Monday, March 26, 2012

Stupidly Simple Stout Brewday

Wow, time flies when work is so much fun. Although my blog has fallen behind a little bit, luckily my brewing has not. Going to try and catch up in the next few weeks and to get started I need to go back in time to February. As I thought about my next brew I looked at the weather and a cold snap was coming so I decided that the best beer for the cold was a stout. After searching on Homebrew Talk I found a fairly simple stout recipe, so simply it was Stupidly Simple.

After getting the grains and supplies from Austin Homebrew it was time to brew. After letting the grains mash for an hour it was time to drain.

After the initial drain and sparge were complete, I set about for the boil. It was pretty cold but I had the fire and some coffee to keep me warm
There is an old adage that a watched pot never boils. I proved that wrong, way wrong. Just as I was about to get comfortable in my folding chair the foam from the wort started to reach the top of the pot. After removing the wort from the flame I turned to another old remedy, a wooden spoon on the top of the pot to avoid a boil over. Not sure if it worked but I did not have another problem with a boil over.
Once the boil was done it was into the fermenter but not before a sample gravity reading.
Now it was time to wait for the fermentation to complete, more on that soon though.


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Adventures in Cold Crashing

Since my last post the weather here had warmed up, the beer had completed fermentation and that could only mean one thing, it was time to keg and have a round of Kolsch. This time I was going to try something a little different, it was called “cold crashing”. Cold crashing is the process of cooling your beer before you bottle or keg it. What this does is it causes yeast particles that are floating in your beer to cool down and “crash” to the bottom of the ferementer. This will allow for clearer bear when taking the beer from the fermenter to the keg since more particles are at the bottom of the fermenter. Now you are probably asking, how do you cool a 7 gallon bucket? Easy, you put it in the fridge.

After two days in the fridge it was time to keg.

After draining the beer into the keg it was pretty apparent that the cold crashing had worked just by the amount of sediment in the bottom of the fermenter. It looks green because of the hops, hops are green.

After filling the keg, it went in the fridge and about a week later it was carbed up and ready to drink.

So how did it taste? At first sip the beer had a very pronounced grain taste (duh, its all grain) but this was something more as if you took a scoop of grain and put it in your mouth. Luckily this has mellowed out since then and now this is great light and crisp beer perfect after mowing the yard or just sitting around with friends. Till the next brew, Prost!