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Brewing Method Used

First is to decide on the brew day. The day before brew day 17 litres of water are brought to the boil for about 10 minutes. This will provide approximately half of the required liquor for the next day. On brew day:

  1. Dissolve the required amount of Dry Malt Extract (I use light dried sprayed malt in powder form) and any grains such as crystal malt at 40 degrees C and bring to the boil.
  2. Add the first batch of hops as soon as the liquid comes to the and leave to a vigorous boil for 90 minutes.
  3. 10 minutes before the end of the boil add the second batch of hops (if the recipe calls for it) and about 3 grams of Irish Moss which helps to clear the final product.
  4. After the required boil time switch off the boiler and leave the wort to cool and all the debris to settle to the bottom of the boiler.
  5. Put 5 litres of of the water boiled the night before into the fermentation vessel (fv) and drain off the wort from the boiler into the fv.
  6. Make up to 23 litres with the rest of the previously boiled water or until the desired gravity (typically 1.040) has been achieved.
  7. When the temperature of the wort has fallen to between 18 and 25 degrees C pitch the yeast and stir vigorously for 5 minutes.
  8. Place fermentation vessel in a warm (18 to 22 degrees) spot and leave until the final gravity (typically 1.010) has been achieved this takes about 7 to 14 days and will give a strength of about 4% ABV.
  9. Decant into bottles or cask and leave for about 4 weeks or longer.
  10. Then comes the most important part of all. Pour yourself a good measure and enjoy.
All this is done in a garden shed I built in August 2009. It contains two work benches, a tea trolley, a 50 litre boiler and a second hand wardrobe which was modified into a kind of brewing cupboard where the temperature can be controlled. The casks are kept in my garage on steel racks. This is not ideal as the temperature can exceed the recommended 12 degrees C (at which real ale should be served) by quite a bit at the height of the summer.

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