Sunday, February 13, 2011

Brew Day - Liberty Cream Ale from Midwest Supplies

This weekend was a good weekend for me. My mom was in town so she told me she'd watch our 2 month old (Eva) while I did some beer brewing and while my wife did some studying. I planned on starting around 9:30 am and figured it would take me around 3 hours to get the job done. I was brewing a Liberty Cream Ale from Midwest Supplies (LINK). It was an extract kit I had in my fridge that the in-laws got me for Christmas. So at 9:30 I got to work!

If you read my first post, you'll may remember I said that sometimes I love out house, sometimes I hate it. We'll, on brew day, I always love it because we have a second kitchen downstairs. This let me have my "brew-cave" totally separate from the rest of the house.

The picture below is when I started steeping the grains. for 30 minutes. It also gives a view of the kitchen we have in our basement.

Done steeping, time to get it up to a boil, add my extract, and add the hops. On the Midwest website, they list 2 oz's on Cascade hops. the first ounce is for a 60 minute boil. The second ounce is for the last couple minutes of the boil. The instructions suggest adjusting the amount of the first addition of hops (only use .5 - 1 ounce) depending on how hoppy you like your beer. Well, I would like to get some friends into brewing, so I figured if I tried to tone down the hops a little, they might enjoy a nice, medium hopped, light beer better than something a little stronger. So I decided to only add about .75 ounces of hops for the 60 minute boil. 

60 minute boil.

55 minutes later, added the second set of hops. At that point, my mom wanted to take a shower, so I got a little helper. I think I have a little future brewer!

Finished up the boil and moved the pot to the sink to use the wort chiller.

Chilling the wort.

I have a funnel that I can put a little screen in that was included in the brewing kit I have. I've tried using it when getting my beer from the pot to the fermenting bucket but when I pour 1/4 of the wort into the funnel placed over the bucket, it gets really clogged and everything turns into a mess! I was to try and filter out some sediment cause I get a good cold break with the wort chiller. So, this time I was gonna win that battle! I saw on Homebrew Forums that some people have used a paint strainer made for 5 gallon buckets. I picked on up a pack of 2 have Lowe's for a couple buck and it worked slick!

Has elastic around the top that hold it to the bucket, I pouted my wort in and lifted it out slowly. Had a bunch of sediment left in the strainer. Worked awesome!

So I added the rest of my water to get it up to 5 gallons and took a gravity reading. OG is suppose to be between 42 and 46. I ended up right at 44! Pretty happy about that too. Pitched my yeast and shook the daemons out of that bucket! Got my workout for the day it! Check it before I went to bed that night and already my airlock was going crazy. I think I'm gonna give this one 7 days in the primary, rack it to the secondary, and give it another 7 before I bottle.

The pail on the right is the Liberty Cream Ale I just brewed. On the left is the Fat Tire clone I brewed on Feb. 2. I think I'm gonna go straight to bottle with that next weekend.

That night, the wife and I had our FIRST date night since the arrival of Eva, thanks to my mom agreeing to babysit! We went to a new restaurant across the river in East Grand Forks called Little Bangkok. Had some Pad Thia (my fav!) and some sushi. After that we went to the Sioux hockey game against Alaska Anchorage. We had lower bowl tickets about 7 rows up that I got from a guy I work with. Great seats, awesome game!

Lastly, yesterday I stuck one of my Dunkelweizen in the fridge that I had bottled on Jan. 28th, so about 2 weeks ago. I tried it last weekend but it definitely wasn't ready. I was pretty sure it still wouldn't be, but I wanted to try it. Popped it open about an hour ago and it wasn't bad. Good carbonation, the taste was really coming around, and had OK lacing on the glass. I think at least one more week and it'll be good to go!

So all in all a pretty good weekend! Had a pretty lazy Sunday with church and hanging out with Eva. She was watching daddy blog and listening to some My Chemical Romance, but I think she got bored.....

I guess she likes watching me play COD Black Ops more!

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