Well, after intense "education" over the last 3-4 months, I did my first all-grain and first ever homebrew!
I devoured Palmer online multiple times, read the hardcopy multiple times, and have been reading, taking notes, searching, and trying to gain as much knowledge from this board (and to a lesser extent other groups/sites).
The methodology, the bit of OCD necessary, etc. appealed to me and after doing due diligence I was finally able to dive in.
Recipe: (Northern Brewer Spiced Winter Ale) 2.5 gallon batch
4 pounds Golden Promise
1 pound Dark Crystal
.5 oz Kent Goldings 60
.13 oz spices 60
.25 oz spices 0
.13 oz spices secondary
Mash at 155.5 for 60 minutes- zero temperature loss in my igloo 5g MLT over 60 minutes.
Double batch sparged at 168f
Collected 3.8 gallons
Split the runnings in two pots (one SS and one AL)- once AL reached 210 added the contents to the SS-
Boiled for 60- cooled to under 140 in an ice bath in 7 minutes; cooled to 120 in 11.
Aerated through two strainers, two times each; vigorously shook fermenter as well.
Pitched Safale S-04 at 78f
Placed fermenter into rubbermaid with cold water and fermenter was at 64f within 30 minutes
Specific Gravity into boil pot was 1.043 and target was 1.045
Collected 2.75 gallons as opposed to 2.5, so OG (post boil) was 1.063 and target was 1.053
Here is my info in beersmith:
So is my efficiency approximately 87%? Is that right? If everything goes according to course, this will clock in at about 7% abv... a bit above the 5% est. This NB recipe is supposed to be based on a Scotch Ale- only time will tell.
The day went well, but there were a few incidents. Shortly after doughing in, my father in law, who is in town visiting, was listening to me talk about homebrewing and he wanted to see the hydrometer. Long story short, he dropped it and shattered it! The LHBS was closed (yet again) and there was no one else in town who would supply a hydrometer. So I called a few Brewpubs, and the best part was Steven from Selin's Grove Brewing said "I have a hydrometer you can just borrow!" Major kudos to them! So the FIL and SWMBO and the kids went and grabbed it for me.
One other snafu- failed to add .5 oz of spices at 0 minutes. So I am thinking just increase amount in the secondary to maybe give a bit more spice flavor to the nose, but not necessarily the body? Any other suggestions?
The last gaffe was during whirpooling the wort, I dropped my digital thermo into the center of the whirpool and it got pulled right in! It is still drying out :fingers crossed:
So it was a great day, but a bit tiring (taking my mother to the airport at 4:15 am probably had something to do with it). Overall including setup/cleanup my brew day was probably 4-4 1/2 hours.
So I have my schedule setup in beersmith, as well as reminders via email, to transfer to secondary, add spices, cold crash, bottle, and cold condition.
First sip is planned for 12/22/08. Hopefully they turn out well enough to be able to give a bottle or two away at Christmas. That is the plan at least. If nothing else, it will be the house ale for that time
Now to get my Immersion Chiller fittings (I have had the copper for a couple weeks) as the ice bath is a pain.
An oatmeal stout and an american amber are on deck- hope to bang both those batches out by next weekend.!
I am stoked! Today was a blast- I am officially a brewer, and cannot (but will) wait to try it!