Today, I'm keeping holy the Sabbath by brewing beer. I find it reflective and contemplative. The sweet, malty, cereal aromas make me think of simpler times. I still haven't made final decisions regarding what to brew, but these two have made the cut:
My first beer today is a Lemon Coriander Weiss. Wheat beers are very popular among the anti-beer crowd, so I thought this would be good for the 'Fest. It has very few specialty grains and a lot of liquid malt- 1 1/2 gallons! I discarded the package of pre-ground coriander and ground my own. I didn't know how olde the grind was and worried it would taste like dust, as most preground spices can. I was right. After I finished the grind, I opened the spice grinder and was met with the tart, sweet aroma of lemons and young herbs. This flavor should go nicely with the tartness of the wheat beer. I noticed that the flock from the specialty grains is coagulating in the brew as it boils. I have only brewed 20-minute boil kits of wheat beers before, so this is new to me. I don't know if it's normal or not. Initial gravity: 1.056 (yes I finally caved and bought a hydrometer to measure alcohol content).
Second to be brewed is Hex Nut Brown. I picked it because it's my brother's favorite of my brews. Of course, I was boiling it when I started writing this post, and it boiled over. Darn! It's amusing because I have a 10-gallon pot to brew five gallons…and just last night I was joking it's the only pot in the kitchen that I don't boil over. Anyway, the toasty grains smell delicious. Intial gravity: 1.049
I hope never to brew two in one day again. My day is shot. I sanitized two carboys, lots of tubing, my new wine thief, hydrometer, and various pot fittings. I've stirred, mashed, malted, heated, stirred, boiled, cooled, and pitched…twice. I'm tired. This reminds me why I only do the partial-mash kits. "Real" homebrewers don't use any malt extracts; they create it all from the raw grain. The kits are a little less expensive, but I just don't see myself doing it. It takes several hours longer to mash all that grain. I think I'd have to move up to ten gallon batches to make it worth the time, and then I'd need all-new equipment for sparging, fermenting, et cetera. Plus, I love to try new kits so making huge batches wouldn't suit my desire to try tons of stuff.
OK, time to go watch a movie.