Monday, 17 August 2015

The Grenade

Ready yourselves and get in some protective clothing, for I have embarked on the next brewing adventure (and a long time coming it has been too!). Further to my boasts (carefully placed with people so that I couldn't back out) I have now started the next batch of brewing this morning on my return from our progress down south, beyond London even. So, yes, there's that.

Would you like to know more?

I bought in some dark malt, two tins worth at 3.3lbs per tin, and some brewer's yeast that requires no sugar (nor does the malt for that matter). I have successfully warmed the tins so that the malt just poured out without any need for loosening further or even rinsing out - I know! Then I managed to lose my air-lock so whilst waiting for the malt to cool to a balmy 26 degress centigrade I wandered out to get a new one (I got a spare too) and then returned to add the yeast and the air lock.

So far so boring, nothing is happening yet (it's been less than an hour) but it is my first foray into a dark malt and my first foray proceeding without a very specific recipe. I have some hops on standby, the pellets rather than fresh alas, and a barrel for secondary fermentation and plenty of bottles ready to take the precious cargo. At the moment it all smells of those malt drinks that one can get in the supermarkets so that's... nice? Anyway, I am rather excited about this state of affairs and looking forward to seeing what happens next. I'm leaving it all for five days in the first instance and then adding my first load of hops. After that it's about another five days, the kitchen has been a steady 23 degrees centigrade for the past few weeks, before I shall add some more hops and decant into the barrel (or the other way around, who knows). Then it will be about ten days before the whole lot is bottled into 330ml bottles I have stashed for the occasion since about September last year. I know, I have tarried rather a long time here!

In those final ten days my intention is to try and save some of the yeast to add to the next batch of lighter ale that I'm trying for. I have a kit in for this one, an American IPA kit, but I may cheat and get hold of some UK hops to add to it and save the New World hops for another brew instead, we shall see.

However, I am all a-quiver and this required some form of marking of the occasion and a blog post seemed like a good idea. The Boy has already expressed amazement at the fact that malt looked like beer but was not keen on playing any further role. The Girlie was entirely indifferent, as one would expect, and my wife is amazed that the whole process took less than an hour (including the rigmarole had in making sure that all the paraphernalia was properly cleansed) - as am I. It's certainly a better start than my first batch (and the temperature is more constant too, so perhaps it will brew more speedily). I am also aware that buying malt extract in a tin is a bit of a cheat but I lack the practical skills to make a mash tun, no, really, I can barely wire a plug without causing major issues - I am not practical at all - but I think this may just work for me.

Yes, I am rather excited. Enough lollygagging, it's time to shake a leg and get on with the myriad other jobs that need doing. Rar!

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