Monday, March 16, 2009

From Darkness to Light

My first beer was Experimental Dark Matter, bascially a Munton's brew kit with some smoked malt steeped for flavour, fermented with a Scottish Ale yeast instead of whatever was in the packet under the lid - which I used to make a rather nice date and sultana loaf. This week should see the arrival of some more ingredients for homebrew number two - a witbier.

I decided to do a witbier after reading an article about small scale brewing on the Irish Craft Brewer website, a very good resource which I recommend everyone go and read - also the guys who run the website are superb. The witbier brewed in the article is very much classic, but using dry malt extract rather than all-grain brewing. As all-grain is out of the question for a little while, I decided to try out this recipe, although being me I plan to mess around a bit. Essentially I want to to swap the orange peel for lime peel, and am considering using the last of my smoked malt to make a smoked witbier - guess who loves rauchbier! As I have two carboys, I could make one with the smoke and one without, so I can compare.

This will be the first beer I have made which involves a boil - brew kits are great for getting the basics of making beer - so I will be using the Saaz hop pellets I bought with the first beer in mind, adding them at the relevant times as in the recipe.

On the EDM front, both versions have been bottled, the second one from my food grade plastic jerry can with a tap, which made life so much easier. I popped open one of the 10° versions, which ended up with an ABV of 4.1% and it wasn't as bad as I was expecting - actually I rather enjoyed it, but I will write more about that later in the week.


  1. Thanks for the plug :D

    A smoked wit sounds very interesting. That's the fun of making your own beer, crazy taste experiments :)

  2. I also read somewhere that you can use jelly beans as a primer - but you get weird coloured beer, sounds like fun!

  3. What about equipment, did you need anything really special, I guess even the bottling should be straightforward (unless you have a bottling plant)

  4. Equipment wise, I didn't use anything special at all - most of it was originally designed with another purpose in mind, and I just used it for something else.

    The jerry can for bottling for example is on sale in Bauhaus here in the gardening section - but it is food grade plastic and the removable tap makes cleaning and santising easier.

    I am sure that when Mrs Velkyal and I get to Virginia, then I will buy more standard equipment - but I know that it can be done without the latest whizz bang piece of kit.


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