Finally brewing my first all grain beer!
I bought my supplies from my local homebrew stores – Victors Grape Arbor and Southwest Grape and Grain and ordered my first all grain kit from Brooklyn Brew Shop. The kit came with all the grains mixed and ground, a packet of dry yeast, a packet of columbus hops and a packet of cascade hops. If you are interested in the recipe – or more small batch recipes, check out the book they sell.
The hops had an amazing citrus aroma. I divided the cascade hops in to five batches that were added every 10-15 minutes.
To start, I followed the instructions on the website. Heated 2 quarts of water to 160 and mashed at about 145. It seemed a bit thick. I think next time I will mash at 1.5 quarts of water per pound of grain (I think this was 1:1).
After the hour, I poured the wort through a strainer and sparged with 4 quarts of 170 water.
All the columbus hops hops went in at boil – and the aroma was carried away with the steam. The cascade went in at 5, 15, 30, 45 and 0. It looked and smelled like beer!
I had a 10lb bag of ice in the sink to cool the wort. Took about 15 minutes to get it just under 70. I pitched the yeast and since my boil off was more than I expected, I didn’t use a blow off tube but just used the three piece airlock.
Fermentation took off that night – only a few hours later. It has been in my closet for 2 weeks and I am bottling this weekend.
I will do a few things different – even if it comes out good.
- Use more water to grain in the mash.
- Rehydrate the yeast – not a starter but in warm water like I do with bread baking.
- Maintain a lower and more even fermentation temperature.
Right now, I am assuming my mashing is fairly inefficient and I am not taking OG readings or PH. I am just practicing making beer – getting the techniques down and my workflow. As I progress, I will start worrying about hitting a target gravity and the PH of my water. For now, lets just have fun and brew!