Brew Day of Firsts

Posted on January 3, 2011 by

This weekend I brewed up my first batch of beer in a few months. With the move, limited space and lack of cash, I’ve had to hold off on brewing. However, the New Year brings new hope! So I brewed up a batch. Instead of writing about it to much, I made a video diary of the brew day for you. Check it out to get an idea of what brew day was like. I had some ups and downs. The main problem I had was the fact that I didn’t remember that my wort chiller has no tubes on it, so it was worthless. On top of that, I found out my sink doesn’t put out cold water, just warm and hot. So my ice bath melted right of way. I ended up covering it up and putting it in the fridge for 5 hours. All in all, I think its going to be ok. Fermentation started within 12 hours.

Aside from this being my first batch in Portland, it was the first batch I made with a custom recipe. Jesse, a reader of MBR gave me a porter recipe through Facebook. Also, this last week, Beer Tools hooked me up with a free copy of their software to check out. So I took the recipe into Beer Tools and made a few alterations and additions. I’ve got a Baltic Porter by style, but I decided to add in some Nestle Cocoa. I’ve never used Cocoa in homebrewing so this should be interesting. I did some research and decided to put 10 TBSP, in 5 gallons. The wort was a bit sweet, but I’m hoping my other ingredients will come together and meld it out and all I get is some chocolate. I’ll keep you up to date on that. It was an experiment and one of the best ways to learn right?

Here is the recipe. If it turns out good, I’ll edit it and get a link together for you guys to download if you want. Otherwise, check out the video to see more detail about the brew day.

Mike’s Porter (Working Title LOL)

Speciality Grains:

8 oz Domestic Black Patent Malt

8 oz North American Crystal Malt 60 L

8 oz Chocolate Malt

Fermentables

7 lbs Amber LME

1 lbs Light DME

Hops

1 oz Fuggle 4.0 AA (60 min)

.5 oz Willamette 7.6 AA (30 min)

.5 oz Willamette 7.6 AA (10 min)

1 oz Willamette 7.6 AA (5 min)

Yeast

Safale US-05

Adjuncts

10 Tbsp Nestle Unsweetened Cocoa (30 min)

Directions

The usual. Steeped at 155 degrees or so for 20 minutes, then added in all my fermentables. Bring up to a boil and add the hops after the hot break. Add the hops during the schedule above. Tossed in 10 Tbsp of Cocoa at 30 minutes into the boil. Cooled it down to 70 ish degrees and pitch my yeast.

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  • Complete Geek

    Coolness on coming up with your own recipe. The most customizing I’ve done so far is tweaking the hops schedule of a blonde ale I did a few weeks back. I’m a hop head for sure.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks. I hope it turns out!

    Coming up with a recipe is pretty easy. I just started with a base recipe, then made tweaks from there that I saw appropriate for what I’d like to have. Beer Tools made it pretty easy as well. I can’t wait to dive into that software some more.

    Mike

  • http://twitter.com/BeerJorge Jorge Zarate

    The recipe looks pretty good… love smelling hops too…

    Anyways…

    I don’t add water to my ice bath at all… I just pour a layer of ice at the bottom and drop my pot in there… then I fill up the sides as high as I can and as the ice melts I keep on adding ice…

  • Anonymous

    Jorge,

    At my old place, I could get some pretty cold water in there which would help displace some heat, but now its pointless. I may have to do like you mentioned, or use my bathtub. Not sure yet. I can’t wait until I can get my setup into a house situation so I can get something like this.

    http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewing/brewing-equipment/wort-chillers/counterflow-chillers/therminator.html

    Mike

  • Anonymous

    Jorge,

    At my old place, I could get some pretty cold water in there which would help displace some heat, but now its pointless. I may have to do like you mentioned, or use my bathtub. Not sure yet. I can’t wait until I can get my setup into a house situation so I can get something like this.

    http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewing/brewing-equipment/wort-chillers/counterflow-chillers/therminator.html

    Mike

  • Anonymous

    Jorge,

    At my old place, I could get some pretty cold water in there which would help displace some heat, but now its pointless. I may have to do like you mentioned, or use my bathtub. Not sure yet. I can’t wait until I can get my setup into a house situation so I can get something like this.

    http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewing/brewing-equipment/wort-chillers/counterflow-chillers/therminator.html

    Mike

  • http://www.mashspargeboil.com Neil

    That’s a nice looking recipe, I think experimenting is one of my favourite parts of home brewing. It allows you to understand ingredients better.

  • Anonymous

    Neil,

    I’d have to agree 100%. The more I experiment, the more I kind of figure out what ingredients go well with each other. Plus I’ve started to find that I can pick out specific hops and/or malts being used in a commercial beer before researching it.

    Still so much to learn though!

    Mike

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