Two days ago I brewed a batch of Hefeweizen beer. This is a traditional beer from Belgian origins. It smelled great while on the stove top and this was actually the first brew that I attempted to record and talk about. I have the footage on my computer but I need to finish editing it together and complete the voice over.
Either way, the beer went well, its fermenting now. The kit had only dried malt extract (as opposed to liquid extract or a combination), but a LOT of it. The process was similar to the Nut Brown Ale, in that there were no special directions.
Once the grain was added to the water I brought it to 165F then removed the cloth bag. Then I added the dried extract and returned it to heat. Finally the boil lasted a total of one hour with the first batch of hop pellets going in at the start, the irish moss tablet in the final 15 minutes, and the aroma hops thrown in at the end as I removed it from heat. I cooled it in an ice bath and have it fermenting now.
Here are some links with descriptions about them and why there important. I may have sent you here from somewhere else in the site because I didn’t know the site yet or maybe I just thought the site was informative and haven’t found the post to mention it in yet. I will be adding to this post or post again in this category when I think of/find more resources.
Son of a Fermentation Chiller Plans: (I didn’t follow these EXACTLY, but they’re very precise and a great idea of what I am working with)
So, as I mentioned in a previous post I found designs online and was about to collect the materials to build this contraption. I still completely intend to, but I hit a roadblock. I need some more supplies and can’t finish the box right now and the thermostat is being a little tricky (my first time stripping down complete machines to mod them). I got the fan running off of the 12V adapter but not in accordance with the thermostat.
As is, I am still very excited but I wanted to give you guys an update of my progress and let you know what I’m planning on doing in the interim. The plan right now is to use the ice bath method so that I can complete a batch tonight and continue to update the site. While this method doesn’t allow for close temperature monitoring like I wanted, it will allow me to continue working on the site (since I cannot devote entire days to problem-solving and trouble-shooting for just ONE class).
For my first batch I decided to go with a beer kit from my local brew store, the Oak Barrel Brew Store in Berkeley. The staff was fantastic and super helpful. They helped me find all the supplies I didn’t have such as an additional carboy and air lock (for those of you that don’t know, a carboy is a fancy word for the glass container in which the fermentation takes place). It was a fun experience and they even let me grind my grains on site and I got to heat seal the bag again, a neat experience although basic. I got home and got started on the sanitization.
While boiling the smell was intensely sweet and smelled mildly bitter because of the hops. The malt smell was overwhelming as they gave me a liquid and dry extract in which to work with. I got done with the batch around 4:00am due to starting the actual boiling process late at night. I really enjoyed the brew and I saw activity from the yeast the following day from the airlock bubbles. I am worried however that the temperature fluctuations in my apartment could have killed my yeast or will result in the project being jeopardized.
I’ve looked far and wide on the internet and come to the conclusion that my batches may be in jeopardy due to the wide fluctuation in temperature my apartment (without AC) allows to take place. The Son of a Fermentation Chiller is a low cost way to keep up to two batches of brew at the desired temperature. The main mind behind this is Kevin Schwartz, but as his site is unresponsive as of late, I won’t be able to link it. I will try to find the next best site soon for the link of a how-to design. I also will be building this soon and will diligently be taking pictures of the efforts.
So I ordered a home brewing kit online that should have most of the supplies that I need to get started. I am not home right now but I will be getting back today and I think the bottles were supposed to be getting in today as well! I’m very excited; I’ve started reading recipes and trying to decide which to do first… It’s going to be tricky but this will be very rewarding if done right! I’ll take some pictures when I get home tonight and make a gallery so you all can get a feel for what I’m working with.