told
me his stories about brewing.
I started reading the books I already had, and started reading this
group (which has excellent signal quality). Well anyway, I got the
nerve up this weekend; went to Austin Homebrew and bought the
"Super Deluxe" kit, and a Texas Bock kit -- you know, start off
with something easy.
I started getting things ready around 5:00.
5:30 - set the water on the stove
6:05-10 added the 5 lbs Alexander Pale Malt Extract
added 1 lb Brewers corn syrup
This was when the water was about to boil but wasn't quit boiling
yet. Was this okay, or should the think be really boiling already?
6:17 added MaltOFerm -- this is when the boil really started.
added .75 ounces Mt. Hood Hops
7:14 added .25 ounces hops
7:24 Wort removed from heat and placed in an ice bath
8:07 Transfer to carboy and yeast pitched. Temp was 80F. Gravity of 1.1.
Questions (starting from the top):
I was very careful about sterilizing everything. I had a warm container of
B Bright for disinfecting things like the stopper, thermometer tubing, etc.
however, I had to do things where I touched sanitary surfaces with my
hands, like siphoning from the kettle to the carboy. Oh yeah I rinsed with
lots of hot water after taking anything out of the disinfectant solution.
Are these precautions sufficient?
Second: When boiling I had some carmelation that got scraped off the bottom
of the pot. Should I be worried about this? I turned down the heat when
I noticed this.
Third: I had lots of flakes and stuff that were much smaller than my
strainer, so I didn't strain. This is okay right? Also, I left about
an inch of wort in the kettle so I didn't get all the sludge from the bottom.
I did still get a few flakes of carmel that was scraped off the bottom.
Fourth: When I measured the gravity, that was from the kettle since
I didn't want to risk contamination after the wort cooled. I don't think
I'll ever want to stick anything into cooled wort unless I have to.
Is there any way to guestimate what my specific gravity was after I added
the water? I had two gallons for the boil, and added maybe another
2.5 gallons to bring the carboy up to five gallons.
Interlude: I placed the carboy in a pot, filled with water, wrapped a
towel, and tucked it in for evaporation. I placed my little baby in front
of the air conditioner return vent. Today (12 hours later) the house
temp is 75 and the water cooling the wort is a lovely 68F. Thanks for
the idea -- read it here first. The yeast is going to town. They must be
having on hell of a party in there. I can just picture them saying:
Lovely party eh?
Yeah, excellent sugar
I think I'll split and mingle with the others.
(then four yeast cells have the same conversation ad infinitum)
The stuff that came out of the blowoff hose looked ***, but oh the
aroma. Reminded me of my grandmother baking bread.
Fifth: I think maybe I should have added a little more water. I have
about five inches from the top of the fermenter. Another inch of water
would have reduced the surface area considerably. There is some
dark brown matter on the krausen. I hope this won't bitter the beer
too much. I think more water would make this brown stuff almost go away.
All in all things went fairly well -- I even got initiated into the
brewers club when my wort boiled over, but I was watching, and it wasn't
What does everyone think? I'm e***d.
Oh, by the way:
I was reading here about the lambics, so I went to the local store and
bought a Belgian Kriek Lambic. Nectar from the gods. Cost me about
$4.50 for one bottle. I'm definately going to try my hand at one of
Brian Michalk |No, the |AWPI, home of *the* online magazine about Austin.