Brew Day: “Improve Your Wit” Beer

My friend, Brian, came over today and joined in a little brewing and beer drinking.  It was time to put all the pieces together and get the first brew of the year done.  These first few pictures are of the initial preparation: equipment set up, measuring and note taking–making sure I have it set in my mind how and when to get things done.

For those interested, here is a list of the ingredients and a general rundown of my recipe:

This is a modified recipe (aren’t they all!) that I’ve used a couple of times–I wanted a WitBier this time to help me make it through the cold and think about summer.

Ingredients: 1) 4 Lbs American 2-Row, 6 Lbs White Wheat Malt, 0.75 oz Goldings (60 minutes), 0.25 oz Goldings (5 minutes), 1 oz Orange Peel (dried)+0.5 oz Coriander seeds+0.5 oz Chamomile (5 minutes).  The yeast was one I captured from a previous WitBier that I “resuscitated” from a Saison Dupont bottle.   For the truly Beer Geeky, The projections for Style: OG 1.051, FG 1.010, SRM 3.76, 19.4 IBUs, and 5.3% ABV.

Here are some pictures of the mashing and sparging process.  Again, I mashed 10 Lbs of grain with 3.5 gallons of water @ 168 degrees.  It held rock steady in the Mash Tun @ 154 degrees for 90 minutes.  I then sparged with 168 degree water for 45 minutes, ending up with 6 gallons of wort to boil.  Of course I did most of this inside because it was below freezing outside!

Finally, we boiled it all up outside … tossed our ingredients in at the (mostly) appropriate times, and sat back and had a couple of cold ones.  Here’s a few more pictures of the process.  Because it is so cold in my house, I had to keep the primary fermentor up behind my bar.  Oh, we did hit the projected OG pretty much right on the nose–1.052!

One of the brews we sampled came from The Root Cellar in San Marcos, Texas.  Their local “brewery” is called Darkside…this was labeled as a Pilsner with a Belgian Twist.  It was an excellent beer … my only problem was that I’ve held it for over 6 months and it is a bottle conditioned beer–it had plenty of carbonation, but the flavor was great.  I will be stopping back by through there this summer.

I think I see some bubbling in that fermentor already <smile> ….

Beer Mentor

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