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First Brew using Northern Brewer

Brewing an Americanized Irish Red Ale using Cascade hops, steeping grains and LME, time to do more and more on. I like doing small batches and used my LBKS (hush)

This was a little bit beyond me putting together the ingredients list and pulling the whole thing together which another brewer helped me with did wonderfully and I learned quite a bit from him and also resulted in my buying this awesome strainer!

Of course though I can’t crush my own grain but never the less I’m feeling pretty good about it.

Style: Irish Red Ale
Batch: 2.25 gal

My Ingredients

8.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 80L (80.0 SRM) Grain 11.4 %
8.0 oz Caramunich III (Weyermann) (51.0 SRM) Grain 11.4 %
13.6 oz Northern Brewer Gold Malt Syrup (4.0 SRM) Extract 71.6 %
0.25 oz Cascade [6.20 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 11.5 IBUs
0.25 oz Cascade [6.20 %] - Boil 20.0 min Hop 6.9 IBUs
3 lbs 2.4 oz Northern Brewer Gold Malt Syrup [Boil for 15 min](4.0 SRM) Extract 71.6 %
0.25 oz Cascade [6.20 %] - Boil 7.0 min Hop 3.1 IBUs
1.0 pkg Irish Ale (Wyeast Labs #1084) [124.21 ml] Yeast

Second Fermentation after 7 days, racking to another LBK
0.25 oz Cascade [6.20 %]



So much joy to unpack! Why is there so much packing material? It’s good stuff to, I might actually reuse it, note the absence of packing peanuts!

Brew day/night is here, I put if off a day or two due to infant interruption and I had to get a Mead and Pale Ale brewed before this. Very excited to get it going, it’s going to take a while so I better get stared! DAMMIT

GET OUT OF MY BREWERY WOMAN! Oh you’re making me dinner? Awwww nevermind, love you.

Ok let’s get this show on the road!

Just going to do a steep. 1.5 quarts water, heated to about 155/160. Kill the heat. Add the grains in a nylon bag to the heated water. Let sit for 30 minutes. This went pretty easy with an electric stove which surprised me. I though this was going to be a huge headache but I only needed to molest it a couple times and just slightly. I held at about 156 for pretty much to entire time. I didn’t Steep this in the brew pot because it just didn’t seem like enough water to really get the job done due to the width.

Jesus this part is boring

While waiting, heat an additional quart or so to about 160. After 30 minutes, remove the grain bag from the water and put it in a colander above the brew pot and slowly pour the additional quart of water evenly over it and let it drip into the pot. At this point, should have approx 1/2 gallon of wort. Add 3 gallons to bring pre-boil volume to approx 3.5 gallons and bring to a boil. Ok I should of used my propane burner, holy shit this takes forever to get to a boil.

ok at this point using my indoor pot I realize I can’t hold the full amount of water and was maybe behind 1/4 gallon. so during the first main 40 minute boil I added it back in after it boiled down a bit. I boiled up the remaining 1/4g and then dumped it in, figured it would be better doing it this way then just dumping straight wter into the LBK to match it up in the end if I had to.

Kill the heat and stir in the 13.6oz DME and bring back to a boil, watching out for the hot break. Once boiling, add 1/4oz Cascade and boil for 40 minutes, then add 1/4oz Cascade and boil for 5 minutes. Kill the heat and add the 3.15lbs LME, stirring constantly to mix well and not let any settle on the bottom of the kettle. Bring back to a boil for 8 minutes, then add 1/4oz Cascade and boil for 7 minutes.

After 60 total minutes of boil, remove the hops and chill the wort as fast as you can down to pitching temps. “As fast as you can” my ass, this sucks… ordering a chiller today.

Xfr wort to LBK and aerate the crap outta it! But first from the O.G.


Thats a bit hotter then I was planning on, also I ended up at the level and I really was trying to hit under the Q so I did was I didn’t want to do and added some water, it was much at all but I hated to do it.

Into the cooler with you!

I think if I learned anything it’s to spend more money to save time. This took several hours, but mainly it was just getting a electric stove to get back to boil after removing heat, and then cooling from 213oF to 70oF, using my gas burner and chiller would of saved a ton of time.

I felt really good about it and nothing really went bad at all, I wasn’t expecting it to have the OG it did but no turning back now.

As always I’d love any comments or concerns. note the level marking on my sampler tube now… very proud of that.

