Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Let there be life!

My wort is dark, well it would be - look at the ingredients above. The instructions on the dark mild extract said to add sugar, so I did - light muscovado sugar from our local Marks and Spencer (who still don't stock any of the M&S real ales available in the UK - boo-hiss!!!!). I was rather shocked at how dark the sugar went when nicely dissolved, but there was something exciting about a dark smoky wort.

Add to the wort the smoked malt, which had steeped for 30 minutes as per the instructions in John Palmer's How to Brew - once I had checked that smoked malt could be steeped for flavour and aroma. The malt bag was made by that ever so crafty woman, Mrs Velkyal (I keep trying to persuade her to set up a blog about her quilting, crocheting, knitting, sewing and the multitude of other crafty things she does, but to no avail, yet). The malt looked like a thick porridge when the steeping was done, and the smell had been ushered from the flat with our high tech ventilation system - open window, keep door ajar with old DMS boot.

And forlornly the carboys sat, hours passed, then days and there was no sign of life - but deep in the darkness things were astir. Last night when I got home from work, one of the carboys was showing signs of life, the one with the 1.040 OG wort in it - joy abounded, I may have leapt about a bit with happiness, not too much mind, one is British after all. I allowed myself a celebratory beer, the Paulaner Oktoberfestbier you see below - it was rather nice, like honey and lemons with a malty taste.

This morning I awoke to the 2 carboys merrily bubbling away. So while my little brother enjoyed the birth of his third daughter on Saturday, I am enjoying the birth of my beer.

Note: My dad was in REME (Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers), which they affectionately termed "rough engineering made easy" - it was in that spirit that much of my brewing "equipment" was made, this is homebrew at its mostly homely.


  1. I was really starting to get worried! I think though I will let it ferment away for 10 days before I put it in a mini-keg for conditioning.

  2. Glad to read that!!!
    Dej Bůh Štěstí!!!

  3. Hopefully it will all go smoothly and there'll be some nice smoked dark ale soon.

  4. Woot! Well done.

    Don't hesitate to come over to Beer Bits 2 and ask for help. Looks like there's a bunch of blog friends helping you out already actually.


  5. Glad it's OK, I thought it would be.

  6. It is giving me inordinate joy watching it bubble away....if it tastes as I want it to, then I will be well thrilled.

  7. That's the best feeling in the world: seeing your beer ferment away after you thought all was lost. I think we've all had those moments, especially because it seems that patience is tough to come by on your first few batches. Hope it turns out tasty.



Tour de Pils

In the Before Times, I went to Texas, San Antonio to be precise. With a day of conferencing behind me, I found a bar in which to have dinner...