Second brew day today, much less painful than the first. Also bottled my first 'tin kit' so a very beery day all round! (Tin kit light and tasty following sample).
I followed a recipe from 'Clone Brews' called RCH Old Slug Porter (Primarily because it had a cool name).
I made the following changes to my process which made life MUCH easier. Thank you to everyone who suggested tips at the beginning of the thread!
- Muslin bags for hop additions - divided up hops while grains were steeping, then just dropped the bags in at the appropriate time. Much less messy all round.
- Ice for Primary - Used a 2kg bag of shop bought ice, and 9.5L chilled water in the primary. Brought the wort down to 18 degrees C instantly.
- Remembered to smack my smack pack this morning in plenty of time - realise not 110% necessary but makes sense to follow the instructions otherwise they wouldn't write them
- Jugs for DME - MY GOD this made a big difference.
I still need to make the following changes for next time;
- Grain steeping - Generally needs work but particularly strike temperature / steeping temperature needs improvement. The pot I chose was only just big enough for steeping grains.
- Timer - need a good kitchen timer.
- Fermenting Temps - still have no good way of controlling this.
Overall very happy with how it went and feel very relaxed at the end of it which is a good sign!
The 'Proper Job" I brewed a week and a half ago still seems to be fermenting gently away, krausen significantly dropped but a way off yet. I don't think it will want bottling until 4 weeks in primary