Started my day with this announcement on Twitter:
Today is Beer Day! I am going to make beer, write about beer and drink beer. C'mon over if you're around.— Kat Goodale (@Katitude) November 3, 2013
1) Making Beer
Truthfully, I am not sure how this batch is going to turn out. You can only read so much about a new endeavour before you jump into it, but I think I would have benefitted from having someone experienced in home brewing on my speed-dial for the day. I tried not to over-think it, but that proved near impossible.
I made the White House honey ale that I ordered with the one-gallon brewing kit from TorontoBrewing.ca. It’s an all grain kit; I wonder if it would have been better to try an extract first.
It went great (or at least that’s what I’m telling myself). There were a few hiccups that have me questioning whether it will work or not.
- my thermometer broke. I was watching a bunch of YouTube videos, and a lot of the guys were using a cooking thermometer like this one that we used for our turkey, so I thought hey, why not. It would be easier to read and monitor than the glass mercury one that came with the kit. However, it went crazy at some point and now reads over 200F when at room temperature. Thankfully, I had the glass one to switch in, but I have no idea what happened before I did.
- there was no hot break. I drained the grain bag, turned up the heat under the kettle and waited, but got nothing even remotely resembling the pictures or videos I’ve seen. I did a quick Google search, and it doesn’t appear that it will wreck the batch, but I’m kind of disappointed to not see it.
- the stuff is boiling happily and it’s time to add the bittering hops with the finishing hops coming in after the hour-long boil. However, I have one package of hops. Cue over-thinking. Did I miss one when I opened the grain package? is it still in the grain bag? Yes, I did open the grain bag up and sift through the contents to find nothing. I did more Googling which confused me even more. Luckily, the guys at TorontoBrewing.ca answered their phone on a Sunday. “Use half now, half later.” Or at least I think that’s what he said. Hope so…that’s what I did anyway.
- I was very careful about sanitizing everything that came into contact with the post-boil liquid. Except, as I realize now, the thermometer that I used to check the temperature during the cool-down, the thermometer that I rested on the wet counter every single time. Sigh.
Now I wait.
2) Writing about beer
3) drinking beer
This Vanilla Porter from Mill Street is quickly becoming my go-to beer. And it goes really well with vanilla johnny cake.