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Brew Day! National Homebrew Day! Big Brew Event!

Let's Brew!

Let’s Brew!

Today was National Homebrew Day and I celebrated by brewing at Atlantic Brew Supply’s “Big Brew” event in the Raleigh Brewing Company’s brewery. The recipe I chose is a Saison called Legends Never Die and the 1/2 price deal came up to just over $15 for a 5 gallon recipe. As has been usual for awhile now, I used the Brew in a Bag (BIAB) method. The grain bill is North Carolina sourced, the yeast is Belle Saison, and the hops are an ounce of Cascade @20 minutes, a half ounce of Nugget @ 10 min and again @ 5 min. A final 1 ounce dry hop addition is done at secondary fermentation for 10 days.

Raleigh Brewing Company/Atlantic Brew Supply Big Brew

Raleigh Brewing Company/Atlantic Brew Supply Big Brew

The brewing process went pretty smoothly. The brewery hot water was already above 130F, so strike water reached temperature quickly. As usual, I went over my target temperature for mash in, but I added a little cold water and got it right within a few minutes.

My stuff.

My stuff

I did a mash-out this time to 172F for 10 minutes and sparged with 2 gallons of the brewery hot water.  When I was ready to boil, it seemed to be taking a little time, so I started making some notes…next thing I knew, I had a little boil-over. On the plus side, it provided a pretty clean break and I had a nice boil for the rest of the time.

Ready to boil

Ready to boil

I did get a little pop while stirring and got a mild burn on my right hand. It really only hurts when exposed to steam or warm water. I have found that stirring enough to create a whirlpool in the wort while it’s boiling, creates these pops of hot wort that can splash out of the kettle. I used my refractometer to check the specific gravity (SG) and is a little under the projected 1.063…I got 1.058. I’m good with that for my original gravity (OG). A friend had to add a pound of DME (Dry Malt Extract) to get to 1.060, so I don’t feel too bad.

After the boil, I used one of the brewery’s wort chillers and brought the temperature down to about 72F…took about 15 minutes or so. Then I siphoned the wort into my plastic carboy, aerated it with the oxygen cannister for about two minutes, and then pitched the yeast.

Done! Time for clean-up.

Done! Time for clean-up.

Clean up went pretty quickly and I strapped my carboy into my van for the trip home. Done! I arrived at the brewery at 9 a.m. and left right at 2 p.m. Five hours on the button.

Strapped in for the ride home. Click it or Tip it!

Strapped in for the ride home. Click it or Tip it!

I checked on the carboy around 7 p.m. and didn’t see much action, but it looked okay. An hour later, the krausen had literally created a layer on the top of the wort that was about a finger thick!

Belle Saison yeast is a monster!

Belle Saison yeast is a monster!

Time to install a blow-off set-up, before it fouls the airlock!

Blow-off set-up installed.

Blow-off set-up installed.

And it’s time for some Aleve. Happy National Homebrew Day!

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Day 41 Bottling the Dry Stout!

No interest in beer, but my youngest likes to help bottle and cap.

No interest in beer, but my youngest likes to help bottle and cap.

With a little help from my youngest, I bottled my batch of dry stout. While cleaning my equipment, I tipped over a bucket that had my hydrometer in it and, of course, it broke. Happens eventually to us all, I’m sure. Luckily, I got a backup when I acquired some freebies! Lesson learned though…need to go buy a replacement to have on hand. Now, yesterday I got an adjusted SG of 1.013 and today, with the other hydrometer, I get an adjusted FG of 1.015. I don’t know…if it’s more accurate than yesterday, my ABV would only be 2.89%. If I go by yesterday’s reading, it would be 3.15%. Oh well. The color and flavor seem to be right.

Bottoms of the carboys...didn't take any chances on disturbing the lees.

Bottoms of the carboys…didn’t take any chances on disturbing the lees.

I’m going to give away a few to some experienced home brewers and stout drinkers to try (with the warning to wait until maybe a week or two into January for opening).  I was pretty careful not to bottle any lees and I think the stout looks nice and clear, but deeply dark.

The yield...14 12 oz bottles, 4 flip-top 16 oz bottles and 2 22 oz bottles.

The yield…14 12 oz bottles, 4 flip-top 16 oz bottles and 2 22 oz bottles.

A 22 oz bottle of stout...the first bottled.

A 22 oz bottle of stout…the first bottled.

I marked a  test bottle that was at the end of the bottling that would be the most at risk of getting a little sediment. I primed with 1-5/8 oz corn sugar dissolved in 12 oz boiling water. I haven’t come up with a name or label design for this beer. I may not for this one. For now, it’s clean-up time.

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