Saturday, December 15, 2007

Homebrew Update - December '07

I got one of my Christmas gifts early.  A plastic, 6.5 gallon conical fermenter.  The great thing about conical fermenters is that you don't have to move the beer to a second fermenter because all the trub (yeast and other "floaties" - excuse my non-professional terminology) can be removed from the valve located at the bottom on a daily basis, instead of being left in the primary fermenter.

The upper valve on the cone can be used to get samples to check the gravity of the beer.  This also allows you to keep more beer in the fermenter, instead of excess beer for gravity tests through siphon hoses.  It also prevents infection from siphon hoses.

Meanwhile, over at John the Brewmeister's house, we've got two more beers fermenting the old fashioned way, in glass carboys:  A White Ale and a Porter.  Here's the White Ale recipe.

Girls’ Night Out White Ale 

5 gallons, extract/specialty grains


1 tsp Gypsum
½ lb Pilsner Malt
¼ lb Munich Type 1 Malt
¼ lb Caramunich Type 1 Malt
¼ lb cracked Wheat
4 lb Alexander’s Pale Malt Extract
1.4 lb Alexander’s Pale Malt Extract Kicker
1 oz Northern Brewer hops (60 min)
½ oz Saaz hops (30 min)
½ oz Saaz hops (15 min)
1 tsp Irish Moss
1 oz orange peel
1 oz cloves
0.5 oz Coriander seeds, whole
1 tsp Trader Joe's Vanilla bean mash
White Labs WLP400 Belgian Wit Ale Yeast

Step by Step: 

Put grains in grain bag or muslin bag.
  Add gypsum to 2 gallons of distilled water and heat to 165*F. Add grain bag, remembering not to add grains to water above 165*F.  Hold temperature at 155*F, stirring grain bag gently from time to time.  Leave pot uncovered during this time, allow grains to steep for 25 minutes. Remove grain bag and let drain.  Don’t squeeze grain bag!  Rinse grains by slowly pouring 1 cup of HOT tap water over top of grain bag.  Discard grains.  Add 3.5 gallons of of water, malt extract and kicker, and bring to a boil.  When boiling starts, add Northern Brewer hops.  Calm boil.  After 30 minutes of boil, add ½ oz of Saaz hops and Irish Moss.  Boil 20 more minutes and add the other ½ oz of Saaz hops along with the spices, ground course.

Original Gravity = 1.040
Final Gravity = 1.010 – 1.012

I'll post the Porter recipe in a later post.  Hopefully there will be more photos of the actual beers and how they've turned out soon.  John said the Porter tastes great and is close to final gravity.

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