Monday, January 23, 2012

Winter Warmer – High Gravity, Bye Extract

Thanks to a fellow home brewer I finally have all the equipment necessary to do All Grain brewing, but before I could attempt this I had one more extract brew to complete.  I had ordered a Winter Warmer kit from Austin Homebrew Supply after being inspired by Rahr’s Winter Warmer. The kit came complete with lots of grain and lots of extract, nine lbs of Extract to be exact.
This brew was similar to others that I had done before but with one small change. For this beer I would use the oven. Why the oven you ask? During a partial mash you need to soak specialty grains in hot water (150° F) for 45 minutes to extract sugar and flavors from the grain. Instead of trying to regulate the temperature on the open stove for 45 minutes I decided to cheat and put my brewpot in the oven after warming it to 150°. Turns out this was a lot easier than trying to regulate on the stove.

After this was done it was time for the boil and the addition of hops and the liquid malt extract. It was a big surprise to me when I read the package to see that the LME was a light extract. This surprised me because the Rahr version of this beer was a Dark English Ale and adding the Light LME would make this beer more copperish. Oh well, in it went.
Once the boil was over and the Wort was chilled I took a gravity reading (OG). The Hydrometer read 1.077; this was going to be a strong beer. In simple beer terms the higher the gravity after boil the stronger the beer. For math types use this formula: (OG-FG)*131=ABV, in my case (1.077-1.019)*131= 7.6% ABV. For reference a Miller Lite is 4.2%.

After putting in the yeast I sealed up the fermenter along with my extract brewing days because up next was the coveted All Grain method of brewing, but more on that later. Prost!


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