My Bentley/PDX friend, Garrett, made the a New Year’s Resolution to 1) learn how to brew beer and 2) brew beer in 2012. I offered to let him borrow my homebrew set up since I haven’t been doing that much brewing these days. We met up last Sunday to watch the Patriots (WIN!) and brew some beer. The recipe he selected comes from Homebrew Exchange, called: Kevin’s Amber Ale.
The recipe is as follows:
- 6.0 lb Light Liquid Malt Extract
- 1.0 lb Crystal 80 Malt
- @60 mins 1.0 oz Centennial hops
- @ 5 mins 1.0 oz Centennial
- @ 5 mins 1.0 oz Mt Hood hops
- (dry hop 7 days) 1.0 oz Mt Hood hops
- @15 mins 1/4 tsp Irish Moss
In about 2 quarts of water, steep crystal malt at 155F for 30 minutes. Remove grains and rinse with 2 qt hot (~170F) water. Discard grains. Bring total volume in pot to 3 gallons. Bring to a boil. Turn off heat and add half of malt extract. Stir until dissolved. Turn heat back on and bring to boil. Boil for 60 minutes. Adding hops and Irish moss according to schedule. At 15 minutes before end of boil, add the rest of liquid malt extract (turning off heat to avoid scorching). Cool wort to about 75F, add to fermenter. Add clean H2O for total volume of 5 gal. Pitch yeast around 70F.
That last part is key. Pitch yeast around 70F. For those of you who don’t know, yeast is a living organism. If it gets too cold, it dies. If it gets too hot, it dies. Since I don’t own a wort chiller I drop the temperature in my carboys by filling it up with a bag of ice before adding my hot wort. Since I was brewing at a friend’s house I completely forgot to add ice and thus pitched the yeast when the wort was ~100F!
What a great teacher I am!
Needless to say, we had some dead yeast in our beer. Lucky enough, wort doesn’t go bad with 100 billion dead yeast cells in it. (I know, gross, just don’t think about it.) Garrett ran to the store, bought another Yeast Pack and saved the day. We are now a couple of days into fermentation and the beer is happily bubbling away.
What is your worst home brewing mistake?