Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Saturday's Brew

Saturday was brew day.  As I mentioned previously, I wanted to try something different. A stout.  Neither my brew buddy nor myself had tried such a concoction yet. We mostly stuck to continental ales.  I had a stout the other day and it had hit me that I wanted to brew that next.  My trip to the brew supply store landed me a recipe for a Dry Irish Stout.  At first I wasn't quite sure the type of stout I wanted to do.  This recipe was supposed to be the most like the quintessential stout, Guinness, so I went with it. 

My brew for the day started with steeping the grains. I honestly didn't thin that grains soaking in hot water could make such a black liquid.  I was utterly surprised. I let it steep for a little longer than recommended trying to get every bit of flavor I could out of the grains.  After a quick sparge, i moved my brew downstairs to the propane burner for the boil.  In hindsight, this was a great idea.  We got the wort up to boil and added the malt extract. This was thicker than used motor oil and just as dark.  It clung to the sides of the pail and had to be scraped off with a spoon.  I could only think of how dark the wort already was and then adding this much extra color and goo to it was just going to make it darker. Exactly what I was looking for. I wanted a black as night stout, and from the looks of things, I was going to get it.

So I get the boil going, and remember that good idea about brewing outside, well here's where it paid off.  My wort hit the hot break and rose quickly out of my 5 gallon stainless steel brew pot.  The wort spilled over the sides onto my driveway.  It looked like an oil slick.  Luckily for me, it didn't stain like oil.   The brew continued without incident. I added my hops at the appropriate times, boiled for right at 1 hour and then quickly stuck the pot into an ice bath.  It cooled quickly, but I quickly came to the realization that my wort had reduced down quite a bit. I had to add a lot of water to bring my final volume up to 5 gallons. I'm hoping that doesn't throw off the flavors of the beer. 

Once the wort was down to temp, I transferred it to my fermentation bucket, threw in my yeast, and stuck it in the closet.  I was seeing fermentation bubbles within 12 hours, which was the first time I checked it. I looked at it on the Monday evening following the brew and there was a nice krausen on top.  I am planning on letting it sit in the primary for 10 days, then move it to the secondary fermenter for about a month, and then bottle age it for 6 weeks. Should be ready about Thanksgiving.

Happy brewing!

1 comment:

  1. Oh honey, the driveway!? I think I am glad I was out of town this weekend...;) I am glad you are having fun though:)
    Love, Mal