For quite a while I have wanted to jump into home brewing. But laziness coupled with bills made it difficult. As I mentioned for my new years resolution I would start brewing. I also said I would start getting back into shape and that hasn’t happened yet. So this past Saturday I made good on my promise to start brewing.
The first brew would be an Amarillo American Pale Ale, an extract kit purchased from Midwest Supplies. Everything seemed very straight forward. I had a bucket filled with water and the no rinse cleaning solution that contained my thermometer, hydrometer and stirring devices. The propane tank was hooked up to the burner and my 7.5 gallon pot had 3.5 gallons of water in it. I brought the water up to 155 degrees for the steeping of the grains and here is where I made my first mistake. Since the paper with my directions said the grains should be crushed I used this opportunity to use my Magic Bullet for the first time. Yeah that made them a little to fine. A good amount of grains went right through the bag and into the pot. D’oh! Oh well, it’s my first brew and that can be filtered.
After steeping and bringing the water up to a boil I turned off the burner and proceeded to stir in the malts with some help from my sister in law, Melissa. After all the malt was absorbed the heat was put back on and the pot brought to a boil. The Columbus hops were added first and after smelling them I could then think, “Oh I’ve smelt these kind of hops before.” It’s cool to actually put smell with a particular hop. They were citrusy, I liked it. Then through the next hour two packs of Amarillo hops were added as well. And let me say that I love the smell of those ones. Big grapefruit smells. If I didn’t completely mess this one up I can tell it will be a good brew.
To bring the temperature down I used the recommendation on the instructions to empty a bag of ice into the pot since it will cool the wort and serve as the extra water needed. This worked like a charm and brought the wort down to 76 degrees in a little less than 10 minutes. I took this time to make my first hydrometer reading and it was a 1.050. We began aerating the wort as recommended by stirring it vigorously and transferred it over to the primary fermenter. After getting the wort nice and worked up I pitched the yeast and popped the top on it with the air lock.
Now is pretty much a waiting game. This weekend I will transfer it over to the carboy for the secondary fermentation. I have to say I had a lot of fun doing this. My sister in law did as well. I am hoping all went well with it and continues to go well with it and that a decent brew can come out of it.