Well, there it is.
A true beer kit. a 3.15 lb bottle of gold malt extract, a 3.15 lb bottle of pilsen malt extract, some select crushed grains with grain bag, 4 one ounce bags of Azacca pellet hops at 10% AAU (kinda steep for my liking but we’ll go with it), White Labs WLP007 Dry English Ale yeast,
and a one pound bag of Breiss Pilsen DME. This beer will get most of its color from the grains as the malt extracts won’t influence it much.
The instructions are different for the way I normally do partial mash so I’ll follow what they say.
Put grains in grain bag, tie it off, and place into pot with 2.5 gallons of water, and raise the water temp to 170°. In a separate pot, I heated 2 qts of water to around 170°. When the grain pot hit 170°, I pulled out the bag out and set it in a colander over the pot, then rinsed (sparged) the grains with the other pot of hot water.
Grains in grain bag steeping with temp probe set to 170°.
Bring to a boil, then remove from heat to add the gold extract syrup. You must remove it from the burner or you will burn the extract. I don’t care how good you think you are, remove it from heat and stir until the syrup is dissolved. No body is that good…not even..heh heh…me.
When you’re certain it’s dissolved, put it back on the burner and return to boil. At that time add 1/2 oz of the hops.
hop addition at beginning
After this, we do nothing to the beer until 45 min into the boil. At which time we will add the other 1/2 oz of hops, and the other bottle of extract syrup, and the one pound bag of pilsen dme (see? weird).
At 60 minutes, we add an entire oz of hops before beginning the cool down process. (I think those brew scientists at Northern Brewer may have been oversampling their wares when they thought up this one).
Now is the time to prepare for the cool down. Get the carboy ready (6 1/2 gallon). Get aireator, and check on ice supply.
I have put a gallon of bottled water into the freezer to aid in expediting the cooling off process.
I have also decided to put the beer in the carboy and move it to the spare room before topping off with the water. That sombitch is too heavy to carry across the house with a full batch. I will also aireate the beer in there before pitching yeast. Will also take gravity at that time.
All kidding and joking aside, this has been probably the most frustrating beer I have ever made. Everything was going smooth until I was straining the @!X$*& hop pellets. Guess what? My funnel strainer, which I have been using fifteen years, would not strain the hop pellets because they are ground too fine.
That’s great. Now I have 4.9 gallons with beer with the rest as hop sludge. Wait! There’s more! I have to add two more ounces in the secondary fermenter.
It’s gonna be hell to filter out those hops.
OG was 1.050.
I can only hope that someone from Northern Brewer reads this.
See you in a week or so when I rack to secondary.
I’m anxious to put this one behind me. The only consolation will be if the beer is any good.
One more thing; the yeast looks like paste; you remember the kind you used to eat in kindergarten?
I saw my yeast chunks floating in my beer when I gave it a shake and watched them go round and round.
I misplace my dual line aerator which kinda set me off on this ran. I cannot imagine where it is. It should have been with the aquarium stuff…not. That leaves, well the whole world because I have no idea. I did have a cheap Whisper 200 that barely works.
Well shit. Now time to clean up.
Update: next day
At least it’s fermenting
The ferment has stopped so I racked the beer today to the other 2 ounces of pellet hops. The gravity was 1.012 which is excellent.
Right on target.
The instructions say to let sit two weeks in secondary, then bottle. This method of putting hops in secondary is called ‘dry-hopping’. It will give the beer a stronger hop aroma.
12/5/2015 Bottling Day
This day we have been anticipating for two weeks now. As you recall, we racked our primary onto 2 ounces of pellet hops for two weeks and we call this ‘dry hopping’.
I’m sure I will have another name for it like “another way for X to discover new curse words” as I have indicated it will be difficult to filter out the pellet hop granules. We have a plan of course, but no backup.
First of all, we must calculate the number of bottles we need. 5 gallons of beer is 640 ounces.
I have 16 fifteen ounce flip top bottles which is 240 ounces which leaves us with 640-240=400 ounces. I am also going to fill 5 1 liter bottles at 33 ounces each which comes out to 165 ounces leaving us 400-165=235 ounces. I could use another 16 flip tops which would take up the rest of the beer. However, I do not have room in my fridge for 2 cases of 15 ounce flip tops. So perhaps 4 two liter bottles will do as I can give those away; some are destined to be shipped.
Will have to make that decision by bottling time.
A decision has been made. I went with the 4 two-liter bottles instead of the extra case.
Note the sediment which is mostly hop pellets. Will use a hop bag on the end of the siphon to filter. Beyond that, the bottles will just have sludge in them.
I bottled today to 3/4 C corn sugar and 2 C water.
I thought I had a small hop bag…I don’t. So I did not filter the hops. I set the racking cane in the center of the bottom (the bottom is slightly convex in the center). The standoff on the end of the cane kept the bulk of the hops from getting into the siphon. It also cost about a liter of beer I had to leave behind…seems all I do is sacrifice.
I did not check gravity.
I bottled to 16 16 oz flip top bottles, 5 1 liter bottles, and 3 2 liter bottles: one only half full which will be my sample bottle.
The beer has a nice color. Now we’ll watch for the carbonation. I’ve been kinda snakebit in that department in recent brews, having only one batch that carbonated correctly (Blue Moon).
Snakebit no more. This stuff carbonated overnight (not quite). I put it all in the fridge this morning for sampling tonight. The plastic bottles were rock hard. Time to refrigerate.
I am not a connoisseur in anything, I just know what I like.
This is good beer.
It is a hoppy beer as defined by a pale ale style.
Not a lot of hop nose, but definite hints of pine in the beer itself.