Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Brew 1 bottling day (massive cat brew)

And so the time is finally upon us and we can bottle this beer. After thrice washing the second hand beer bottles we got (sink soaking, dishwasher and sterilizing solution). This was on day 17 when bubbles at basically ceased to exist bar a few on top. 

141g of dextran was added to give a CO2 percentage of around 4. The densometer reading came as 1.01 indicating it was ready to bottle ( fermentation was done). Using this with our starting value of 1.08 gave us a final ABV percentage of 9.19. This makes a pretty big beer but we are happy with that. We got 18 litres bottled but could have done a hit more if we had more bottled. That equaled 36 bottles of the stuff. 

 When poured it was cloudy with a yellow/amber colour. It smelt a bit of fruits (and alcohol maybe). It tasted quite nice, similar to Hoegardan or Blue moon wheat beer. This was despite being room temperature and flat. When it was bottled a sediment formed in each bottle. Need to keep an eye on that. 

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Brew 1 day 7

Not much has changed since the early fermentation began to die down. The head appears less bubbly and the scum has moved to the sides. However there are still bubbles appearing so fermentation continues. As mentioned before it has begun to clarify, at least the top has. No smell is being detected. One more week at this stage and it can be bottled. Hopefully the scum and sediment at the bottom doesn't impact the flavour. 

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Brew 1. Day 3

Visible signs of fermentation have died way down. Less bubbles on top. It has started to settle, leaving a lighter phase at the very top of the liquid. An alcohol smell has become apparent. Things are looking good!

Monday, 4 November 2013

Brew 1 day two

Well it's still fermenting. Albeit to a lesser degree. No large bubbles are coming out if the airlock but plenty of small ones are seen in the froth. It itself is less foamy. This could be because fermentation is naturally dying down. It was also a very cold night last night, which could impact it. 

On reading up, I am no worried about a possible tannin flavour because of boiling of grains. Next time we shouldn't do that. Only time will tell. 

Updates to follow. 

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Brew #1 - 2013 November 2nd

We planned out a traditional (I think) wheat beer recipe to be made as our first foray into the world of homebrewing. We plan to produce a flavoursome, above average alcohol content, heady wheat beer. 

The ingredients used to make 20 litres were:

  • 100g (roughly - should weigh this next time) of whole barley, which we roasted at 200 degrees C, for 45 minutes. Making sure it didn't burn or discolour as we wanted to retain a lighter coloured beer. Also moving it every ten minutes. 
  • 8 litres (in the first instance) of tap water (NI) - I believe this is considered 'soft'

  • Oven and oven tray
  • PET 5 gallon (22 L) carboy (food grade) 
  • 19 Litre stainless steel pot
  • Temperature probe
  • Muslin cloth 
  • Syphon tubing
  • Hydrometer
  • Ladle for stirring
  • Cork and airlock
All ingredients were kept at RT (+/- 4 degrees C) for up to 1 month. 

  1. Sterilize equipment: carboy, pot, probe, hydrometer, stirrer, airlock and cork.
  1. Roast the Barley. Kept stirring.
  1. Bring water (8 L) to 65 degrees C (149 F) - took 15 minutes. 
  1. Add Barley in muslin cloth to water and keep at 65 degrees C for 30 mins.
  1. Remove barley and replace with hops (25 g) in muslin. The water took a pale yellow colour after barley addition 
    barley water + hops
  1. Bring to boil and kept for 25 minutes. After hop addition the water turned an amber colour. 
  1. Added the malt extract and carapils/wheat malt in muslin and boiled for 15 minutes.
  1. Removed muslin and removed from heat and reduced to RT (20 degrees C). This took three washes in the sink. Here it tasted: malty, sweet, bitter but was a nice enough flavour. Bit had come out of the muslin cloth. 
  1. Syphoned all - including bits - into carboy.
  1. Brought to around 20 L with cold tap water but kept it at RT. 
  1. Recon yeast (100g) (Safbrew WB-06) in cold tap water 100 ml but kept near radiator heat source. Stirred after 30 minutes and kept for a total of one hour. Gives >10_6 viable cells/ml.
  1. Stirred/shook to mix and took hydrometer reading, which was OG: 1.080 (very high, maybe because it wasn't stirred adequately? 
  1. Pitch yeast. 
what it looked like at the end.
  1. Close up and put in a room kept at around 20 degrees C (+/- 4 degrees C). 
  1. Observe daily and take OG readings every week. 
  • Sterilize: wasn't sure zaflora was good - left a perfumed smell. But was well diluted. 
  • Stirrer: Need to buy a proper stirrer. 
  • Timing: Need to keep at the required timing, let timing slip. Times might be out by ten minutes. It took in total 4 hours, but could be reduced to 3. 
  • Temperature: Keep a better eye on exact temperature. 
  • Measuring: Forgot to accurately measure all ingredients. 
  • Muslin: Some bits got out. Not bad though. 
  • Yeast: forgot to recon yeast, but was ok. Should begin recon. 1 hour before pitching. Once the malt extract was added. 
  • Needed: stirrer, funnel?, better sterilizer, 

Will keep an eye over the next three weeks prior to bottling. I will update with pictures and details as it progresses. 

This is what it looked like at 24 hours post yeast pitching: lots of activity, sediment had settled, 1-2 bubbles per minute, scum formed on top, floculant turbidity.