Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Red Kettle Winter Stout
So This is the first of many to come home brewing blogs. I decided to brew on xmas because I'm pretty much an atheist, so instead of celebrating a Christian holiday I don't believe in, I decided to start my own tradition this year. I'm going to brew a nice dark wintery beer every year from now on. This being my first year I'm decided on a Stout which I decided to call Red Kettle Winter Stout. I have some brewing experience but mostly with mead and wine, and one full extract beers, so this is my first using any grain. I went to my local brew shop and bought their Chocolate stout blend of grains which consisted of 12oz Roasted Barley, 12oz American chocolate malt, 20z Carafa Malt. I did a 3 gal. boil for one hour and added 1 oz of Fuggles (hops) for the full 60 min. 1/2 oz at 30 min and 1/2 oz during the last 15 minutes of the boil for aroma. I also added 1 tbsp or Irish moss for 45 minutes of the boil to help with clarity. The recipe called for 3/4 cup of Dark bakers chocolate but I omitted that to allow my self to first experience it just as straight beer before adding any flavors. My initial gravity reading was 1.045 which should give the finished beer an alcohol content of approx. 5.8% by volume. I'm using white labs Irish ale yeast (WLP004). I had a small cooling issue since I had forgotten to get ice. So I used what little was in my freezer along with a couple ice packs which it went through in minutes. So I adding cold tap water to the concentrated wort to get it to the 5 gallon mark. I know a lot of brewers frown on agitating the hot wort because of HSA but I took my chances. That still didn't do the trick so I finally let it sit on my back porch covered for about 4 hours while I went out for dinner. It wasn't the ideal method but I'll have a wort chiller soon enough. When I got home it was a perfect 72f. I pitched the yeast, put on the lid and airlock and put it in my closet where there isn't much going on just yet. So that's pretty much where I am right now. I'm planning to let it primary ferment and then transfer to a secondary fermenter. I'll post updates as things progress.