This was my second atempt at brewing a beer. The kit was a birthday present from my wife.
I learn from my last brew day that the electric stove wasnt going to cut it, so I bought a propane burner, it was worth every penny, no more 3 hours trying to get water to boil.
I started the day by sanitizing everything, and I mean everything. I was brewing outside so I sanitized a small table that I kept all my tools on.
The recipe contains some steeping grains, which have to be steeped at 160 degrees. I put 2.5 gallons of water in my pot and turned the burner on, it was boiling in about 20 minutes. 160 degrees, in go the grains for about 30 minutes.
Once the steeping is done you need to bring the wort to a boil before adding extract and the bittering hops.
Added the extract and both hop additions accordin to schedule.
I remembered to add my irish moss this time. Not sure that it does anything, but its cheap, so I do it.
I cooled it in an ice bath in the kitchen sink, in about 20 minutes and added cold distiled water to bring the temp down the rest of the way. I had put the distilled water in the freezer at the begining of the boil so it was really cold, but not freezing yet.
I put in the packet of nottingham yeast that came with the kit and closed the bucket up, and put it in the basement. We were leaving on vacation the next afternoon, and I was a little worried that I might have had bad yeast. But by the next morning it was bubling away.
Starting Gravity: 1.042- Once again I came in lower that the predicted Starting gravity
Primary: 2 Weeks
Secondary: 9 days - with gelatin
Bottled On: 9-6-2010
How was it? Dont know yet...its still bottle conditioning. I plan on 3 weeks minimum so Ill crack one open the end of the month.
I popped one open after two weeks in the bottle. No carbonation at all. It has a really mild taste. Im going to let it carb up for a couple more weeks before trying another one.
UPDATE: Ive had about another six or so of these and Im really liking them. After a couple of more weeks in the bottle the flavor really started coming out. I was getting a kind of dry, bitter aftertaste when dringing them right out of the fridge, but if you drink them at the correct 50 degree temp that goes away, and it is a really good beer.