After a bit of a lazy start I was prompted by my lovely lady to get a brew on – given the lead times for brewing and needing to build a stock up for the great summer we are going to have next year ( I can dream ) now is the time to get the first one into the fermenter and then plan the next one in 4 weeks time and the third 4 weeks after that – then they will all be in place ready for relaxing on the deck or at my brothers around his wildlife pond.
With All Grain BIAB brewing the brew process takes most of the day when you have not prepared in advance so the Kitchen gets taken over. Getting all the gear in and ready – sterilise the bits of kit that needs it – weigh everything out and get your head around the tasks and the order and making sure everything is in place to hand – very much like cooking a cake or a meal, the more you have in place and ready for each step up front the easier and smoother the process goes.
So first off a light IPA / Golden Ale style – using Vienna lager grain and Pearl base malt grain with a single hop, El Dorado. I will use a Safbrew S33 yeast to give a neutral brew leaving the hops to come through – the yeast is used in Trappist style beers so should give a good length to the taste. Looking to be about 3.8% abv so a nice summer drink, a long store in the bottle in cold temps is good for it – hence doing this one first to get it into the garage store in winter. It should be a light golden ale with fruity undertones and a sharp clean finish. It is a repeat of an earlier beer I created, Baroque, with a slight change to the hop bill – 30% more hops so that it will store longer and should smooth out and balance nicely with a bit more of a hoppy finish. It’s a bit of a hybrid beer this one, not an IPA, not a Lager not a English Ale, a Golden beer is probably the best description of it.
Photos of the process – hey beer and photos – guess I had better make some beads soon then to meet the blog name
The big pot on the gas ring to get the water up to mash temp
The grain, as I dont brew very often I buy it in 3kg bags makes it easy to use and not hang about
The hops - they went into the wort in three stages, 1st at the end of the mash the 2nd set 20 mins before the end of the boil and the last set at the flame out until the wort was cool enough to add the yeast then all the hops come out - my lady kindly made me some hop bags so they were easy to remove compared to the last brew
Once you get the water up to 75 degrees c the grain goes in this cools the wort to the optimum temp of 66c - the Mash, this is then left for 60 mins at a temp of 66c to get the sugars out of the grain. Holding the temp of the pot at 66c for 60 mins means you need to insulate it so it gets a thermal blanket, a lid and then wrapped in two more heavy wool blankets
60 minutes later - Bang on - means I have got pretty much the best out of the grain and not induced any bad elements that can cause the beer to taste 'off'
And now with the grain removed the wort is boiled for 90 minutes - a rolling boil that reduces the liquid down and concentrates the sugars - it is also the time you add the Hops to extract the flavoids and oils to act as preservatives and add distinct flavours to the beer
Then you cool the beer as quickly as you can and bring it to a safe temp for the yeast to be added - you can see the hops in the bags, from this point its when things can go wrong if you dont get the temp down fast and the yeast in and started quickly wild yeast and other bugs can get in and ruin the lot. My chiller coil is copper pipe and I run cold water through it - in goes cold water out comes hot water - a basic heat exchanger that helps rapid cooling and reduces the time the wort is at risk from infection.
The brew is now in the fermentation vessel with an airlock so with a bit of luck in 4 weeks it will be beer and a few months later it will be drinkable beer !