I bought the ingredients back on April 17th, but due to an already strained schedule, brewing was put off until today (May 20th). But like the mantra says "Relax, don't worry, have a homebrew." (however since not having brewed any "homebrew" I opted for a deliciously wunderbar Sam Adams Light) Oh man, that Samuel Adams is great stuff, absolutely. Anyway I'm attempting to make something that'll eventually be in the wunderbar category.
Here's what I did to get this far:
- Decided on whether or not to buy the "Kit" or assemble my own brewing station. (I decided on a kit due to time constraints of being a busy minded person and not wanting to take the time to locate all the pieces separately. The kit also came with ingredients.)
- Ordered and received the kit & ingredients, checked everything out. Tried out the hydrometer, auto-siphon, and thermometer.
- Sanitized all equipment used. (Brew pot, ladel, spatula, thermometer, hydrometer, metal tongs, glass for pitch, fermenter & lid, fermentation lock, strainer, & prep/brew area.)
- Placed crystal malt into muslin bag (basically made a tea-bag) placed into pot with 1.5 gal of water and brought to boil; then removed heat and let steep for about 5 mins.
- Added malt extract, hops, water crystal (gypsum & mineral) and then brought back to boil, stirring often; once boiling heat reduce to make for a "gentle" boil for about 30 mins. (note: placing malt extract cans in warm water makes them run from the container more easily, also using a spatula gets all the malty goodness out. Just before you throw the container --taste a little bit of the malt. Interesting flavor.
- Added about 3 gal of cold water (I used 1 gal of ice, but that seemed to drop the temp to far) to fermenter; then via ladel added wort to fermenter. Also used a strainer and picked up the pot to pour after a manageable weight was left.
- Let wort cool to about 70 degrees Farenheit, then mix in the pitch by stirring vigorously, but don't spill. (the pitch is 12 grams of brewers' yeast added to 1/2 cup luke warm water and allowed to sit for 10 minutes)
- Take the hydrometer's container (sterilized) and fill about 3/4 full of pitched wort, take the specific gravity reading. (This is used to determine alcohol content as well as an indicator for the next stage of fermenting.) I read 1.042
- Place lid on fermenter and insert fermentation lock. Place fermenter away from disturbances and direct sunlight.
Now it's 3-4 days until it gets moved to a 5 gal glass carboy 2nd stage fermenter, and it's also time for more Samuel Adams. It'll be about 14-17 days before it's time for a Samuel Edwards.