well, after reading the discussion here about romulan ale, i decided that
i wanted to try making some. i didn't know how fun it would be. =) i
really didn't have much in the way of a recipe. i paged thru the cat's meow
looking at the lambics, also giving charlie and miller a quick read.
i decided that i would probably go with a high adjunct brew to avoid the
mentioned green color outcome. off to the store. first stop was a place here
called strawberry fields. it's one of those healthy type every thing is
organic type stores. they have a number of grains in various forms there.
i picked up 2 pounds of white corn grits, 1 pound of white rice, and one pound
of blue corn meal (just for the hell of it). they didn't have any blueberries
so next stop was the grocery store where i grabbed 3 pounds of frozen
blueberries. right next door is the homebrew shop. here i purchased 2 pounds
of american 6 row, one pound of american klages, and one ounce of 5% alpha
acid hallertau pellets.
later that evening when my roommate got home from work, we started this soon
to turn insane project. my original intention had been to do this as an
all-grain batch making only 3 gallons (our boiling pot is too small for 5
gal). we started boiling the rice, 3/4 lb of the corn meal, and the grits.
grits sure do expand alot, especially 2 pounds of them. =) there was soon
grits all over the stove, wall, and just about everything else. we fixed this
by dumping some in with the rice and corn meal. we started the mash in at
about 130 degrees and did a token protein rest. after about 15 minutes we
dumped the adjuncts in and arrived at a comfortable 150 degrees. we boosted
this to 155 and then placed the brew pot in a makeshift insulated box that
we made out of a computer monitor box, a milkcrate, a bunch of towels, and
a blanket (it worked really well, too). after about an hour and twenty minutes
(with one boost from 150 back to 155) of starch conversion. we started the
sparge. we also followed charlie's advice and had a homebrew (our latest,
a steam beer...very good). an hour and a half later (and many homebrews, too)
we were still sparging. the grain bed had turned into a grain cement block.
or starch block rather. =) but the runnings were getting very clear with
minimal debris. time to boil, we figured. took another 30 minutes just to
get the runnings into the boil pot. there went another 4 homebrews (BTW,
most of the stuff we brew is high gravity, high ***). finally, we
started the boil. both steve and i eyed the 3 lb bag of light DME, and the
4 lb bag of dextrose. "just a little," he says. i agree. so we start adding
both 1/3 cup at a time. before we knew it we had added all 3 pounds of extract
and 3.5 cups of dextrose. oops. oh well, i figured something like that would
happen, so i had planned ahead. i stirred the champagne yeast into some warm
water. =) 5 minutes before the end of the boil, we threw in the hops. we let
the wort cool a bit, and then dumped in the 3 lbs of blueberries, letting them
steep for 20 minutes. i filled the sink with cold water, put in the pot, and
broke out out wonderful bag of ice from the gas station, put in a sterile
trash bag wort chiller (gotta get that immersion chiller made). when it had
chilled down enough, we dumped the wort into the bottling bucket. we had hoped
to leave behind the cold break at the bottom of the bucket below the spigot,
but we forgot about the blueberries. ended up that we just dumped everything
into the fermentor, pitched the yeast, and put it in the closet. the kitchen
looked like hell. we stuck to the floor, as steve sparged a couple cups of hot
wort onto my foot, as well as into the tun. =) there were blueberries every
where. what a mess. time for bed. when i woke up 6 hours later, i checked
the fermentor. it was going at a rate of one bubble every 8 seconds. two hours
later, one bubble every 1.5 seconds. i took a gravity reading this morning. it
said 1.110. looks like were going to get some jet fuel. anyway, i'll post
how it turns out. i think there are two lessons to be learned from this
1) don't drink and brew.
2) friends don't let friends sparge drunk.
BTW, so far, it looks like its going to turn out a dark blue, almost purple.