Brewing and reviewing since 2012.
With the apartment to myself for the night, I decided tonight would be a perfect night for brewing. I based this recipe off of the Pilothouse Pilsner HME, and used a Golden Wheat UME with it. I also used a quarter ounce of Centennial hops, and a dry yeast that came with the HME.
I was unhappy with the IBU total listed in the HME, feeling that it would be too low for my liking. So, I decided to veer from the instructions (which, let’s face it, experimentation is the heart of brewing), and do a 60 minute boil with the Centennial hops to add to that IBU total. Here’s where I almost made my first mistake.
I wrote out my own instructions after doing a bit of research, and thought I had everything all set up and ready to go. I then realized I forgot to factor in boil off during the 60 minute boil, and almost went with just the 4 cups needed for the normal extract brew. After a quick Google, since I didn’t have time to do a boil off measurement of my own, I found quite a few people factored in a half gallon for a 60 minute boil, so added an extra half gallon to the water total, just hoping for the best. So, after boiling the water, adding the UME, and bringing it back to a boil, I added the hops and just hoped enough wort would be left at the end.
After the boil, I tossed the dry yeast into a half cup of boiled water to rehydrate while I cooled down the wort in the sink. This was also my first time doing both of those things, and once again I just hoped I was doing it right. The wort cooled down, so I must have. Obviously I won’t find out about the yeast until later.
Here’s where the test came. I knew the amount of water I had to add to the fermentor in order to make an extract brew without the boil, so I figured if I added the same amount of water or less, then I was set. So, after adding the initial water, I then added the wort and topped off the fermentor with just under the normal amount of water. After a huge sigh of relief, I pitched the yeast and put the fermentor in my beer closet to let it do its thing.
Curiously, the beer is starting off with an OG of 1.036, slightly over the minimum reading on my hydrometer for the “beer start” section. It doesn’t worry me too much, but I really thought the OG reading would be a bit higher. If anyone knows why this might be, feel free to leave a comment and let me know so I can work on that next time around. For now, I’ll just stick with the tried and true home brewer’s mantra – RDWHAHB.