Sunday, March 18, 2007

Brewer's Best - Red Ale

Ok, I'm starting to brew again, using a boxed recipe, Brewer's Best Red Ale.

I'm using a big, 30 qt, brew kettle for this one. Therefore, instead of the usual add the malt to 2 gal for the boil, then add 3 gal to cool, I'm doing all 5 gal in the one brew pot from the start. Also, before I used municipal water so I could assume it was chlorinated, but now I've got well water. All the more reason to boil it all.

So I start with the crushed grains in the bag provided and heat the water from cold for about 30 minutes until at 1:20 the water temperature is 165 F. By 1:35 I notice that the water temperature is over 170, though I tried to control it, so the grains come out. Drained and squeezed the bag. Put the heat back on and let it boil.

2:05 boil starts, add Malt (2 lbs. Munton's light dry, 3.3 lbs Cooper's light liquid)

2:20 boil up again, add bittering hops (Willamette, 1 oz, 4.5% AA).

3:15 Add finishing hops, (Willamette, 1 oz, 4.5% AA).

3:20 Pull brew pot off of flame and start to cool. I don't have an immersion chiller so the brew pot is sitting in a tub of cold water. It's a cold day outside so it should cool down fairly quickly.

4:42 Following the instructions on the Danstar "Nottingham" dry yeast packet I rehydrate the yeast at 86 F.

5:00 Gently stir the rehydrating yeast. Looks good. Nice even dsitribution of yeast throughout the water. Yeast temperature is 86 F, Wort temperature is 90 F, add a little wort to the yeast and wait. Meanwhile the original gravity is 1.040. Corrected O.G. = 1.044

5:11 The thermometer in the yeast still says 86 F and I've added a lot more wort. I think I need to check my thermometers, do they all agree? In any case, pitch the yeast, add the airlock and seal the fermentor.

Note: I started with 6 gallons in the original boil and ended with just 5 gallons in the fermentor.

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