Well here we are, Brew day 4 and this time is my experimental mix. I combined two different kits for this as follows:
Muntons Connoisseur range - Bock
Brupaks Beers of the world - London Bitter
I also used a Brupaks Flavapak for Ale
1kg of Dark Spraymalt
Now a Bock is a bottom fermenting beer and a London Bitter is a top fermenting Ale and im going for an Ale here so I used a different yeast than what came with the kits. I used Danstar Windsor Ale yeast. I am also using my new Glass Carboy for the first time, instead of a standard plastic bucket.
I wanted to boil as much water as possible, even though its a Kit so here is what I did.
I filled a 14.5L pot with 10L of bottled spring water and left that to heat to a boil.
As that started getting near boiling point I boiled 1L of water in a smaller pot and put in my hops and grains. Now the Flavapak has a hop bag and grain bag however the London Bitter also comes with a hop bag and grain bag so in they went and the smell was lovely reminding me of growing up in Dublin and the strong hops aroma around the city. I turned off the heat when I added in the bags and left it for about 15 - 20 mins. I then added in the two cans of Malt extract. One was very dark but sweet and the other was light and bitter, a great combination. I miscalculate on the amount and found that after the first can, there was little room left so I poured some wort into another pot and tried to balance things out. I then poured my hop/grain water into each wort and put them back on to boil for about 10 mins before taking out the bags of grains and hops.
I moved the two pots to a bath of cold water and then brought in my Glass carboy 10 mins later and poured them in (5L of cold spring water already in there). I then topped up with more spring water. Unfortunately I miscalculated how long it would take to cool this down as previous to this I used a lot more cold water than hot. I do have a wort chiller but I have not got it set up yet so in the tub of cold water, I sprayed the carboy with cold water and also ended up adding some ice cubes inside. I got the temp down to about 32c.
I had re-hydrated the yeast almost an hour before I was able to pitch it. I was worried about this as the last time i re-hydrated yeast it did not work out so I also added another sachet of the same yeast and pitched it dry. SG is 1.040 (possibly 1.042)
It only took about 15 to 20 mins for the bubbles to start so as long as I did not get any nasties into it then it should work out wonderful. It is as dark as a porter right now.
It is now bubbling away and the carboy is covered with a thick black shirt to keep out light and the room is being kept at 20c with my remote thermostat controlled panel heater.
My wife also did two batches of fruity wines using Solomon Grundy 7 day wine kits which always turn out excellent, especially when left for a few weeks/months.
Hours later and the foam coming out of the blow off tube is unbelievable. Originally I used a pint glass half filled with water and put that in a little saucepan as I knew it would overflow but that got out of hand so I got a very large pot.
The beer coming out once the foam settles is very dark and very bitter, I think it will work out very nice indeed. It seems my entire wort is coming out the tube but I reckon that is deceiving.