Well hello there!
I know I don’t normally stop by on Wednesdays but I snapped some pics of my brew day from last Sunday and figured what they hey they look pretty cool.
This was the heaviest beer I’ve ever brewed, it’s a Russian Imperial Stout and it tasted delicious even in the infancy of it’s creation on Sunday!
I’m gonna have to wait though, it’ll be at least 4 months before I can even try one of these babies, though a lot of people are telling me to wait 6-8. I doubt I’ll be able to resist because in 4 months it’s Winter!! Perfect timing for a nice heavy stout….Well onto the pics!
Now this beer is extremely thick as I said so I had to make a yeast starter for it:
Mmmm, look at that happy yeast! All that foam is c02 from the yeast, they create it as they eat the sugars in the substance (wort).
I let the yeast cool down in the fridge that night (Saturday) so the yeasties all fall to the bottom so I could pour out the wort it was feeding off and lower the chance of getting undesired flavors in my beer!
So the next day I gathered up some water, boiled and and started steeping my grains:
Mmmm, this was the largest amount of grains I’ve ever steeped in a beer. It smelled fan-freakin-tastic! Turned the water as black as some kind of sleek beer-fueled panther too.
But beer isn’t beer without hops:
Mmm, that’s 1.75 oz of Summit hops right there. Smelled great =)
I boiled them for an hour and then moved on to cooling the wort down, by far the coolest step (I get to use fancy equipment):
That new-fangled lookin’ thing is called a wort chiller. You run cold water through it and it cools down your wort faster. “Why???” you ask with an incredulous look.
Well the faster you cool down your wort the better clarity you get in your beer since it drops the extra proteins to the bottom of the pot faster. It also reduces the risk of bacteria infecting your beer…speaking of which while it cools we move on to sanitation:
Ah yes the auto-siphon, god’s gift to home brewers! That gallon jug has some sanitizing liquid in it which I siphon into my bucket. This sanitizes the siphon itself, and gives me a big bucket to dip my tools and whatnot in quite easily. This is essential because once the wort is cool it’s at big risk for infection because it’s delicious for bacteria and other little meanies. It’s like some kind of wonderful syrupy goddess to them!
But once were all sanitized we can get our wort into the fermenters (those 2 little kegs I got)
Mmmm look at that beautiful dark liquid right there. This is gonna be one heavy stout, no doubt! (Yeah ok…I rhymed that on purpose)
Now at this point you’ve really got to sanitize anything that will come into contact with your wort. I’ve already sanitized my kegs and siphon, I’ve got my whisk in the bucket for stirring it up after I throw in the yeast and what not, it’s just a good idea to sanitize everything at this point! Even your hands… or other body parts if your so inclined.
After this beauty is in the fermenters we pitch the yeast, stir them up vigorously, and let them go to town in a cool place:
All that foam is the yeast hard at work, you can even see with it overflowed down the side a bit. That’s a great sign of healthy yeast! I have to attribute making a yeast starter to this, when you have extra heavy brews you want to give you little yeasties a fighting chance! A starter is kind of like training camp for the yeast…well more like summer camp because they are constantly reproducing.
You can also see all the ice packs and frozen water bottles. This is because I live next to the Sun and is the cheapest way for me to keep them cool!
So that’s it for now, I’ll probably bottle her in a month or so depending on the gravity readings. (How thick it is) The yeast will continue to eat sugars and turn them into alcohol and c02 which will lower the gravity.
I’ll take some pics when I bottle…probably will be boring there’s not much to bottling. The real prize will be reviewing this beer in 4 months or so =)
Until next homebrew this is Brian G signing off!
Oh and for those interested here is the full recipe.