Brew 2: ESB 2014

Are all brewers paranoid?

I’ve been looking forward to getting the second brew going and waited quite a while because in the end the APA I brewed took 3 weeks and 2 days to be ready to come out. I’ve never experienced a fermentation taking so long but then again, I’ve temperature controlled it so exactly either.

Onto the ESB, I followed a pretty simple recipe in John Palmer’s ‘How to Brew’. Sticking with a similar theme to the APA, I wanted a basic recipe which I can then build on. The recipe I used in shown below, on my little cheat sheet I draw up for myself at every brew. I’m always a bit paranoid about leaving things out and only remembering once the beer is in the fermenter. I wonder if all brewers think like this?

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The process went relatively smoothly, and this time I actually remembered to boil the water for the brew, way before I was ready to begin, so I didn’t end up waiting for the water and having an hour added onto the normal brewing time. The only problem with that water then is when I go to top up the fermenter after the boil, the water is almost too hot and increases the wort temperature rather than reduces it, which is what I need. I guess the solution is just to boil the water the night before and cover it.

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Onto the cooling down of the wort, I did a bit of research because we had thrown away our ice blocks because they were punctured so I was wondering how to get the temperature down to pitching temperature without them. Seems a simple swirl the water round every couple of minutes, ensures cold water is always hitting the outside of the stock pot, and stirring the wort with a sanitised spoon ensures the hot wort is being moved around the stock pot too. I also read to fill and refill the sink every 7 minutes instead of the 10 minutes I was doing previously. After 5 fills and refills I managed to get the wort down to a pretty decent 29c. Added the addition water and the wort to the fermenter than sat in the wine cooler to bring the temperature down to pitching temperature of around 24c to 27c.

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This only took a couple of hours.

I did make a mistake though on the yeast calculation and re hydrated 11g instead of my normal 7g, and also re hydrated in too little water when I mistook the measuring cup sizes. It doesn’t seem to have had too much of an effect and this morning the airlock is bubbling away in that nice reassuring way.

I suppose as with all these things time will tell.

06/04/2014

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