Sunday, February 21, 2010

First Beer, First Post

As this week neared an end, I finally boiled up a wort and brewed my first beer. I decided to forgo the JV homebrewing step of doing a beer-in-a-can kit and went for a real recipe, and with the help of my local homebrew store owner (Jeff of Jasper's Homebrew in Nashua, who happens to be a damn genius), developed a recipe for an ESB (English -or Extra- Special Bitter) ale, one that I picked because it is an easy, satisfying style of beer that is drinkable within about 2 weeks of brewing. I anticipated being pretty anxious to taste this, my first brew, so I wanted to go with one of the quicker brews (I also thought about doing a brown ale...maybe next time). The boil and cooling went off without any issues, and my sanitizing was thorough. The recipe I used was as follows:

4.4 lbs Munton's light malt extract syrup combined with:
1.1 lbs Munich malt extract syrup
1.1 lbs Wheat malt extract syrup (these came mixed together)
3 oz 40L crystal malt
3 oz 90L crystal malt
1 measly oz of black patent malt for color
1/3 oz Burton water salts (one package, these are the minerals from the water in the region where this style of beer is most often brewed...pretty awesome!)
English style ale yeast

The beer had an OG (starting specific gravity/density) of around 1.056 and racked up a beautiful dark amber color. I took a picture with my phone this morning of the beer, cloudy with activity, which was showing a nice foamy kraeusen and bubbling away constantly.

Simply beautiful :)

I am already thinking about my next beer, and probably plan to rack something that takes a little longer to ferment so that I can brew it and let it ferment during the time that I spend enjoying my current brew. I'm probably either going to take the route of IPA or California Common (steam beer)...should be exciting.

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