Wednesday, March 7, 2012

First all grain brew of 2012

Well, after a reasonably short winter the temperatures in the house are once again stable enough for me to think about getting a brew on. Don't get me wrong I haven't been sat here shivering but the temp throughout the day varies a lot when relying on a wood burner for primary heating.

When I can afford the luxury of a temp controlled fermentation cupboard plus a place to keep bottled beers warm to prime, the weather won't be such an issue.

So, after too long a break from brewing and worse still having run out of great beer I've dug all my equipment out of the barn, cleaned it up and got it ready for a brew day tomorrow.

I have had a lovely 30kg sack of malts delivered from the superb Malt Miller based in the UK and so it begins.

What to brew? I am torn right now between a traditional English bitter and a German Dunkel Weissen ... I've been culturing a lovely Belgian yeast from a bottle of Chimay over the winter but I think first job is to get a batch of quaffing bitter on the go.

So, I'm having a go at an own recipe idea based largely on the fact I still have an excess of Amber malt. I've been using Amber malt in some recipes now but only in small quantities so for this one I'm going for the maximum of 20% of the grain bill.

75%Pale malt, 20% Amber malt and 5% Torrefied wheat to hopefully help with a nice, thick head.

Hops are going to be Challenger, Northern brewer for bittering and Bramling Cross for aroma.

As the first two are dual purpose I shall also be dry hopping with a few grams of all three.

I'll be using Safale SO4 and I think I might have a go at batch sparging rather than using my spray bar this time. We'll see.

Ok, so that's that for now, watch this space for the brew day.

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