Friday night brewing… my first wort

I had the equipment setup and sanitized (for the first attempt I used a bleach solution and let everything soak for twenty minutes).

I had read through all of the instructions on boiling and fermenting (at least ten times over).

I was ready to brew…

I had purchased 6 gallons of spring water from my local grocery store – we have good water quality at home, but I didn’t want to leave anything to chance. I added the precise amount of water required by the recipe to a stainless steel kettle – warmed the kettle to 170 degrees and then added the IPA kit extract, DME and corn sugar – stirring properly to keep the mixture from burning on the bottom… I was creating my first wort!

wort 1

I then returned the kettle to the heat and proceeded on to a rolling boil… it was at this point that my first minor issue occurred. With the foam forming on top of the wort heating to boil, I was watching in anticipation of a boil-over as the wort reached the hot break. I thought I had it under control, adjusting the temperature to make sure that there would not be a boil-over. I turned away from the stovetop for a moment to grab a sip of iced tea, turning back in time to see the foam rise up and above the kettle edge like a small geyser… spraying a small, yet sticky amount of wort and foam across the right-side burners.

wort 2

Lesson learned: don’t ever turn away from a boiling wort.

While the wort was boiling, I placed a small cup of water in the microwave and brought it to a boil. Once that water was boiling, I covered the cup and placed it aside for my dry yeast (once it cooled down to about 90 degrees).

The wort sat a rolling boil for 15-20 minutes (mind you, this is a simple liquid extract ingredient kit… the next batches will be more intensive) and then I immediately removed it from the heat and sat it in a ice bath to get the wort cooled down below 100 degrees.

While the wort was cooling, I made sure my primary fermenter (which also doubles as my bottling bucket) and equipment was sanitized and rinsed. It was at this time that I took the cup of warm water I had boiled in the microwave and added the dry yeast – letting it soak for at least 10 minutes.

I added 2.5 gallons of cold spring water to the primary and then added my cooled wort, oxygenating the mix my sloshing it gently inside of the fermenter. I topped this off with another gallon of spring water before pitching my yeast.

Once the yeast had been pitched, I sealed up the primary and inserted the stopper and airlock. I placed the primary in a darkened room, making sure the air temperature was around 70 to 72 degrees. I then began the process of returning the kitchen back into a kitchen (and not a brewery, as my wife was calling it).

Satisfied with my first brewing attempt, I pulled an ice-cold Longboard Lager from the beer fridge and settled down for the rest of the evening.

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~ by brewdaddy on September 1, 2009.

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