Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Thanksgiving Brew Kickoff

We spent the morning brewing up a batch of beer for Thanksgiving. The beer is a Dry Stout mix from the Beverage People, a beer and wine homebrew store in Santa Rosa. The yeast we used is Wyeast 1084, an Irish Ale yeast.

The first step is prepping the grains by bringing to a simmer, then letting steep for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, the main brew kettle is fired up with about 4 - 4 1/2 gallons of water and the malt extract powder mixed in. There was a little container of water conditioner which we threw in, it's probably a mix of salts and minerals for people with soft water, but we threw it in anyhow.

After the 45 minute steep on the grains, they were sieved out and throw in with the wort. The first round of bittering hops is added followed by a 15 minute boil. The second round of bittering hops is added, followed by a 45 minute boil. The final round of hops (aroma hops this time with a distinctly different smell from the bittering hops) is added with a final 5 minutes of boiling. It took about 30 minutes with the wort chiller to bring the temperature down from boiling to about 80 degrees.

The wort was measured for specific gravity and tasted for appropriate hoppyness. The OG is 1.050 and the beer is pretty dang bitter. We poured off the wort into a glass carboy and pitched the yeast. There were chunks left in the bottom of the pot, mostly the hops which had been added at various stages. I wasn't sure whether they should be added to the carboy or not, to impart more flavor as the beer ferments, but since it was pretty bitter already, I decided not to put the sludge in. We'll see...

That's it, the brew has started bubbling already, more once it's done and we get to taste it.

1 comment:

  1. Nice work Brian! Glad to hear you are brewing again! Yeah most people try to keep the hop bits and break material out of the carboy... but it likely does not matter in mid gravity ales that will be ready soonish. You guys coming to the tasting on friday at the grad?
    Come to the next meeting, we are planning on talking about water... it will help you decide whether to through in that salt pack or not.


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