Team Rainbow Ale checking in here. Our team includes Anthony, Michael, Kara and me, Scott. We are making honey brown ale. Michael chose this based on the description. “Honey Brown is a full bodied American brown ale…”. Mike thought it was perfect, since there are two full bodied American brown people on the team (Anthony and Scott, pictured center below).
Before we brewed, we went to Austin Home Brew to get the supplies, and learn the process. Check out the video Mike put together of that experience:
So, we brewed our beer last night, and that was an adventure, and I mean that in a good way. Austin Home Brew sent us home with all of the supplies we would need to make the perfect Honey Brown.
As the video explains, first we get the water up to 155 degrees. We just settled for boiling, and let it cool from there. Then, we added the malt, which smelled of honey and chocolate. Luckily, we had something to put it in, because I was thinking we were going to use an old stocking (yeah, pretty gross, but you do what you gotta do). We let that soak for 25 minutes, dipping it like a tea bag every so often. After that was done, we added what looked and tasted and smelled like molasses (not sure of the technical term, but I called it the tasty goodness). We got that to a rolling boil, and then the fun began! TIME TO ADD THE HOPS!! The hops had a sweet, slightly fruity smell to them, and look like rabbit pellets. So, we took half the hops, and added them in the beginning for bitterness.
This is when we ate dinner, thanks to Kara’s husband Justin. He grilled hamburgers (AMAZING) and hot dogs (even fat free, for us full bodied American browns).
After 45 minutes, we added half of what was left for flavoring. 10 minutes later, it was time to add the rest for aroma.
Now, the fun began. The instructions were very specific about getting this brew to 80 degrees within 20 minutes. So, we created an ice bath in the sink, and took the mixture (keep in mind, it was boiling) and put it in there. And, we waited. And waited. And waited. But, we forgot to set a timer, so it was unclear when 20 minutes were up. I used the baseball game (Game 6 of the World Series) as a timer. I figured 2 complete innings would be about 20 minutes. It took almost that entire time to get it down to 80.
Then, we transferred the brew into the fermenting bucket and added 3 gallons of water. After thoroughly mixing it, we tested the density, made sure it was correct, and put the lid on. Now, putting on the lid proved to be a little more difficult than we initially realized. I literally had to kneel completely on it to close the lid. We thought we were all done, but WAIT! Forgot to add the yeast (you know, that makes the alcohol, pretty important). So, it was getting the lid off, another adventure, and then pouring the yeast in. Now, in the brewing class, we learned that we are to sprinkle it evenly across the top. But, yeah, that didn’t happen. We just kind of put it in there. We’ll see how that turns out… The lid went back on (much easier this time), put the stopper and a little contraption that could be mistaken for a crack pipe into the stopper to allow the CO2 to escape. And, voila! Now, we are just letting it sit and ferment. In two weeks, we will begin the bottling process. SUPER GEEKED!! So, that was our brewing adventure. Remember, when you are in the mood for a full bodied American brown ale, think….
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