5/22/2010

Brew 2.0 - Brown Ale (5-22-10)

After bottling Brew 1 (the red ale), it was on to the next adventure!

Actually immediately after the bottling of Brew 1, I made bacon and cheese omelets with a bagel for my wife and I, two fried eggs for my mother in law, and two hard boiled eggs for my daughter.

But after all that!

We set up outside, and being a nice day, it was quite enjoyable! The bugs weren't too bad, and the sun was only a little but uncomfortable. (What, I'm Irish-white. I swear the sun tries to kill me!)

Our set up this time, instead of using  the electric stove, as I mentioned before the bottom of this pan is slightly warped, we set up on this thing in the picture above. This worked very well.

Interesting thing I noticed when I cracked this kit, there were no grains to steep, and there was only one can of extract. There was also however, two pounds of dried malt extract, and a bag of malto-dextrin. (whatever that is!). Brought this to a boil, and mixed in all these things and the hops. Found it interesting, the Red Ale wanted half the hops before the big boil, and the second half of the hops with 2 minutes of boil left.

I was happy that this time, I actually got the boil over effect the instructions were telling me about, and I'm sticking with my theory that it has to do with the heat. I think on the stove, it just never got hot enough, even though it was boiling.

This one boiled up a few times, but I was ready for it. I had with me a spray bottle with sanitized water (boiled, not treated) and kept it mostly at bay. I did need to remove it from the heat a couple times, and actually did end up lowering the heat. Eventually, it did stop foaming, and the 30 minute boil began!

I have to say, this one smelled quite good while boiling.

It wasn't very long before this brew made it's way to a shiny new carboy.

I think the next beer we do in the carboy will be a lighter beer so that we can watch the fermentation as it happens. The brown ale is just a bit to dark to see anything.

One thing I'm disappointed to say here though is that I forgot to take a gravity reading, and I also forgot to take a sample of the wort.

Actually, another thing to say, it's really kind of a pain in the arse to get this stuff into the carboy. We bought a funnel, but it doen't go very far down into the carboy, and it blocks all the air, so you have to hold it, or put a shim in it or something.

We also made the mistake of not buying the handle for it. That bad boy (badcarboy) is heavy and awkward to carry without the handle!

Anyway, I'm happy to report that the brown ale is happily bubbling away in the basement, waiting it's bottles next weekend.