Happy New Year! I know we are well into February, but I still have not had a chance to wish you all the best, and hope that everyone has had a good start to 2017. While most people will decide to exercise more, or eat healthier for their New Years resolutions, I have decided to commit myself more to brewing and learning about the art of making beer. This blog has been somewhat neglected, but as you can see it has had a bit of a re-vamp as well as a new domain here at danbrews.com. I hope you will enjoy reading new posts, and I promise that I will be posting at least every week if not more frequently going forward. So, with that being said, let’s dive right into it, shall we?
Last week I finally managed to set up my new brew space. Being fortunate enough to have a space which I can dedicate to my brewing has really motivated me to do more of it, and this space comes with everything a brewer could want- a source of heat, running water, electricity, and even central heating to keep the brewer warm! Absolute luxury. Having set everything up I have finally made use of the beer kit a good friend of mine bought me for my birthday last November, the Woodforde’s Admiral’s Reserve Real Ale Kit.
The kit came with a small sachet of “hop enhancer”, a white powder with a very hoppy aroma which the kit instructed to be sprinkled into the wort before adding the yeast, which I did. I have never encountered this before in a kit, so it was a rather curious sight. The water I used was Sainsbury’s basic mineral bottled water, which was 20p per 2litre bottle, costing me around £2 for the water to make this kit. I am still not at a stage where I feel comfortable using tap water for my brewing- it does not taste good and would definitely need treatment before being used for brewing. I also replaced the yeast which came with the kit with Danstar Nottingham Yeast– a dry English Ale yeast which will no doubt provide better results. Before pitching the yeast, I re-hydrated the sachet of dry yeast in my new Erlenmeyer 2000ml Flask, which I would recommend any homebrewer to have both for re-hydrating and storing Yeast. The shape allows plenty of oxygen to be absorbed into the liquid, giving the yeast fuel to wake up and begin respiration, which is exactly want we want it to do. The shape also makes it easy to swirl around water, to mix it with oxygen or make sure the dried yeast has properly dissolved.
Once the yeast was re-hydrating, it was simply a matter of mixing the two cans of syrup from the kit with the store-bought water (taking note of the original gravity) before adding the hop enhancer and finally the re-hydrated yeast, and letting the fermentation begin. I have also purchased a “bubbler-type” airlock since losing the one which came with my starter kit originally. The OG on this kit was 1.044, so I am expecting an alcohol content of around 4% for the final brew. Here you can see the wort sitting in the fermentation bucket:
It was put in the FV on the 1st, so I am expecting to bottle it around the 15th Feb, and drinking it sometime in March. I will post an update on how the bottling process went, as it will be my first time bottling a batch. Exciting times ahead!
As always, thank you for reading and come back again to follow my homebrew journey!