Wednesday, February 2, 2011

California Common

That is the latest brew from my brew man Chris. He has been wanting me to learn and watch for some time and I finally had the opportunity to help him with this batch. I didn't document all of the steps but here are a few goodies from the brew.

Chris makes his beer from whole grains, not from liquid kits. He uses recipes out of a book, just like you do with cooking food. Someday he plans to create his own recipes. Here is the barley malt to be used for this brew before it has been ground down. I like to nibble on it. It reminds me of the grains I fed my horse when I was a kid. Yes, I used to nibble on that too.
The grains in his little mill.
After grinding.
While we were grinding the grains, we had to heat about 8 gallons of water. The water had to be a specific temperature in order to steep the grains properly. Above is pic of the grains steeping. We let them steep for about one hour. This process converts the starches into sugars.

While they were steeping, we had another kettle of water heating up to rinse the grains of the remaining sugars.

The liquid from the grains. What he is doing above is called vorlaufing. The liquid that comes out first is cloudy, he pours it back on top of the grains, the next liquid that comes out gets clearer and clearer. This is done before draining the wort into the kettle to boil. We use all of the liquid that the grains steeped in then add more liquid (the sparge water) that will drain through the grains providing more wort. We needed a total of about 13 gallons of wort to boil.

The boiling of wort or brew takes about an hour with hops being added certain times during the cooking process.

Five gallons are added in each carboy after cooling. We aerated the wort with oxygen, then added the liquid yeast that Chris grew a few days before (a whole other process to document). Put these two babies in our fermentation frig and let sit for a couple of weeks while the yeasts have their party then one carboy will go to bottle and the other on tap.

1 comment:

Best Wishes, Marie said...

sorry i have been gone. had the time of my life, but i am back and will catch up soon with all these great blogs!!