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.