I made myself a promise that I’d brew at least 12 batches of beer this year. Of course, I forgot to promise myself that I’d blog them. And so, about 6 weeks late, here’s the post for batch #1.
I decided to go back to extract batches for my first few brews this year out of convenience. My kids have some crazy schedules right now, so it’s hard to set aside a full day (or at least a full afternoon) to brewing. I can easily knock out an extract batch in a couple of hours during a free evening. That’s exactly what I did in this case.
I set off with a fairly basic pale ale recipe, but as with most batches I decided to veer from the recipe right from the start, ending with an IPA instead. I used 6.6 lbs of extra light liquid malt extract, to which I added a half pound of local wildflower honey and a full pound of light brown sugar, mainly to boost the alcohol content and dry the beer out a bit. To this I added 2.5 ounces of Centennial hops; 1 ounce at the start of the boil, 1 ounce half way through (at the 30 minute mark), and the final half ounce in the final 2 minutes of the boil.
Once cooled to room temperature, I added a packet of Safale-05 US ale yeast, sprinkled in dry. Fermentation picked up in no time, and I had a happily bubbling airlock within 8 hours.
Not content with the recipe, I then added another ounce of Centennial hops to the fermenter about 3 days prior to bottling. This turned out to be a good idea, as the final product is bursting with citrus aromas.
The beer is quite good, but a bit too dry in my opinion. My next batch will be using more liquid extract and no additional sugars. That’s the plan, anyway. But the beer is quite tasty, with a light body, nice light copper color, and is nice and hoppy. Overall I’m fairly happy with how it turned out, but I’m looking forward to a slightly heavier body in my next batch.