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So, I'm made the jump - I've decided to use home brew as a beer of the day.  Why not right?  I brew it (or a friend does) and I enjoy it - why not include it in here.  I will make it a point to add the recipe to this link so that you have some idea of what was done with it.  I'm not the most organized home brewer.  I also have not entered any of my beers in any competitions though I've thought about it.  Anyway, I brewed this beer a few months back in October 2011 and everyone loved it.  I have yet to do a "repeat" beer so I thought why not try to duplicate my process.  I'm still awaiting some feed back from my fans but I'm not sure I succeed in "duplicating" that October brew.  It is GOOD but definitely for some reason not the same.  My organization is horrible so I'm not sure if I made any major differences between this brew and the one from October.  Here is the recipe:

6.5 lbs of Dry Malt Extract - light
6 oz Roasted Malt
6 Oz Crystal 40L
6 Oz Crystal 120L

.5 oz Northern Brewer hops for 60 minutes
1 oz East Kent Golding Hops for 30 minutes

Irish Ale Yeast WLP004.

In 2011 my original gravity was 1.054 and it was final at 1.011 where I kegged it on 11/13/11 (made it around 5.5% alcohol).  I brewed it on 10/22/11, transferred to secondary on 11/1/11 and then kegged it on 11/13/11.  Put about 25 lbs of C02 on the tank for 3 days (shaking the keg every day at least once) and it was good to go.  The beer I had in 2011 poured a nice brownish red pour.  The head was HUGE in the glass and it was awesome to watch the carbonation settle up from the bottom of the glass and settle on the top almost like a "fine" Guiness Stout type pour.  I don't remember the taste well enough to explain but everyone loved it.

This time I used the SAME recipe as above to the best of my knowledge.  I brewed it on 1/14/12 and the O.G. started at 1.056 (so very close to original).  Transferred to secondary on 1/29/12 at a gravity of 1.015 and kegged on 2/8/12 with a final of 1.013.  The final is about .002 higher then I like but I decided to keg away (I'm impatient).  This beer pours a very DARK brown almost black.  I do not see much "red" in the glass with the exception of the glass getting a bit empty at the bottom and able to see through it a bit.  Maybe this is just a bit more 'unfiltered' then its predecessor.  There is a huge malty flavor to this beer for sure.  The sweet/sugary goodness comes through.  I almost get a 'honey' like sweetness to this beer.  The hops are very mild and in the background and you don't get much from them but a balanced beer.  Over all, I'm happy with this beer but it is a bit "darker" from the one I had before.  I have not had many people try it as it was ONLY ready to drink as of last night.  The future of this one is unclear till a few of my friends let me know their thoughts.

I thought I would be able to give a bit of a description on how beer is brewed and this blog is already getting long.  I'll keep it short and simple for now and get more in depth later if possible.  The bottom line is that you get some malts.  These malts are then 'cracked' through a grinder very lightly then steeped in a bath of water roughly 155 degrees.  There is a ton of science here (a few degrees higher and lower causes different things to happen.  Which is good on certain levels).  You are steeping these grains to convert them to a sugar.  There are different kinds of sugars and at the proper temps you can get those different sugars out for fermentables and flavoring.  I will not get into the "all grain" versus Dry Malt Extract (which I am still using DME) here, but suffice to say, ALL GRAIN - you do this 155 bath for 2-3 hours with a lot more grain.  If using DME you will remove the grain bag from the water and add the DME and bring water to a boil.  From there, you will start adding hops.  Once again, you add hops at "different times" of the boil to extract different needs like bittering, flavoring, and smell, these typically get added at the beginning (60 minutes of boil), some where in the middle (30 minute boil), and end like 10-15 minute boil.  Take this off the stove and CHILL as quickly as possible to roughly 68-70 degrees for Ale Yeast and colder (usually 40-55 degrees) for Lager Yeasts.  Once at that temp - add yeast, put an airlock on and allow the YEAST to eat the fermentable sugars till their heart is content.  This is another incredibly scientific process.  The bottom line here though is - Yeast eats sugar and farts CO2 and produces the glorious Alcohol of the beer.  In general, it is a beautiful process.  There is much much much more to it but this is a very high level look at it.

Cheers!

 


04/24/2012 07:57

It has been long been common opinion that the moderate consumption of red wine is good for your heart. This is because the alcohol and antioxidants in it are thought to increase the levels of good cholesterol (HDL) and protect the arteries from damage.

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