This is my first of hopefully many adventures in beer making! I used a Brewer’s Best kit, English Brown Ale. Here are the contents of the kit:
And here is some of the equipment from my brewing set I used:
The first step was to make a “tea” out of crushed crystal malt. (The unfermented beer is called “wort” and this is the first step for this kind of beer.) First the crushed malt is put in a stockinette bag, while a pot of water gets its temperature taken. (Note my beautiful 1970 harvest gold cooktop. It’s an original!)
Then as the water heats, the bag of malt steeps.
It is a lovely color! And the smell! SO good.
You could get a good steam facial with this!
Once the crushed malt steeps for 20 minutes, the “tea” is brought to a boil and the malt (sugars) and bittering hops are added. Here are the hops, processed into pellets:
The hops are added to the boiling malt sugar solution and continue to boil for a total of 55 minutes. At that time, the flavoring hops are added (a different variety to give another layer of flavor). I had two types of malt in this kit – a can of syrup and a bag of powder. The powder malt made some crazy foam when I added it and it was a little bit scary! Eventually it all settled and happily boiled away. Made every room in the house smell good!
Once the wort was done cooking, into an ice bath to cool to 70 degrees.
After the wort came down to temperature, I poured it out of the pot and into the ale pail. The sediment left at the bottom of the pan actually has a name – it’s called trub!
Water goes in after that,then we check specific gravity. Just like chemistry class! The specific gravity will go down once the beer is done fermenting.
After that, yeast is added…
Temperature is checked again… (can’t see it well but it’s about 75)
Then the pail is lidded and fermentation lock applied.
Notice the order. That was my first mistake. I put on the lid and pushed in the fermentation lock, and the little rubber grommet went into the wort. This was followed by much swearing and fishing in the wort for the grommet. Once it was located, the fermentation lock went in the lid BEFORE applying the lid, then lid was applied and water was added to fermentation lock.
Now the beer is in its resting place for 3-7 days. Will take pictures of bubbling fermentation lock. Once bubbling has stopped, and specific gravity has decreased to stated number, then bottling process can begin.