As I chronicalled in a post last week, my first attempt at all-grain brewing got debacled. Well, I tried again this week and it went much better. I’m not sure what was going through my head last week, but I must not have been in the right frame of mind to brew.
I’m not sure how the final product is going to turn out. Since I only have a five gallon brew kettle, I can’t sparge the grains as much as I need to, so I’m sure my efficiencies are going to be extremely low. My initial gravity was only 1.018, so I might have to call this Untamed Beer N/A. On a positive note, there are already signs of fermentation so there will at least be some alcohol in it.
The color also looks really good. This is a pale ale, and for the first time, I’ve actually been able to achieve a very light, straw color. In my extract brewing experience, even my pale ales would end up a bit amber.
I also tried a little bit of the wort before putting it in the fermenter. This beer is going to be hot-pocket-level-destroy-your-taste-buds-hoppy. I’ve thrown balance to the wind by using 6 ounces of hops, including dry-hopping which I’ll do in the secondary. I always like to push the limits of civility, so we’ll see how it turns out.
Here are some lessons learned:
- Do not heat your mash water with the grains in it. You will end up with oatmeal. Heat the water, then add the grains. Don’t I feel sheepish.
- Make sure your grain isn’t too finely milled.
- Write down all your steps before you start, even if you think you’ve got the process down. When the bullets start flying, it’s easy to forget stuff.