Monday, November 8, 2010

Willoughby Brewing Company (part one)

My dear husband bought me a deluxe brewing kit for our 28th wedding anniversary. Nothing says love like 10 gallons of home brew! Last night we rounded up all our equipment.

This morning he and I set about mixing our first batch, a weizen. This will make 5 gallons. That's a LOT of beer. Yay! While he brought the 2 gallons of water to a boil, I sanitized the equipment. I will probably end up preferring bleach for a sanitizer, but I used the iodine type stuff that came with the kit, for most of the items, this time. I'm not digging the way it stains. And bleach is cheaper. And you know I'm a thrifty girl. I soaked the lid for the fermenter, separately, and in bleach.

Once the water in the brewpot was boiling we added the wheat malt syrup and the dry malt extract.

We also added the Saaz hops.

Then it boiled for 50 minutes until it was time to add the Hallertaurer hops. It boiled another 10 minutes and then the wort was ready to cool, in a cold water bath, then add to the fermenter, along with 2 gallons of cold water. The straining of the hops, as the wort was poured, was the only tricky thing that would've been next to impossible for me to do all on my own. I will rig up some kind of cover for the fermenter, with a hole drilled for the funnel, so I can do this all myself. Rick wanted to aerate the wort, so we poured it back and forth, between the brewpot and the fermenter, about 6 times.

At this point Rick had to leave for work, which meant I'd have to finish on my own. Once the wort had cooled below 80 degrees I pitched the yeast (a nice Hefeweizen) and secured the fermenter lid (which involved a hammer).

Then it was time to lug the thing to the fermenting room (aka the spare bedroom) and attach the bubbler airlock.

Now we just have to let the yeast do its thing.

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