Sunday, January 27, 2008

Back to the brewing

The new burner in action.
Getting back to my first brew here in Mexico. At the time of this writing the beer boiling in the picture has been in the bottle for a week now. But I want to fill you in on the process.
After setting up the burner I discovered that the flame was far to low to bring 6 1/2 gals. of wort to a boil. I needed the control valve orifice to be larger to provide enough flame. I was able to ream it out with a rusty bent nail I found on the ground nearby. The nail reference is because I don't have any tools accept a used crescent wrench I bought at the outdoor market. Tools are any home brewers best friend. I used bottled water because I suspect that the water here is very hard and because I don't know what else is in it. I had to order all of the ingredients on line except the Honey which is available at the local supermercado (Bonanza) and the Columbus hops which I brought down with me. I also brought us56 dry ale yeast. All of the equipment I was able to round up here except the wort chiller and I brought my Hydrometer and thermometer with me. This is my recipe:
American IPA
7 lbs. light liquid malt extract
2 lbs. local honey
1/2 lb. Crystal #60 (steeped)
1/2 lb. aromatic (steeped)
In a 60 minute boil I used:
3/4 oz. columbus for bittering 60 min.
1 1/2 oz. cascade for flavor 15 min. and Irish moss for clarity
1 oz. cascade for aroma 3 min.
1 oz. cascade for aroma 1 min.
Everything went well and I reached my target gravity of 1.061 in 5.5 gals. It took a while to cool to 70 degrees F. because of the tap water temperature and after getting down to a little over 100 degrees I lowered the boil pot into a tub of ice water. The fermentation went without a hitch and I bottled directly from my primary fermentation using 3/4 cup of cane sugar (boiled).
Now I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I'm a little nervous about the bottling process because I have been force carbonating my beer in the keg for many years now.

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