Initial water: 2.5 gal filtered City of Austin water
1 lb Crystal 60L
Heated water to 150°, then grains steeped 15 min with heat off. Brought back to boil, then removed heat. Added
5.5lb Amber malt extract
Stirring constantly. Malto-dextrin clumped but soon dissolved. Brought back to boil.
1oz Progress bittering hops, 8%AA.
Boiled 60 min. Medium heat once on boil, stirring often. Reduced heat after two or three boilovers, slow boil.
Added c. 8lbs ice (icemaker bucket full) from the icemaker to primary fermenter. Strained wort through woven tea-towel. This did not work well, spilled some sediment into fermenter (a tablespoon or two?). Used rinsed grain bag for last half of wort. Added cold filtered water to bring to 5.25 gallons. (This was done using a quart pitcher filled from faucet filter. Spraying action seemed to aerate water well.)
Temperature dropped to 84°F in c. 8 minutes. Original specific
gravity =1.044, corrected to 1.047.
Yeast had been warming in a pocket for a couple of hours - then let sit at room temperature for a bit.
Pitched yeast at 84°F, stirred well and covered at around 6pm. Ambient temperature 65 overnight, 72 next day. First noticed occasional bubble in vapor lock around 4pm (2/11).
Bubbled steadily all next day (12th), one or two a second. Ambient temperature around 70-72. Fermentation slowed morning of the 13th, a bubble every 3-5 seconds.
Racked into secondary fermenter on the 14th, corked and covered at ambient temperature of 68-72 degrees. 3/4" cake in primary fermenter. Beer tasted sour and yeasty...not very encouraging. Some small fermentation still happening on the 17th, as evidenced by bits of foam on surface. No noticeable activity in airlock.
Bottled on 25th. Added one cup of priming sugar to 2 cups boiling water, boiled one minute, cooled on ice. Poured into bucket and siphoned beer in on top of it. Boiled bottlecaps, siphoned into clean bottles from dishwasher (washed with soap and then run through cycle 3x without soap, heat dried).
Final specific gravity: 1.018. Beer tasted a little weak but good. Capped bottles and stored under a rug in the kitchen. Ended up being about 10 bottles to a gallon.
Opened test bottle on March 3. Beer not carbonating well, moved to warmer spot (71 degrees vs. 67). Yeast seen at the bottom of the bottle.
March 7 - chilled and drank a few. Beer fairly weak, nice aroma, slightly muddy color. General opinion is that it is somewhat undercarbonated, but nice brown ale taste without being too heavy. Excellent for a first try etc.etc. etc.
By March 18, after three weeks in the bottle, beer tasted much better. Color has darkened somewhat, from brown to a dark chocolate. Still not a lot of carbonation - a few bottles were too flat to drink. Some bottles seemed to be more carbonated than others, and these were the best. I am not sure why this is - possible capping problems? Nice Newcastle-ish taste.
The filtered tap water (using a faucet filter) makes excellent beer.