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Joined
Aug 23, 2022
Messages
19
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Location
Wales
1: All The Gear And No Idea
It went like this:
August 1995: Made a kit brew using Dad's equipment that hadn't been used for years. It was edible, but that was it.
August 2022: Summer holiday in the middle Rhine valley, lots of Kölsch drunk. 'Can I get this at home?' I wondered. Not really. Not the best stuff. 'Can I make it?'... cue viewing the entire Grainfather collection because lagering. That's a lot of money.
October 2022: Discovers this forum.
November - December 2022: puts together the budget system from a second-hand Brewzilla (thanks @jezbrews ), a full size £50 fridge, Inkbird, two heat pads and some plastic fermenters.

Which brings us to the first brew day - two brews!

First SMaSh
Type: All Grain
Original Gravity : 1.040
Final Gravity : 1.011

BrewZilla / RoboBrew 35L Batch Size : 16 L
Boil Size : 20.71 L
Post-Boil Vol : 17.71 L
Mash Water : 15.75 L
Sparge Water : 6.53 L
Boil Time : 60 min
Total Water : 22.28 L

Fermentables (3 kg)
3 kg - Pale Malt, Maris Otter 5.9 EBC (100%)

Hops (36 g)
60 min - 24 g - Challenger (Whole) - 7.99%
10 min - 12 g - Challenger (Whole) - 7.99%

Yeast 1 pkg - Munton's Premium Gold


Smoky Seconds
Original Gravity : 1.042
Final Gravity : 1.010

BrewZilla / RoboBrew 35L Batch Size : 16 L
Boil Size : 20.71 L
Post-Boil Vol : 17.71 L
Mash Water : 15.75 L
Sparge Water : 6.53 L
Boil Time : 60 min
Total Water : 22.28 L
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75%
Mash Efficiency: 79.7%

Fermentables (3.4 kg)
3 kg - Pale Malt, Maris Otter 5.9 EBC (88.2%)
200 g - Gladfield - Dextrose Sugar 0 EBC (5.9%)
200 g - Smoked Breadcrumbs 1 EBC (5.9%)

Hops (75 g)
60 min - 25 g - Challenger (Whole) - 7.99%
60 min - 25 g - Goldings (Whole) - 4.7% (18 IBU)
Hop Stand 0 min - 25 g - Goldings (Whole) - 4.7%

Yeast 1 pkg - Munton's Premium Gold

I didn't hit the target efficiency for Smoky Seconds, presumably because the breadcrumbs gunked everything up a bit. They were an experiment anyway, as I had some kicking around.

Both had a quick and vigourous fermentation and slowed right down after 3 days. As I'm aiming for 'lager-like' ales I took advantage of the frosty weather to cold crash both after about 10 days. First Smash was a mixture of keg (Dark Farm 5L) and bottle, Smoky Seconds all bottled.

The results? Much, much nicer than I was expecting for a first run. During the process I contented myself with a phrase I read somewhere on here: "Malt wants to become beer." That will be my philosophy!
 

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2. I Wanna Saaz You Up

Marston Mystery
Joined by a fellow neophyte, we named this after the village of our youth (nothing to do with some other similarly named, beer-related corporation!). My first order of brewing ingredients was Maris Otter malt and three hops - Challenger and Goldings used on the previous brew day, and Saaz to be used for this. My brew-mate 'doesn't like lager', so this was an attempt to create a German-like ale. The style followed on Brewfather was Altbier, hence the Weyermann malts for colour and head.

Original Gravity: 1.045
Final Gravity: 1.010

Batch Size : 23 L
Boil Size : 28 L
Post-Boil Vol : 25 L
Mash Water : 17.39 L
Sparge Water : 13.93 L

Boil Time : 60 min
Total Water : 31.32 L
Brewhouse Efficiency: 72%

Fermentables (4.63 kg)
3 kg - Pale Malt, Maris Otter 5.9 EBC (64.8%)
1 kg - Barke Pilsner 3.5 EBC (21.6%)
250 g - Caramunich III 140 EBC (5.4%)
250 g - Carapils/Carafoam 3.9 EBC (5.4%)
130 g - Wheat Malt, Pale 3.9 EBC (2.8%)
129 g - Bottling - Gladfield - Dextrose Sugar.

Hops (100 g)
60 min - 60 g - Saaz (Whole) - 4.1% (27 IBU)
10 min - 20 g - Saaz (Whole) - 4.1% (5 IBU)

Hop Stand
20 min hopstand @ 80 °C 20 min - 20 g - Saaz (Whole) - 4.1% (2 IBU)

Yeast
1 pkg - Crossmyloof Brew Ale

Cold crashed at 12 days and bottled at 14. Moved conditioning area from kitchen after an 'incident' involving younger son, a vacuum cleaner and a keg tap!

Now finished carbonating and sat outside to take advantage of the frost for conditioning.
 

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