Friday, April 2, 2010

Adventures in Home Brewing, 2nd Edition

A few weeks ago I decided it was time to brew again. My Bavarian Hefeweisen was starting to run out, and the second beer I did, and Amber, didn’t turn out as anticipated. I had the ingredients for an Irish Red, which I felt was appropriate as it was closing in on St. Patrick’s Day, so I began the process of brewing.

Now I have to admit, I thought I had all my ducks in a row when it came time to brew the second batch, but it turns out I didn’t add enough water to get the correct gravity- hell, I actually forgot to take the initial gravity of the beer before adding the yeast, so it’s no surprise it wasn’t good (though I am aging it a bit to see if it gets better). I swore I’d make up for that swill, so I paid even closer attention to detail. It was especially important, considering the Red was a partial grain beer (my first non-all-malt extract).

The instructions didn’t tell me I had to mill the grain, so I proceeded to do what I thought was right, which was to steep the 4oz. of grain in the steeping bag. After a half hour, it was time to bring the water back up to a boil, and then add the malt extract and bittering hops.

After the boil was done and the wort was cooling, I decided in an effort to save some time (and make my life easier), I would filter the water needed to bring the batch up to five gallons. This proved not only to be time saving, but super convenient when taking the initial gravity reading – something I plan to continue so I can get the yeast added quicker, and cut down on the overall time spent in the “brewery”.

Fermentation started overnight, and after a week of sitting in the primary fermenter, it was time to bottle. Unfortunately Sarah was under the weather, so I was flying solo this round. Needless to say, the color, aroma, and flavor was nicer than the Amber, and on par with the Hefeweisen, so in two weeks from today I hope to be enjoying a few of the Reds after work!

Note: It appears the photos from the last session have gone missing! They will be uploaded if found, otherwise just imagine how awesome they were...

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