Homebrew et al.

Blog about trying to make beer, good beer.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

First Attempt (Dec 2)

My first attempt has been HBA's extract recipe called "Thames Valley Special Bitter." HBA's description is:

Another Amber Ale related to Pale Ale family. Maltier and hoppier and with higher alcohol content than Ordinary Bitter. Special Bitter is just the ticket for someone searching for a more flavorful Bitter.

A couple of newby mistakes I made were that I added the first set of bittering hops in a muslin bag cut in half. I found that this didn't give the hop pellets room to expand and get fully wetted. I am afraid that the hops didn't have enough contact with the wort and that they kept their precious oils all to themselves. The cooling of the boiling wort was also a mess and I have since invested in an immersion cooler. I know what you are saying, "but you're only doing partial boils." I know, but cooling 3 gallons of boiling wort in an ice bath was so messy and makes things only more susceptable to infection.

I added servomyces (a yeast nutrient) to better insure a healthy fermentation and WhiteLabs yeast (strain WLP002). I also sanitized everything with Star San, a comercial no-rinse, acid-based sanitizer. The Star San made everything really slippery. You really need to let the stuff dry for a while when using Star San.

Ultimately I ended up with an original gravity (OG) of 1.050. The finishing gravity (FG) should be about 1.010. The gravity readings (done with a hydrometer) are a method of measure the density of the wort. In this case, we're measuring the amount of fermentable sugars. After letting the yeast work, converting fermentable sugars to alcohol, there should be less sugar in the wort. After all, the yeast at all the sugars. Which is to say, amazing.

Pictured to the right is the fermentation pantry of doom.


Blogger ruben said...

Flannnders, flanders, flanders...

5:25 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home