So brew number 2 is in the fermenter. It’s a simple English Bitter with the same grain bill as the American Pale Ale but using East Kent Goldings hops. I had a taste last night when I measured the final gravity (1.007, meaning its about 4.2%) and it had a smooth, subtle malt base with a little earthiness from the hops. But it was a little sweet, which might mellow out in the bottle. We’ll see. But it was fermented colder than the last batch, which will hopefully have reduced the fruitiness from the yeast. Time will tell!
I have to say, doing one gallon (4.5l) batches is ideal for me, living in a small London flat. It means I can fine tune my brewing method quite quickly as I’ll be brewing a couple of times a month, and I’ve learned a lot in the first 2 brews: maintaining the mash temperature, boil off rate, benefits of sparging the grain bag, cooling methods, fermentation temperatures. And it means that the first brews, which won’t taste great, I don’t have 40 bottles to get through.
The small batches also mean I can brew lots of different styles and have a variety of home brewed beer in stock. I tried the first brew last week (maybe a little early) and it still had the same kind of flavour as my original extract brews, which I’m thinking might be fruity esters from the yeast fermenting too warm. I’ll try and keep the temperature down, but I don’t have any control over that. I think I’ll just have to work around it as best I can.
I’m brewing a spiced, malty Christmas Ale this weekend, then I have a porter and a witbier planned in the next couple of months, and my “To Brew” list is growing: black IPA, fruit wheat beer, ginger beer, stout, saison, apfelwein, smoked beer, rye pale ale, IPA, dunkel, belgian ale… I’m thinking of doing the cherry barley wine from Randy Mosher’s book Radical Brewing early next year so it will be ready for next winter.
I’ll hopefully do a post early next week on the Christmas brewday. Onward, into my 1 gallon adventure!