Well I’m really not happy with anything I’ve brewed yet this year so I decided to start again basically and find a very simple recipe. I referred to the Hombrewer’s bible, ‘How to Brew’ and found an easy Pale Ale recipe which I thought I could manage. The recipe was particularly basic calling for a bit of pale malt and some crystal malt. The full recipe was:
1.5kg of Light Dry Malt
120g of Medium Crystal Malt (EBC 120)
Northern Brewer Hops – 7g
Cascade – 8g
Cascade – 15g
I had a nice new stockpot to use this time so I deployed that to good use and this time an made sure I cleansed everything with Napisan about 3 days out. I even went to the time of cleaning all the taps individually and their threads.
I used the tactic I had previously and boiled about 12 litres of water before I commenced the brew so all the water I planned to use was boiled and I was taking nothing directly from the tap. Unfortunately I should have used another couple of litres because with a boil always comes an evaporation of the water and when it came time to top up the fermenter I found out that I was about 2 litres off.
One the good side this time, I’d gone to buy a variety of crystal malts of various EBCs a couple of weeks ago and I was delighted to find they were all milled already and there was no need for me to get my rolling pin out and start bashing the grain bag.
Everything was going to plan until a couple of hiccups at the end of the brew. Firstly the sediment in the stockpot for some reason seemed to be at the top of this brew instead of how i’d normally expect it at the bottom. Not a problem in itself, however when I poured the stockpot into the fermenter through a sieve, the weight of the sediment took the sieve off the top of the fermenter and down inside it. Thankfully I’d santised the whole sieve from top to bottom so shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
The other issue was my wort cooled very quickly, my normal 3 times in the sink with cold water for 10 minutes each, and then adding this to the fermenter with the additional water (up to the 10 litre point) actually made the brew almost under yeast pitching temperature. Hence instead of my normal dilemma about keeping the beer cool to pitch, I had the opposite one whilst I re-hydrated the yeast. I achieved this by putting the air conditioner on.
Sitting here 3 days later, I hear that delightful bubbling in the airlock sound coming out of the wine cooler so I’m hoping nothing too wrong is up with this one.