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Day 53 Brew Day! Belgian Dark Strong

Let's get started!

Let’s get started!

Everything went smoothly…sanitized everything before starting. Steeped the grain bag for 30 minutes between 152 and 158 F.

And we're steeping....

And we’re steeping….

Sparged “tea bag dunk” style with 1-1/3 gallons of 168 F water for a couple of minutes and added it to the main wort.

Sparging...tea-dunk style. Bounce...bounce...bounce

Sparging…tea-dunk style. Bounce…bounce…bounce

Brought that to a boil and removed from heat. Stirred in the malt extracts and the Dark Candi Sugar (syrup). I returned the pot to the heat and brought the wort back to a boil. I added the hops and set the timer for 60 minutes.

Volume after the boil.

Into the ice bath

Go for the boil!

Go for the boil!

When the 60 minutes was up, there’s where I had a little trouble. It took me much longer than I wanted to bring the temp below 80 F. I had two bags of ice and it went pretty fast in the sink ice bath, even with emptying my freezer’s little icemaker. I checked the OG @85 F wort temp and got 1.070 and adjusted to 1.073. I transferred the wort to my bottling bucket (which I use for primary fermentation) and I added 1-1/3 quarts cold water. It didn’t really help much, but it got me to the target 3-1/2 gallon target volume. Back to the sink and cold water plus stirring to aerate and I got down to 77 F.  Luckily, I took my vial of liquid yeast out when I started the process, so it did get the recommended 3 hours out to reach room temp! Shook it up and added it to the wort. Sealed the bucket and agitated it for a couple of minutes and we are off and running…with crossed fingers!

I didn't take a picture after it went into the bucket...it looks like this. (But with 3-1/2 gal., instead of 2-1/2 gal.)

I didn’t take a picture after it went into the bucket…it looks like this. (But with 3-1/2 gal., instead of 2-1/2 gal.)

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