Thursday, August 11, 2011

Batch #3 - Summer Ale (Extract)

For batch #3 we decided to go with a seasonal recipe and brew up a summer ale.  As before, we went the extract route and used a kit from Brewer's Best.  Their Summer Ale recipe was easy to follow and turned out quite nice.  Batch 1 and 2 taught me a lot and made this one seem easy by comparison.

To be sure, there were still lessons learned and tips I will remember going forward.  One snafu that could have potentially ruined the batch was avoided.  Step 13 calls for the addition of priming sugar which ensures your beer carbonates after bottling.  We prepared the sugar as directed but in our excitement to get it bottled nearly forgot to add it.

Just before bottling was to begin I noticed our sauce pan sitting on the stove and luckily had time to add it just before bottling commenced.  The instructions call for the sugar to be added to your bottling bucket before transferring the wort so I was unsure if adding post-transfer would matter.  As it turned out the beer was fine - just the right amount of fizz and, luckily, stirring in the sugar after it was added to the bottling bucket didn't introduce any contaminates.

Another change we will employ for batch 4 is switching our sanitizer.  We had been using C-brite simply because that is what was included with my original kit.  After a trip to my local homebrew supply shop I decided to switch to Star-San based on a recommendation by the owner.  He said C-brite was a good product but he had better results with Star-San and as a no-rinse sanitizer produced no off-flavors.  I found this debate online and it seems like there are a lot of Star-San fans out there in the homebrew universe.

I think one of the best things about brewing your own beer is sharing it with unsuspecting victims friends and family.  I did a previous post on how to create your own labels and for batch 3 we decided to label some bottles as we were travelling for the 4th of July holiday and wanted to show off our creation.  The label you see here was done by My Own Labels and it turned out even better than I expected.  They were high quality, applied easily and didn't come off when submerged in the cooler.

Batch 4 is on deck to brew this weekend.  Looking to spreading our wings a bit and move up to a more challenging recipe so stay tuned for the outcome.  Happy homebrewing friends and thanks for reading.  Comments are always appreciated.

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