Teach a Friend to Brew


As my contribution in teaching a friend to homebrew, I invited my friend Lyle over for the Brown Porter brew session.   With some passing flurries in the morning and colder temperatures rolling through, it didn’t look like great homebrewing weather.  In the afternoon, the clouds broke a little bit and the winds were tolerable…so the brew was a go.

I read Chris Colby’s article in BYO about partial mashing dark beers and treating your water with baking soda to keep the pH in check for optimal mashing and brewing.  From what I read, the dark grain make the wort more acidic and it could affect your mash efficiency and mouthfeel.  So, I followed some of the tips in the article. 

I did not mash my dark grains.  I steeped them in my brew kettle while my lighter grains were mashing.

One thing that I am embarrassed to admit,  is the fact that you cannot mash a small amount of grain in a 5 gallon cooler.  I bought a 5 gallon cooler with the notion that I would be all-grain brewing soon enough.  The purchase was a mistake in terms of using it for partial mashes.  There is too much head space in a 5 gallon cooler to maintain mash temperatures.  I insulated my cooler this time with a really big blanket.  I still lost a lot of heat in the hour mash time….so please…learn from me:

  • Use a 2 gallon cooler if you are going to follow a partial mash procedure in your homebrewing endeavors. 

I poured the liquor from my mash tun into my boiling pot.  We did have a bit of a boil over after the first edition of hops, but we pulled the heat down in time before a huge mess was made.  The rest of the boil was fine.  We drank Wachusett Black Shack Porters while we kept an eye on the pot.

The chill went well.  Visible cold break appeared and I was happy with that.

So, I am hoping the brew comes out ok.  Lyle is getting half of it.  I hope it’s worth his time and effort.


No Responses Yet to “Teach a Friend to Brew”

  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: