Friday, July 27, 2012

Homebrew Batch 3

For Fathers' Day my wife bought me a new brewing kit with the necessary ingredients to brew an American Pale Ale. Although we already have all the basic equipment we need for brewing, this kit is a little different. The most significant difference in this set-up versus our previous is it came with a 1-gallon carboy rather than a 5-gallon bucket. Our plan is to start creating our own recipes soon, so the advantage to the smaller carboy is that we can easily create much smaller batches, minimizing the potential cost of a bad batch dumped down the drain. We can now play around with very small batches until we find something we like, then scale it up to a 5-gallon (or larger) batch.

Brew-day for this batch was pretty straightforward and we did not deviate from the recipe like we did on the previous batch. The kit came with a partial grain pale ale recipe very similar to our first batch. The big difference with this batch is the kit included solid extract rather than the liquid that we're used to. We did not find the solid extract to be any easier or more difficult to work with than the liquid. However, when adding the solid extract to the boil, it is important to remember to add it slowly and keep stirring, lest you end up with large clumps floating in the wort.

The photo above was taken about 24 hours into fermentation and you can see that it is still quite cloudy. Much of the sediment in the beer has fallen to the bottom of the carboy, so as of this post the beer is much clearer and it has a nice amber color. It has been fermenting for about 5 days now, and will continue to ferment for about another 5-7 days prior to bottling. The exciting part about using a carboy is that you can see what your beer looks like during the fermentation. This, of course, isn't possible when we're using 5-gallon plastic buckets. While I'm certainly excited about this batch (I get excited for every batch), I'm really excited about the many possibilities for our own future creations.

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