Monday, October 15, 2007

Irish Red Ale

Its well known to most of my family and friends that I enjoy a good beer. That being said, I've often toyed with the idea of trying to brew my own, but for various reasons I've never tried it before. After a very generous gift from my Dad for my birthday and reading about others trying their brewing skills for the first time, I decided to give it a try. So I ordered a beer brewing starter kit and a beer ingredient kit for some Red Irish Ale from Northern Brewers. Not long after I ordered it, these boxes arrived.

Inside the smaller of the two boxes were the ingredients for the Irish Red Ale. In front of the box are the hops, the malt is in the brown bottle, the yeast is in the package to the right of the malt and the grains are on the far right. Also included were instructions.

The bigger box contained my beer making starter kit with such things as a big pan to cook it up in (which turned our to be warped), tubing, a fermenter jar, bottle brushes, etc.
The first step is to fill a pot with water and not quite bring it to a boil. While waiting for the water to heat up, I drafted The Son to help me crush the grains.

The water was suppose to be around 170 degrees to seep the grains in so I drafted my other assistant brew master, Ann, to take the water temperature.

After the water was ready, we steeped the grains much like you would making a cup of tea with a tea bag. The grains turned the water a deep Carmel color.

I was constantly looking over the instructions trying not to mess it up.
After letting the grains soak for about 20 minutes or so, they were removed and the water bought to a boil. Once it came to a boil it was time to add the malt. The malt had a honey type consistency.

After the malt was added, the mixture, now called wort, went back on the stove to bring back to a boil. Once it reboiled, the first of the hops were added. The mixture was left to boil for another 60 minutes. In the last minute of boiling, the second group of hops was added.

The mixture is then cooled down to 70 degrees in a ice water bath and then poured into the fermenter.

It was difficult at this point to figure out how much water we were suppose to add to the mix. The instructions weren't too clear about it. I hope we didn't add too much.

The beer is now down in our basement fermenting away for the next week when I'll test it to see if its ready to be bottled. I sure hope it doesn't end up tasting like garbage, but we'll see. Stay tuned.

No comments: