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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