Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Batch One ...

So...my xmass present this year was a beer home-brewing kit and after a little postponing, the day D of the first trial happened to be this Saturday . I was thinking, best way how to learn the tricks would be to get prepacked beer kit, to see what and how much of it is used and hopefully find some process ideas in the "user's manual". I have chosen Imperial IPA, my favorite style, since i like the hop flavor in my brew and good IPA has plenty of that. That particular beer is started with grain steeping (just like a tea),

than after some on and off flame exercise and used grains disposal (btw, dogs ate all the grains next morning + gauaze bag, i was a bit surprised, but it was probably irresistibly tasty;)) the malt and hops are added to the "wort" (how the true brew-master would call the mixture) in prescribed time intervals.

The brewing itself was not so time demanding, just hour or so,

but the trick is to cool the wort down as fast as possible and that took quite a long time even outside in the freezing winter evening. I foresee some copper cooler coming to us soon since it would be impossible to accomplish that in suggested hour interval in any warmer weather.

I was curious how the "raw" beer tastes, it is mostly sweet, little bit like grain cereal made from scratch - and than the hops bring the bitterness and wonderful smell. Our czech friend stopped by and to create some atmosphere we let run in a background old czech hop picking movie "Starci na Chmelu" and were remembering the times we used to go to hop-picking in high school. The recipe yields 5 gallons of liquid for fermentation but only about half is actually brewed, the rest is water added to wort just before the fermentation start (that trick is done by beer yeast mixed in)

(measuring the gravity here, i was a bit off what i was supposed to be, oh well..)
The taste of whatever i tried was somehow concentrated, i am very curious how it will end up. The fermented liquid will be transferred into carboy (big glass jar) for secondary fermentation this coming Saturday, that should clear up the muddiness, and than bottling is ahead of us in another 2 weeks. This kind of beer should sit in bottles for at least 3 weeks, so our first batch shall be ready for the spring welcome party sometime in March :)

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