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Journal buffer-overflowed's Journal: Crosspost - Brewing Again 2

Originally posted on Multiply:
This has probably become a sort of joke, because I've been talking about doing it again for a very long time. Anyway, I haven't brewed beer in a very long time. I used to do all-grain, which as anyone who does it can tell you, is a royal pain in the ass. You have to sanitize a fuck ton of stuff, then keep water temperatures constant during sparging, while varying them depending upon the grains you've added at what step in the process(yes, process, to get the best character in the end product you might for example only add your pilsner malt after X amount of time of sparging your malted wheat, and thus vary the temp). It's not hard to do it and get something highly drinkable out of it, but it's really fucking tough to get consistency.

To make things interesting, I took a general vote amongst my beer drinking friends as to what type of beer they would like. After realizing it was just increasing in difficulty the more things I vetoed, I settled on a hefeweizen. I was hoping for something like a stout or porter, because it's really tough to mess up a stout or porter(and if you do, you just up to gravity to get the ABV up to 12%, then it only bothers you for the first one).

So we go, pick up all the stuff. This will be a 100% pure extract brew, which means it'll lack character. Oh well. To try to make up for this, I pretty much just winged it.

First off, they didn't have any ready to pitch german wheat yeast at the brew store. So, alas, I had to get a propagation culture. Wyeast 1010 if you're interested. This means before I could start, I had to make a starter culture. I activated the yeast, boiled a liter of water and about 1 lb of light malt extract for 20 minutes, waited for it to cool down to room temp, and tossed into a beaker covered in foil. 3 hours later, I pitched the prop culture. 24 hours after that and it's gotten beery, so it's ready to use for reals.

To begin, I put 20 liters of water into the "king of all pots"(seriously, it's really tough to find something bigger than a homebrew/sparging pot, you end up going up to Turkey friers after a certain point), put the burner on high, and kept myself occupied watching the last hour of the propagation culture burping. Boiled for 20 minutes. I then added in my extracts. I used 4 lbs of malted Wheat extract, 2.5 lbs of light pilsner, and 3 lbs of light amber. Immediately added in 8 AAU of Hallertau hops. Boiled for 45 minutes. Added another 8 AAU of Hallertau hops. Boiled for an additional 15 minutes. Allowed to cool(this took forever...) and tossed it into the glass carboy(pails are for sissies).

Target Original Gravity: 1050-1060
Original Gravity: 1054
IBU: 20
Target Final Gravity: 1012
Target ABV: About 6%
Color: Light Amber - I don't feel like calculating this.

Checked on it this morning. Gravity had dropped to 1042. So it's at about 1% alcohol after just over 24 hours. Which is good, means I didn't kill the yeast. 13 days to go before I find out if it sucks or not.

Once it's done with the initial fermentation, I'm going to keg it, toss in 2/3rds of a cup of corn sugar, and store it in a mini-fridge I'll try to keep at 50. It should be drinkable, and if it's not all gone within 4 weeks, it'll be cask-conditioned and ready for bottling.

Couple more batches after this, and I'll start trying the crazy stuff(like Gluten free brewing).

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The target ABV, IBU, and SRM will put this somewhere between a weizen and a weizenbock. Using American Wheat yeast as opposed to a german wheat yeast, and all extracts should keep it nice and crisp. Light on esters and phenols. Hopefully it turns out as planned.

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Crosspost - Brewing Again

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  • I only had a general idea of how brewing is done from touring the Miller brewery in Milwaukee WI. By the measurements and temperatures it seems more like a chemistry experiment than a brewing process.

    I understand why the grain and hops are added. Why do you add corn syrup to it in the barrel?

    • To prime it. Basically, so there's food for the remaining live yeast to carbonate it.

      Big breweries force carbonate(since pasteurization kills all the yeast and carbonation).

"Never face facts; if you do, you'll never get up in the morning." -- Marlo Thomas