journal of a self proclaimed beer connoisseur

Blackout Stout – Brew Day 1


Our first batch of beer turned out quite well. I am going to put up some posts summarizing the process we followed for the beer.

Although we gave our instance of this beer its own name, really it is just the Stout kit from http://www.thebrewhouse.com/.

We only made two notable modifications to the instructions:

1. We discarded the garbage dry yeast that comes with the package and instead opted to use Wyeast 1084 – Irish Ale. You can read all about that fine liquid yeast here: http://www.wyeastlab.com/hb_yeaststrain_detail.cfm?ID=6

2. We did not just blindly add the instructed amount of water. Instead we added about 2 liters and took a hydrometer reading to get the specific gravity. We then continued to add water until the specific gravity was within the style guidelines from BJCP.

I didn’t manage to take any pictures of our brewing on the first day where we added the wort to the primary (i.e. plastic bucket) and pitched the yeast.

We broke the smack pack for the yeast approximately 4 hours prior to starting the brewing process.

We spent a great deal of time carefully sanitizing all our equipment. If you didn’t know this – that is the golden rule of brewing. Be absolutely anal about sterilization or you will indeed spoil the batch.

So we added the water and the wort to our primary bucket and made a point of splashing quite a bit to aerate the wort. This is the only stage in the brewing process where air is good. The more air in the liquid the better the yeast will be able to do it’s job.

We also added the pH buffer to the mixture. When using the Brewhouse kits this is mandatory or your beer will be disgusting. It neutralizes what the manufacturer adds to keep the wort fresh in shipping / retailing. The end effect is that there is no change in taste to the beer.

Lastly we pitched the yeast into the beer (and did not stir) and then placed the lid on top of the bucket with a couple rolls of duct tape sitting on top to keep the lid from blowing off or anything. The lid was loose enough that gas can still escape.

We then covered the whole thing with a blanket and left it two weeks before “Day 2”.

Here is the pertinent information we thought to record:

Datecode on kit: 20091020 (this is old! we should have looked before buying!)

Datecode on yeast: 20101013

Date: 20101027

Specific gravity (S.G.): 1.049 – also known as “original gravity” or “O.G.”

Temperature of wort: Unknown – we didn’t know to check

Temp adjusted S.G.: Unknown

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