Thursday was the day. Brew day. I would brew up a batch of homebrew from a recipe which closely approximates that of 3Floyds Zombie Dust. I would follow an approximation of two recipes found online, both being very similar. It’s basically a pale ale recipe using a huge amount of one type of hop. In this case, Citra.
It took a little bit of time to get set up and wash and sanitize the gear but I was committed. I had told too many people too early on that I would do this. Now it’s time to get crackin’.
Follow along with the images for a brew-in-a-bag session.
Heated the vessel with water up to an initial mash temp of about 157°. Added 14 pounds of grain. This brought the water level up to within 1/2 inch form the top. Gotta get a new boil kettle.
I monitored the mash temp but it wavered between 150 and 160 with an average (I reckon) of about 154. This was due to the burner and the windy day. Maybe I should do it inside the garage next time. Another lesson learned.
Time to boil. I cranked up the heat again and waited for the roll.
The yeast used was SafAle 04 and my wife rehydrated it just like she does with bread yeast. She was distracted with a phone call and when she was finally ready, the stuff was crawling out of the measuring cup. I wish I had a photo of that.
The yeast was added, the lid attached and an airlock was put into the lid. The concoction sits in a dark unused bedroom until it’s time to dry hop with another 3 ounces of Citra.
Ever since I brewed my first beer about 4 years ago, with each brewing process, I made mistakes and learned something. After this session, I’ll be getting full into all-grain and using a keggle (empty 15.5 gallon keg with the top cut out) as the boil vessel. That way, I won’t have to worry about overflowing the vessel. I have one in my possession and just never used it for lack of a mash tun. I’ve learned another lesson with this brewing experience.
The original gravity cited on the recipe was 1.065. I came in at 1.055. I just hope the yeast will chomp its way through the sugars and give me a better final gravity that the anitipate 1.018.
It was fun. It was a little work, especially the cleanup, but I loved every minute. Why not look into brewing your own beer? You can start by contacting a homebrew club in your area by clicking on the link in the right sidebar, just under the Muscle Car of the Day pic. If you’re strapped for cash, Try a Mr. Beer kit. They’ve changed over the years and are now offering some decent options.
I love brewing beer almost as much as I love drinking it. I just wish I had a second wheelbarrow full of money. The first for craft beer, the second for homebrew stuff.
An all encompassing statement: I love doing this shit.