Saturday, 22 August 2015

Here's hopping...

Ongoing adventures in beer brewing, if adventures be the right word, following a lovely night out that just proved that, actually, I am a lightweight. Just eight halves and now I have a headache - ridiculous. Mind you, I visited a bunch of places locally that I'd never been to before so that was nice.

Anyway, yes, today was the fifth day since starting the brewing of Grenade and so a good point to add my hops.

Would you like to know more?

There's not a great deal to tell this time. Unlike my last two attempts at brewing I have managed to lag the bucket and maintain about 21 degrees centigrade beneath them. This has meant a pretty good bubbling action with the yeast doing its thing nicely enough despite being added at 26+ degrees centigrade at the beginning. I can't complain. I was a little late, the exact time would have been about 10am, as I was feeling under the weather and then the children and I went to see Inside Out at the local cinema. This was not what I was expecting as a film.

I digress. This time, not working from a kit, I had got some Progress hops in pellet form. Okay, this is not good for the purist in me and it is sad to think that it would be some time even if I planted hops now before I would have some home grown stuff. I shall have to get round to rectifying that if I can manage to keep the momentum of the brewing up this time around. Progress were chosen on the advice of the fellow in the shop as I explained that I wanted Grenade to 'explode' and he started talking about acidity and reaction times. I'll confess that I knew nothing so did the standard thing when faced with things I don't get being said by someone who assumes I get it and nodded and smiled. He said I should get Progress, so I got Progress.

Of course, a part of me still wanted to get more hops in there and so I popped over and got some Challenger hops a day ago. Why? Well, the plan is that when I transfer the brew over to the barrel for secondary fermentation I shall also add in the Challenger hops for aroma. Then it will have about ten to fifteen days in the barrel whilst I brew my next attempt (I know, two brews one after another, madness). Then I shall bottle the Grenade and transfer the second brew to the barrel to ferment a little further. By that point I hope to got in what I need for a third batch.

All of this will be going on whilst I start back at my place of work, so this could all go catastrophically, or it could be the best time of the year to do this as, hopefully, I should be fully prepped for the first term at least before making loads and loads of new stuff for existing courses to prepare for the GCSE changes coming next year and the necessary prep in KS3 as well. By this point I am assuming that your eyes are glazing over and you get a little bit about how I felt when I was being told about the Progress hops. See, everything is connected!

There, you are updated! The hop aroma was a trifle strong after my session last night though.

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