What was for dinner, stuffed peppers?

Interesting photographical tour of your kitchen brewing process. I mostly still brew in the kitchen myself, its very convenient. Hopefully your wife likes the smell of hoppy wort. If not, get a new wife (unless her stuffed peppers are really tasty.)

[quote=“tom sawyer”]What was for dinner, stuffed peppers?

Interesting photographical tour of your kitchen brewing process. I mostly still brew in the kitchen myself, its very convenient. Hopefully your wife likes the smell of hoppy wort. If not, get a new wife (unless her stuffed peppers are really tasty.)[/quote]

Haha yes as a matter of fact, we never made them before and they were quite tasty! Lol I’m pretty sure I’ll be kicked out in the garage from now on but that’s ok with me, harder in the summer when it’s so damn hot though.

Couple comments. First, don’t rack after one week, wait at least two and maybe three (there is no such thing as “secondary fermentation”, just conditioning, so you want the yeast to be done before moving the beer off the cake). And second, 70F is on the warm side for primary fermentation - try to keep it down into the mid-60s (beer temp).

Ok I can certainly wait a couple weeks before moving it, I was going to do 1 week then 3 weeks, if I rack it after a couple week how long do you recommend I go in the second vessel?

Also I can lower the temp to the mid 60’s no problem with one ice pack in our current climate. Seems like every place has a different range idea for Ale’s and I’ve always just left it at 70 in the middle, but hey that’s why I’m here.

very cool pictorial. It’s so crazy how differently we all brew, that part of it always amazes me. I second the fact that you should be cooler with your ferment temps, mid 60’s at the most, then after 5 days of very active ferment, or right when you see it slowing down, let it slowly rise up to 70 to get full attenuation out of your yeast, and don’t secondary those guys, just let them sit a couple or a few weeks and be done with it, no need for secondary. but again, thanks for the pictorial, that was cool.

I think there are differences in temp recommendations due to people confusing ambient with beer temp. Fermenting with a good pitch of ale yeast at 65F ambient means the wort will most likely get to 70F from the heat of fermentation. Start at 70F room temp, you may get mid to upper 70’s beer temp and this will vary depending on fermentor geometry, whether its sitting on concrete, how much draft is blowing, etc. If you are controlling temp off a thermocouple in the beer (and a whole lot of people do), setting it at 70F would be fine.

As the peak of fermentation subsides, the beer temp naturally drops to ambient. Dropping temps signla yeast to go dormant, so being abel to bring the fermentor to a warmer place just after the peak of fermentation will help extend the time the yeast is active.

Ok, everything is now sitting at 65F, however how do you recommend I add my additional .25oz of cascade hops? Wouldn’t it easier to rack it off the trub to a secondary and add hops letting it sit another couple weeks? I’m completely open to some better advice, I know everyone probably does it a little different but moving from wine to beer I’m definitely open to those who know more then I :wink:

Man I’ll try to get a decent photo of the Krausen buildup. It’s really quite impressive, it hasn’t blown off the cover (yet) but it solidly built up to the top of the LBK and has a small stream of deliciousness streaming down both sides of the LBK, it’s not bubbly but a solid pact of foam, looks almost like that foam in place used in packaging, bahaha

Thanks guys.

[quote=“USMCMatt”] however how do you recommend I add my additional .25oz of cascade hops? [/quote]In the primary once the krausen has dropped and you raise the temp to 68F (beer temp) for 7-10 days.

Sounds good to me, less work too

Ok this pig is done… getting the temp back to what my first pitch was

Ended up with a F.G. of 1.021

GDAMN this this is delicious… seriously, I’m not even going to bottle, just drink it flat out of the LBK.

Original Gravity (OG) 1.075
Final Gravity (FG) 1.021
ABV 7.1%

I was thinking about not batch bottling this and using conditioning drops instead using 2 for “normal carb” most reds I don’t believe are ever really high or low.

Bottle this up last night (along with a Cascadian Pale Ale)

sent everything to the bottling bucket, however this time I used conditioning tabs (4) and skipped batch bottling, I was suprised how much time I saved NOT batching, this was so much easier to do, and after hearing so many stories about carb inconsistency, thought it was worth a shot. Using the bottling wand, the amount of beer is the same across the board.

Everything went well, nothing crazy this time finally lol

Damn you mean I actually have to clean all this stuff now!?

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