Today, I'm going to brew up 40 pints of IPA, my favourite style of beer, so I've chosen this beer kit by Festival Ales, from their World Series, the American IPA.
This one is relatively new to the Festival Ales beer kit range, and I've not made it before, so I'm looking forward to seeing what this one comes out like, Festival make excellent beer kits in a lot of different styles.
It's all quite easy, I just need some basic kit, a bucket, barrel, steriliser, stirring spoon, siphon tube, hydrometer and thermometer.
After opening the box and having a quick look at the contents, I take the big silver foil pouch of malt extract, and put this into a bowl of hot tap water for 5 minutes, this will help to soften the malt, and make it easier for me to get it all out.
Whilst I'm waiting, I put the kettle on, and sterilise my bucket, spoon and hydrometer with sodium metabisulphate.
Cut the top of the foil pouch off, and pour the malt extract into my bucket, I roll the pouch up to squeeze as much out as possible, a bit like a tube of toothpaste!
Empty the full kettle of boiling water into the bucket, refill the kettle and put it back onto boil.
I start stirring the sticky malt into the boiling water, and then add the second kettle full, another stir, and when all is nicely mixed together,
I then add the big bag of brewing sugar, and carry on stirring until it's all dissolved in.
Now, I fill my bucket up to the 23 litre mark with coldish tap water, at the end I need the whole lot to be about 20 degrees centigrade, so I keep checking and stirring as I fill to make sure I'm not going to be too cold.
My bucket has a LCD thermometer stuck to it, and I can see the temperature is 20 degrees, so I float my hydrometer in the wort, the unfermented beer, and take the reading, 1.059.
I'll use this reading at the end of the fermentation to calculate the ABV of the beer.
Lastly, I open my little ale yeast sachet, and sprinkle it all out onto the top of the wort. That will soak in and get going quite quickly, no need to stir really.
That's about it for today, so I pop the lid loosely onto the bucket, don't want any dust or dirt getting into it, and I put it in my airing cupboard.
I need the temperature to be a fairly consistent 20-23 degrees for the next week or 2.
The instructions say to come back in 5 days to do the next bit, so see you later!
The instruction sad to do this yesterday, but I was busy and forgot! Never mind, I'll do it a day late, it won't matter.
So I take my foil pouch of hop pellets and simply sprinkle them onto the top of my beer.
No need to stir them in, this 'dry hopping' process will add loads of floral, fruity hop aromas and flavours to my American IPA. They smell great too!
That's it for today, the instructions say to leave for another 5 days before transferring the beer to a keg or bottles.
More to follow...