Today is International Teach a Friend to Homebrew Day so I had a few friends over and made beer. Some of them knew how to brew, some of them did not, and one of the latter is gonna give it a try. I ended up making about 15 gallons of beer in two batches. Allow me to elaborate.
I bought ingredients for 10 gallons of AHS Evil Brown ale and everything was set to go at 10 o’clock this morning. There was one flaw in my plan, you see at the last club meeting we discussed Bryan/College Station water quality. It turns out that our water is simply awful for brewing – there’s too much sodium and hardness. With this in mind I went down to Jacob’s Well and got 20 gallons of reverse osmosis filtered water.
I know better than to brew with only RO water, and thought I had some Burton salts in my box of homebrew supplies. I did not. Nor did I use any tap water in my mash like I should have. My efficiency suffered severely because of this and I extracted 10 gallons of 1.022 wort where I should have seen 1.050-ish.
The remaining grains were still sweet so some of the other homebrews convinced me to do another batch. This time I added about a gallon of tap water to 5 gallons of RO. The mash went through starch conversion in about 15 minutes and I mashed for a total of 40. The resulting wort came out around 1.031 SG. I tossed some left-over Magnum and Goldings hops in the boil and split my yeast starter between the two fermenters. They are in the duck-in cooler right now.
So it took me two mashes and 15 gallons to get all the sugar out of my grains, but I like low-alcohol session beers. I’m curious to tast the brews.
- 18 lbs 2-row
- 1 lbs Crystal 60
- 0.5 lbs Chocolate Malt
- 2 oz 7.6% AA Brewer’s Gold 60 mins
- 1 oz 4.2% AA Goldings 15 mins
White Labs 005 English Ale yeast
Batch two used
- 0.5 oz 14% AA German Magnum hops for 90 minutes
- 1 oz 4.2% AA Goldings for 15 mins
I had those nagging cooling problems. Next time I will run my pump at a slower speed.
It was a great day. I even found the time to grill two racks of spare ribs and Adrienne made mozzarella. Other folks brought home and commercial brew meaning everyone was well fed and well drunk.