Sunday, December 16th

Brewblogue: +/-80/-

Listening to: nothing
Current mood: little tired...

Water: 4.5Gallons filtered Hillcrest tap water
  • 4.5lbs Maris Otter
  • 0.5lbs Crystal 40
  • 0.2lbs Crystal 120
  • 0.25lbs Honey Malt
  • 0.25lbs Munich Malt
  • 0.1lbs Chocolate Malt

Yeast: Yeast cake from Dark Mild - WLP002 English Ale
Hops: 0.42oz East Kent Goldings @ 80 minutes

Mashed at ~158° for 60 minutes. Boiled ~80 minutes.

OG: 1.045

Alright, rockin the apartment all-grain once again. This batch we went for a Scottish Export 80 Schilling. Nothing too different this time around, although we had the system down way better the second time. It still took us a little while longer than we expected, especially the boil and cooling down the wort afterwards. But we landed right in the middle of the style as far as gravity goes which is pretty cool, and I think we hit our mash temp pretty well this time... maybe a degree or two off but I don't think much more.

And I guess because we dumped it on to the yeast cake from the previous batch (which we also bottled today), we've gotten a really fast start. I think it went into the carboy around 6:30 tonight and it was bubbling like crazy by 9 or so. Bubbling kind of annoyingly actually. Ah well. So this thing should sit until sometime after the new year at which point we may do another or we may not depending on how we feel (I've been thinking that a chocolate cherry stout in time for Valentines might be fun...).

Matt on 12.16.07 @ 11:28 PM PST [link]  [No Comments]

Tuesday, December 4th

Brewblogue: Temperance Mild

Listening to: nothing
Current mood: tired but cheerful

Water: 4.5 Gallons filtered Hillcrest tap water
  • 3.3lbs Maris Otter
  • 0.45lbs Crystal 60
  • 0.3lbs Crystal 120
  • 0.3lbs British Dark Crystal¹

Yeast: 1 vial WLP002 English Ale
Hops: 0.42oz East Kent Goldings @ 60 minutes²

Mashed at ~152° for 60 minutes. Boiled 65 minutes.

OG: 1.038
¹ Annoyingly not labeled as to their alpha acid content.
² Recipe called for Pale Chocolate malt, which the store did not have. I panicked and bought this because it was the same color.

So last night we finally bit the bullet and tried our very first all-grain batch here in our tiny apartment. And believe it or not, I think it worked. In fact we actually ended up a few points above the gravity I was aiming for, though we undershot our mash temp by a few degrees (which as far as I understand it means we'll have less residual sugars and thinner mouthfeel from the finished beer... which considering it was our first time, I can more than live with). And in fact it was really pretty easy, quite a bit easier than I expected (batch sparging is the bomb-diggity, yo). Sure it took a little longer than extract brewing, but a fair amount of that time was spend watching Kids in the Hall episodes while we waited for stuff to finish what it was doing. And it was even kinda fun. Of course we had actually planned to brew on Sunday but ran into various problems (such as my starter not starting and a leaky cooler) so it was postponed to Monday night, which is not quite the most ideal time to brew. But we didn't too badly and as long as I get to bed early tonight I should be fine.

As for the beer itself it's supposed to be a dark mild (BJCP style 11A for those playing at home), but I'm not sure it's going to have the toastiness that it's supposed to since I couldn't find any pale chocolate malt. Might end up more like a Southern English Brown. And as of tonight it's happily bubbling away, which is fantastic. So anyway, I'm very pleased that it actually seems to have worked. Perhaps I'll remember to actually say if it turns out... after all, with beer this low in alcohol (it'll hit maybe 4% max - which is a little too strong for the style) it should be ready to bottle in a week. Woo hoo.

Matt on 12.04.07 @ 09:04 PM PST [link]  [3 Comments]