Sunday, October 16, 2005

Brewing Again

Well, since I've been stuck way up north in Fort St. John, BC, I haven't done any brewing. I couldn't really stand it anymore, so I finally went down to the homebrew shop here. Their supplies were... minimal, at best. They had cheap starter supply kits. I didn't like the quality of the plastic in them, and the carboy was plastic too. Phew. They generally just suck.

Anyway, the woman there had a stout kit from BrewHouse that had been sitting there for awhile and was expired. Well, normally I'm a stickler for fresh supplies. And even more anal about sanitation (I usually wear latex gloves and a dust mask over my mouth and nose to prevent breathing into the wort). But I figure for just once I should try making a beer using lax sanitation, old wort, and crappy equipment. Well, the woman gave me the stout kit for 50% off, replaced the outdated yeast with fresh yeast (albeiet crappy Coopers "Brewer's" Yeast... ale? lager?? doesn't say), and gave me an ounce of Fuggle 4% AA hops she just got in. I figure it'll be the cheapest beer I've ever made, and the new fuggle hops will help replace the hops in the wort that would have expired. All in all, this is just a batch to play with, no regrets if it goes wrong, since theres a good chance it will no matter what :).

Ok, so its a 15 L kit so I start to boil up 8 L of additive water to clean it up. But I get this idea to add a few dashes of pepper and 1/2 of the fuggle hops to the boil. And then I added a bottle of Sam Adam's Boston Lager for fun. I boiled the whole thing for about 20 minutes and then let it cool. I found this clover honey I bought at a farmer's market a few weeks back, so I decided to boil up 500 mL of that with about 300 mL of water.

After sanitizing everything about half as diligiently as I normally would, I dumped in the wort and the additives (water + honey water), aerated the wort, cooled it, added the other 1/2 oz of fuggle hops as a dry hop, aerated again, then added the yeast.

We'll see how this goes... I'm interested for sure.

Initial Gravity: 1.051 @ 22 C. The initial wort actually tasted better than I expected. Firm and dry maltiness and just the hint of the extra fuggle hops in the background (this was before dry-hopping).

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