What Would Dennis Leary Call It?

Monday, September 25, 2006

Back at it again: this weekend, I brewed more beer. The Chief Assistant Brewmaster in this case was my Father in Law, Steve. My son Isaac was designated pants-pooper and near-death magnet.

My choice for this time around was an Irish Red. I struggled for a name for the brew until I asked myself a question: what would Dennis Leary call an Irish Red.

Thus I introduce to you Kiss My White Irish Ass Red.

The ingredients:
1/2 pound British Crystal 60ºL
1/4 pound Roasted Barley
6 pounds John Bull Liquid Light Extract
1 pound Dry Light Extract
1 oz. Fuggle (pellet); 60 minutes
1/2 oz. East Kent Golding (pellet); 5 minutes
Wyeast 1084 Irish Ale Yeast
We steeped the specialty grains for 30 minutes at 159º, and boiled everything for an hour thereafter.

I estimated the Original Gravity to be 1.055. Our actual reading was 1.050, so we weren't far off at all. Our Terminal Gravity is estimated at 1.019, so we'll see what we get. The ABV ought to be a normal and respectable 5% or so.

As you can see here, we pitched the yeast on day 1 and had no visible activity as the yeast wakes up and starts relicating, looking for an finding food.

Now as you can see here, at the end of day 2, the yeast is going mad, and fermentation is healthy and active. Yippee!

As always, more to come. This was a truly fun experience, as always, and it was cool introduce the joys of homebrewing with my Father in Law , who indeed appreciates a good beer.


Thrillhous 1:42 PM  

Excellent! I look forward to updates.

What's up with all the saran wrap around the plug in the last pic? Leakage?

Also, how did you sterlize the bottle? Boiling water, alcohol?

Smitty 2:41 PM  

Here's the story on the saran wrap: when I start fermentation, I use an airlock; a little plastic piece that holds water (I use vodka...more sterile) and allows CO2 to escape while keeping sir and germs out. This is usually sufficient. However, the temperature and yeast strain and amount of fermentable sugars in this beer are so much so that it went crazy. So the next thing you use is a blow-off tube. Essentially, one end on the fermenter, the other end in a jug of water (hidden in the pic by the fermenter). The size of the tube allows for the massive amounts of CO2 being produced to escape without overflowing and stressing the airlock, which can't handle that much gas or pressure escaping. I wrap it in saran wrap because the tube is a slightly loose fit. It helps give me an airtight seal.

I sterilize the fermenter using a type of cleaner called One Step. Imagine powdered hydrogen peroxide. Cleans and sanitizes all in one step! You just have to rinse it well because One Step could kill yeast...but obviously, I rinsed well this time ;).

Thrillhous 9:41 AM  

Good to know! I brewed "beer" a couple times (tasted more like carbonated wine), so I'm interested in seeing how you do it the right way. I don't think my gear was sterile enough, for one thing.

Great idea to use vodka instead of water!

Smitty 11:06 AM  

If you're interesting in trying again, steal one of my recipes and I'll give you a full play-by-play to walk you through it.

Thrillhous 7:56 AM  

I'm definitely interested in trying again - still have all my gear. Unfortunately, the wife is impolitely insisting I focus on the coming baby for now. Can you believe it?

Once we've got this baby program up and running, though, it'll be time for a beer program . . .

DED 3:39 PM  

Sounds good!

I'm a big fan of Wyeast and their Irish Ale has never failed.

Kent Golding hops: I use them quite a bit.

I too use vodka in the air trap.

And the name is great. :)

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