Despite being over 6 months since I brewed an extract batch, brew night went more smoothly and efficiently than any of the previous extract brews that I’ve done (I must be getting the hang of this home brewing thing!).
This time I used the blender to grind up my steeping grain (Crystal 60) – not totally ideal as it gives an uneven grind (pulverises some of the grains and leaves others almost untouched), but I reckon good enough for steeping grains and a lot faster than pounding with a pestle.
The other interesting thing this time is that I uesd yeast that I harvested 6 months ago. It’s stretching it a bit in terms of how long yeast stored in the fridge is good for. I prepared a starter Friday night with the intention of brewing Saturday night but come Saturday there was no signs of any action out of the yeast. I went to Bin Inn to see if I could pick up a sachet of US-05 but they didn’t have any. I figured I’d just use some Coopers kit yeast if my harvested yeast didn’t take off. Saturday night still no action and then I got engrosed in the Wales vs. France RWC game so I put off the brew for another night. To my surprise my yeast starter was fizzing away nicely when I checked it on Sunday, so it was back to plan A.
I also used a similar approach to my Slutty Red (batch #6 – turned out one of my best), in using a can of Cooper’s Lager kit as part of my fermentables (because cheaper than plain malt) and a shorter 30 min boil for flavour & aroma hops.
No glub, glub, glub action yet this morning but that’s not surprising as the older yeast will not be as viable, but since it took off in the starter I’m pretty confident it will kick off in the fermenter too.
Here’s the recipe and brew details:
250 g Light Crystal 60 ground in blender and steeped at 70-75 deg for 30 mins
1.7kg Coopers Lager
10g NZ Cascade + 10g Amarillo @ 30 mins
15g NZ Cascade + 15g Amarillo @ 15 mins
15g NZ Cascade + 15g Amarillo @ end of boil
10g NZ Cascade + 10g Amarillo for dry hopping
Harvested US-05 revived in a 1 Litre starter (100g DME)
Updated Extract Brewing Process
Brew Date: Sun 16th Oct 2011
Pitching Temp: 21 C
OG: 1.048 (from calc) 1.046 (measured)