Friday, February 17, 2012

Off to produce a new one today...

I have had the itch for a while... I bottled my last batch (a very nice wheat beer...mmmmm) several weeks ago and my living room is missing my favorite feature... an actively bubbling fermenter in the corner!

So I picked up some grain yesterday evening at BFD and I am going to spend this morning brewing a batch of beer.

I'm making the wheat beer again but with a tweak... The target of the last batch was 4.5 ABV.  What I actually hit was 3.9 ABV. more on that later.. .

My new target is 6 ABV (yes... a stronger brew.. mohoohoohahahah). This calls for a bit more grain than the last batch. The grain bill here is going to be approximately 14 pounds..

What I am brewing up is...

7.9   pounds US 2-Row malt
4.86 pounds US White Wheat Malt
1.21 pounds US Carapils Malt

Hops are gonna be US Cascade... 2 oz total.. .5 oz at 60 min, 1oz at 15, .5 oz at 0

and half an oz of sweet orange peel.... in the fermenter.

I am such a nerd, I'm blogging about this now.. before even having breakfast... anyways..

It helps to have the right tools too. I got into a little trouble last time because I used too much water in the sparging process. I had to boil for an extra 30 min. to get the volume down and I was still a little bit over where I needed to be..

I was doing it by eyeballing the thing and that is clearly not the way to go. It helps to have a calculator that tells you exactly how much water you should use in the process. There is one in BeerAlchemy, the program I use to design my concoctions and there are several available online.. There is a rather nice one here: at brew 365.

So I punch in my figures and... 

It looks like I am going to need to start getting 4.65 gallons of water heated up for the mashing.. and have the sparge on standby, 4.91 gallons. 

For the non-brewer, the mashing is equivalent to when you drop your teabag in the boiling water to brew. Sparging is running more hot water through after you've drained the pot so you can get all the tea you can get out of that bag.

So now I am off to start brewing... oh, and I better grab some breakfast and all that jazz too.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

My Dark ale....

It came out tasting great! ...the problem is that I did not use enough dextrose to prime it before bottling. There is barely a bubble when poured. It is rather flat.

I am hoping that with age, it will be better. I need to bottle the other brew (my wheat beer) but I'm low on empties and caps. I'm going to have to let that sit in the secondary for another week or so before I bottle it.

I don't have it in my budget this week to make any more brew purchasing. Another week in the secondary fermenter can't hurt.