With the imminent arrival of my brewing fridge (or wine cooler as its officially called) my thoughts turn once again to home brewing. I haven’t brewed throughout the summer months because I was unable to keep a constant fermenting temperature. I’ve experimented with ice blocks but all of the results produced pretty inferior beers. So my solution after months of considering buying a fridge and adapting it was to take the very simple route of buying a wine cooler.
This has a couple of great advantage for me. Firstly it allows me to keep a constant temperature whilst my beer is fermenting. Secondly the wine cooler should have enough room for me to store some bottle in it even with the fermenter in, meaning I can keep the newly produced beer at a stable temperature. Thirdly whilst the cooler has no fermenter in, I can use it to serve beer at a proper temperature instead of the temperature of our normal fridge.
My search now begins for a good, consistent Pale Ale recipe. I’ve started researching basic Pale Ale recipes and I’m hoping to produce something that has a fairly decent taste that I can then look at playing with the taste with various hop additions. But only after I have the first two or three batches correct.
I think I’ve found a basic recipe just using Light Dry Malt Extract, some crystal malt, Chinook and Cascade hops and some yeast which is a fairly basic American Pale Ale recipe from the following page: http://byo.com/bock/item/1459-the-10-easiest-beer-stylesbecause I’m using a 10 litre fermenter I’ll have to work out the amounts I need to use but this is a relatively simple exercise.
I haven’t had great results using Cascade hops, but I’m willing to give it another go. In fact I think many of the problems with past beers have been with the malt profile rather the hops. The beers I’ve produced have good carbonation (better when I started bulk priming in a priming vessel), the hop flavours and tastes have been good, but something has been letting the beers down. My thought is the problem is with the malt, and I probably should try a couple more of the beers I’ve produced to see if I can put my finger on what the problem actually is. My other thought is that it maybe the water I’m using so I may consider boiling enough water up before starting the brew.
I’m also hoping to brew with people this year to get an idea of how they brew, it is always helpful observing how other people do things because however perfect we think our methods are there is always something we’re going to miss.
Quite an exciting time, it is always nice to create something to consume yourself. There is something quite unique in that and so much more rewarding than buying something.