So our first brew was and is an Australian Pale Ale, from Coopers. Since this is my first brew I figured it would be easiest to use a Malt Extract from a can. That and the kit I purchased provided a can mix as part of the pricing.
First things first, take inventory of what we have and see what we need. The kit purchased had everything that would be needed for brewing just short of a stock pot/kettle to start the wort, so off to the store. We just happened to be over at Kroger getting groceries and I decided to take a stroll through the kitchen department. I stumbled across a stainless steel 20 qt stock pot, figured sure why the hell not looks like a good pot, let’s give it a run.
Back to the house, time to unpack the pot and get it sanitized and ready for it’s first boil. 15 mins later and we are ready to go. During this time I’ve read through the books, magazines and instructions included with the kit to ensure that I make this first run as successful as possible.
Alright here we go, two sources say start with the most water possible to make a full wort, one source tells me to use just 2 gallons… I’m going to go with gut instinct and do 3 gallons of water. Boy was that a bad idea… anyone have any idea how long it takes to boil 3 gallons of water in a stainless steel stock pot over an induction burner?? TOO DAMN LONG! 1st note for next time, lets just use 2 gallons and we can add a lot more cool water after this thing boils. So now, almost 1 1/2 hours later I finally have boiling water, time to add the malt canned extract… remember… you have to stir as you pour or you risk burning it on the bottom of the pot.
Alright, we now have a boiling pot of wort… WOOHOO!! Instructions say to boil for 30-45 mins, books say boil for 1 hour… time to split the difference at 50ish mins. Next it’s time to cool off the wort… filled the sink full with cool water and placed the pot into the water, loud hissing abounds; now to fill it with ice to get this sucker down to 65 f so I can take measurements and pitch the yeast.
It’s now almost 2 hours later and the wort is still relatively hot, and by this I mean 90-90 f, which is a little warm to pitch yeast. I give it another hour or so and it’s finally down to 80-85 f… time to take measurements and pitch the yeast.
Here are the measurements that I took just before pitching the yeast:
Original Gravity was 1.045; Yeast pitched at 87 f
Now for the short wait of the brewing process.
8 days later and its now time to move the wort over from the primary fermenter to the secondary fermenter to keep the dead yeast from throwing the flavors off. This was moved at a temp of 67 f.
After 10 days it’s time to get final measurements and see where this thing ended at:
Final Gravity was 1.012 @ 67 f.
Final potential ABV is 4.5%
Now it’s time to bottle our beer and make the longest wait of the process. Bottling went fairly smoothly, just racked it over from the secondary fermenter to the bottling bucket and bottled away. Caps are now on and beer is boxed and put in the pantry to ensure no light leakage.
2 weeks later and we finally have carbonated and finished beer.
I popped my first bottle on Friday night when I got home and it couldn’t have been better. Very full flavored beer, smooth with a nice bit of spice and bite on the end of it. I’ve since taken 2 bottled and chilled them down and took one over to my buddy to give it a taste and his opinion. (he’s not too big into beer anymore, but he loved this stuff)
I’m stoked by the results of this first batch. I need to get a bottle over to CavilerBeer (http://cavalierbeer.wordpress.com/) for his review on this for his posts.
I plan on brewing a lot more in the near future and providing the results here on this page.
Should you wish to try some of my brews let me know and I’ll save you a bottle or two.
Beer a day, keeps the doctor away!
Update: So I’ve passed this beer along to a couple of people to taste and so far people are loving it! I’m stoked! One co-worker said it tasted like a mix of Dos Equis and Shiner… interesting mix in my opinion but if he enjoys it, why the hell not!