I'm going to go into a fair bit of detail for this recipe, but I don't expect to do quite as much in future posts.
Here are the basic ingredients:
1/2 pound pale ale crystal malt (at least, that's what it said on the tub at the store)
6.6 pounds Bries CBW Golden Light Pure Malt Extract
3 oz. whole Cascade hops from South Dakota (2 oz. for the full boil, 1 oz. for the finish)
11 g active dry Nottingham brewing yeast (Danstar brand)
Here's what I did:
- I steeped the crystal malt (all wrapped up in a cheesecloth sack) in two gallons of water, heated to 160 degrees, for 30 minutes.
- I removed the crystal malt, let it drip out a bit, and discarded it. Then, I heated the whole mixture to a boil.
- I added all of the liquid malt extract and the hops (again, enclosed in a cheesecloth bag), and then boiled the whole mixture for 60 minutes. Two minutes before the end, I added the finishing hops.
- I cooled the whole mess in the sink - it took about 15 minutes to get it down to a reasonable temperature. Then, I poured it into the primary fermenter and topped it up to five gallons with cold tap water (with one gallon of Target's purified water in the mix - it was sitting in the house, so I thought I'd get rid of it).
- Finally, I sprinkled the contents of the yeast packet across the top of the whole thing, and sealed it up.
- I put the fermenter in the closet, where it's a happy 70 degrees. Now, I'll just wait until next weekend, when I'll siphon it into the secondary (a glass carboy - newly acquired as of last weekend) and let it sit over the Christmas break.
For this recipe, I decided to try crushing the crystal malt at home. Easier said than done. In the end, I crushed a quarter pound at a time in two gallon freezer bags (one inside the other) by rolling over the grains with a large beer bottle. The grains ended up a little more floured than I might have liked, so we'll see if/how this affects the end result.
My starting gravity is 1.041. A little lighter than I might like, but we'll see how it turns out. If I were to do it again, I'd probably only top it up to 4.5 gallons (although interestingly enough, I didn't have any loss due to boiling over this time).
I sampled a bit of the wort - it's very hoppy and quite sweet (as I'd expect on both counts). I think this is going to be a good one!