Friday, May 6, 2011

Homebrew Batch 2 Update

Watching fermentation is
almost as exciting as
watching a time lapse
video being shot.
On Monday night I brewed my second batch of homebrew.  I did it using a recipe from Randy Mosher's book - Radical Brewing.  I was pretty excited about the recipe before I started, but as I went along I felt like there were a few key steps that were missing.  I was able to fill in the gaps using things I learned brewing my first batch with a kit.

I'm very excited about trying this beer.  My expectations are pretty high.  I think this is going to be about 2 or three times better than my first beer, which was drinkable, but definitely not ready for primetime.

Here are a few of the changes I made this time...

1) Better Yeast - I used liquid yeast instead of single packet of dry yeast.  Most sources lead me to believe that this is better.  However, it did cost $10.  It better be worth it. (Wyeast - London Ale)

You can see the space heater on the
right and the thermometer in the
center of the screen.
2) Right Fermentation Temperature.  I have the beer fermenting in a bedroom closet.  I added a thermometer and realized that the closet was too cold.  I put a little space heater in the closet - and then the magic started.  The beer started bubbling up and and CO2 action was very evident.  After seeing this, I'm starting to think that my first batch didn't really ferment at all.  I'm wondering if my first batch had any alcohol in it!  The first batch had a few bubbles, but it was about a tenth of what I am seeing now.

3) Whole Cone Hops (plugs) Over Pellets - I used Kent Goldings hops from England and used a much higher proportion of aroma hops at the end of the boil than I did the first time.  I am truly looking forward to smelling this beer!

Look at the bubbling!!!  It's so
exciting!!!  I did not have this much
action when I brewed my first beer.
I must have just been high off of life!
I want to switch to all-grain brewing, but after perusing Radical Brewing some more, I've decided that I need some new sources to learn more about the mashing process.  Does anyone have suggestions to learn about mashing?  My good buddy, Kyle Klaiber (aka Youtube user hophedbrewhaus), recommended  I decided to buy the book How to Brew: Everything You Need To Know To Brew Beer Right The First Time.

I also have another book on the way called The Complete Joy of Homebrewing Third Edition.

How to Brew: Everything You Need To Know To Brew Beer Right The First Time
Hopefully my new book
will come in the mail soon
so I can start dreaming
about how to sparge.
I think between these two books I should be ready to make the jump to all-grain brewing.

Kyle also offered to let me come help him brew some beer and I think that seems like a great way to learn how.  He has brewed over 150 batches of all-grain beer and is a BJCP beer judge - a great resource for learning more about the art and craft of brewing and enjoying great beers!

The saga continues...


Let the Better Beer Authority know what you think. Leave us a comment!