Posts Tagged With: Strange Brew

Outcome of my 1st Extract Brew

Well, it’s been a couple of weeks since my last post. With no new brew days to document I’ve been simply biding my time until my extract brew was ready for tasting. If I’m honest, I believe it was more than likely ready for consumption about a week ago, however I left it until Saturday the 9th as it was a big six nations day.

The Taste

So, how did Strange Brew taste? It was an anxious moment when I poured that first pint and one that I had been waiting for what seems like months…

1st Extract Home Brew

Looking good – but I need a better camera

It took about a minute to settle – my pressure keg shoots the beer out at a high rate of knots, leaving you with a lot of foam (something which I need to look into for the future) – and I was pleasantly surprised to note that it was a clear, bright pint with no trace of haze.

So far so good I thought, taking a small whiff. It certainly smelled edible – a slightly earthy aroma with a subtle sweet scent.

Now, I’m going to be honest and not say it was the best thing I’ve ever tasted, but it was very pleasant and very smooth. It had a slight spice with a nice after-taste akin to that of honey. I felt that the flavour was slightly weaker than I would have liked, however my fellow rugby fans said they enjoyed it and 4ish gallons later I believed them.

Summary

I need a better camera

All in all it was a relative success. It has definitely given me confidence to carry on and has given me plenty of things to think about 

for my next recipe. I am definitely going to spend more time on the finer details – i.e. boil times, wort temperature and fermenting subtleties.

I also need to document what I’m doing better. Having read some great blogs from both sides of the Atlantic, I’m beginning to see that the better you document your home brew experiences, the better your beers will become.

There’s still plenty to learn (a staggering amount really!) and I’ve got a while to go before I begin to understand everything I’ve already read. Best way is to dive in with another brew.

If only I hadn’t gone and spent most of my wages this month of items I didn’t need, I could afford to get my next batch of ingredients. As it stands I will be waiting until April before my next brew… ach well.

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Categories: Extract Brewing | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Dipping my toes in Extract Brewing – Part 1

Ok… that title may put some people off trying my first extract home brew, but it is purely metaphorical – honest!

I’ve brewed kit beer in the past, but this is the first time I have tried Extract Brewing. My goal is to try this method once or twice – to get a bit more experience – before moving onto all-grain brewing.

It’s all in the name – isn’t it?

I’ve decided to call the beer “Strange Brew”. This is mainly  an homage to the classic Cream song, however given this is my first attempt at Extract Brewing, the name could turn out to be very fitting!

As for the recipe, I’ve used the first recipe from “Brewing Beers Like Those You Buy” by Dave Line – Fullers E.S.B.

The copy of the book I own is actually pretty old (published in 1984 – hey that’s just older than me), I inherited it from my Granddad – who was a very keen home brewer and who gave me some of his equipment before he passed away. 

My plan is to base much of my early brews around the recipes in this book – there are many in here from Breweries of the 70’s that no longer exist. So it’ll be interesting to see how they turn out.

Anyway, to the good stuff – The ‘Strange Brew’ brewing process.

Ingredients

  • Medium Malt Extract
  • Crushed Crystal Malt
  • Soft Brown Sugar (not sure about this, but following the recipe)
  • Goldings Hops
  • Beer Yeast (I forget what I used)
  • Irish Moss
  • Gypsum
  • White Brewing Sugar

Process

So, I started by adding the malt extract, crystal malt, gypsum and Irish moss to around 3 gallons of hot water. Then added in the 2/3 of the hops and boiled for 35mins:

Boiling Home Brew

Due to this being my first time using the boiler, I think the water may have been a tad on the cool side and it took a while to get to the boil (live and learn).

After the boil was over, I switched off the heat, waited around 5 mins and added some more of the hops. Then once the wort was cool:

Wort Chiller Home Brew

I transferred it into the fermenting bin – using a mash bag as a sieve/massive tea bag. I washed the wort with boiled kettle water to get the last of the goodness out.

Straining Home Brew Wort

Next I dissolved the brown sugar in water and added to the bin, before topping it up to the 4 1/2 gallon mark with cold water.

My gravity reading was 1.043 and the beer is now comfortably fermenting away in my beer/coat cupboard.

Fermenting Home Brew

So, that’s it for now. All I’ve got is a few long can’t-wait-for them-to-pass days until part 2 begins – syphoning into my pressure barrel ready for the 2nd fermentation.

At this point I’m quite excited/anxious to see how it turns out. Fingers crossed….

Categories: Extract Brewing | Tags: , | 5 Comments

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