I must confess that I’m not usually a beer kit type of brewer – preferring to make up my own recipes (for better or worse).
But when turning 40 a little while ago, people (Jim and Sarah-Lou in particular) asked what I’d like for my birthday I thought I’d ask for an all-grain kit so that I could give them a whirl (I always think that just asking for a bag of malt seems a little uninteresting – plus they’re a bugger to wrap up)
Jim and Sarah bought me a Dark Star Festival Ale kit from dear old http://www.brewuk.co.uk (along with another – to follow) so on Sunday Jim and I brewed it up.
Flying in the face of convention and making it up as we went along, Jim and I decided to Braumeister it – taking liberties with the instructions as and when required:
We opted for 27 litres of water in the BM to start off with and a dough-in temperature of 38C. I chucked out my usual mashing schedule and went with:
38C – Dough In
67C – 80 Minutes (Saccharification rest)
78C – 10 Minutes (Mash Out)
We sparged the malt pipe with 4 or so litres of 78C water – giving a pre-boil volume of 27 Litres.
After that we followed the instructions religiously – throwing in hops and Hail Marys at the appropriate junctures. After cooling, and some judicious BM tipping we ended up with about 22.5 litres of 1051SG wort in the fermenter. So all good there. We then pitched a packet of S04 as I’m starting to trust it again…
I’ll let you know how this one goes. I’ll also try and get a video of the airlock up here – as it looks a bit like a constant temperature of 21C is causing the S04 to tear through this wort. Oh for my brew fridge (it’s coming soon, don’t worry)