Friday, 22 February 2013

Making the brew!

Again, no pictures of the process. Got a bit lost in it once I started, didn't want to make any mistakes and forgot about anything but making it right.

At least it should be right!
Basically the kit I got requires you to dissolve a can of treacle-like substance and 1kg of sugar in about 2 litres of boiling water to start with.
And so I approached the first unforeseen challenge: my kettle will only boil 1.7 litres at once...

My plan then became pouring the boiled 1.7l of water into the fermentation vessel along with the contents of the can, which I warmed in a water bath to loosen it a bit.
Then filled the kettle with enough water to refill the can and boiled that while I stirred the water and contents of the can which is now in the fermenting vessel to get it fully dissolved.

When the kettle reboiled the water was poured into the can and given a quick stir to get the majority of the remnants from it. It's horrifically concentrated so even a small amount will make a huge difference to the final outcome.

So once that was poured into the vessel too the 1kg of sugar in the "Brew Enhancer" was poured into the vessel and that was stirred to within an inch of it's life to make sure it was completely dissolved.

The vessel is filled up with cold/warm water from the tap until it was at the 23l mark. Pouring it in from a height means that there is plenty of air in the mixture which is always good for the yeast.

The gravity of the brew is checked before the yeast is pitched and on this my hydrometer reads 1.033 but it also reads 0.990 for our tap water so I guess that it's not terribly accurate. This isn't a big problem because it's consistently wrong so the change in gravity will still be accurate. 
(1.033 - 1.000 is the same as 1.041 - 1.008)

Once the yeast is pitched, that is sprinkled on the top, the lid goes on and away it goes!

A day or two into the fermentation and you can see the foamy head on the beer which is a sign that the yeast is fermenting and doing it's thing. You can probably just make out that there's condensation around the top too which is also a sign that the fermentation is on it's way.

Just have to leave it for about a week and a half to two weeks then start to check the gravity of the brew.

Once the gravity is consistent across two readings about 24h apart then it's ready for bottling!

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