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. 

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