I had an Irish Red all-grain kit and some spare Belle Saison yeast laying around, so I decided to put them together and see how it turned out. This also happened to be my first proper fly sparge, so I was excited to get that under my belt.
This is my first brewing video, and it’s of our first brew day up at the mountains. The rig is a two-tier recirculating system with 10 gallon kettles and two pumps. I demoed the recirculation system in an earlier video demonstrating the EZBoil in a RIMS configuration.
I had intended to do a grain-to-glass video, but I never got around to it before the keg blew. I will say this was a great beer that I will make again, with some tweaks to mash temperature and fermentation regimen.
The biggest mistake was not to run off enough during sparge, which meant I had to top up with bottled water in the fermenter. My next boil will be in a Blichmann kettle with a sight glass, so that problem should go away.
The second biggest mistake was to try the metric system. While I can see the elegance of it, the reality is that we don’t use it here and that presents a couple of problems. Mostly, it’s that my brain doesn’t think in the metric system. But additionally, some of my equipment doesn’t offer it. We will not be trying that one again.
All in all it was a good day, and the beer turned out great. We have cider in secondary and I plan on more beer brews now that the summer is finally giving way to more reasonable weather.
The recipe couldn’t be simpler:
5 gallons of pure apple juice (no preservatives!)
2 pounds of dextrose
2 sachets of wine yeast (I chose Cotes de Blancs)
Can’t wait to see it in a keg!
If I had had some yeast nutrient laying around, I probably would have just pitched one sachet of yeast.
The next steps are to let it ferment at 75°F for a couple of weeks and then rack to carboy to age a bit before kegging. I might experiment with using finings to clarify the brew out more quickly than letting gravity do it.
We brewed our first batch yesterday. (Finally!!) We shot a bunch of video footage that I need to edit together once it’s all done, as I have resolved to only make grain-to-glass videos. That said, I wanted to get some pictures up in the meantime.
This was an all-grain kit from Northern Brewer called “Caribou Slobber” and it’s pretty much a house beer at this point. I added a couple of pounds of locally malted 6-row for kicks.