So it was 18 degrees Fahrenheit out, with windchill making it feel more like 5. But we were determined. Glorious stepfather Sandy gifted us a 3 gallon glass carboy for Christmas, and we were going to make beer dammit!
We walked three miles through a blizzard of snow that fateful January day, when we brewed our first partial mash beer from a self-made recipe. And it turned out good. Dark and roasty, with hints of burnt coffee flavor without an overly bitter finish.
2.5 gallon batch
-1/2 can Munton's Dark LME (2 cups, or 1.65 lb)
-1 lb Briess Dark DME
-1 lb Weyermann Carafa Special III
-1 oz Northern Brewer pellet hops AA 8.5%
-1 oz Hallertau pellet hops AA 4.5%
Safbrew S33, 11.5g (1 packet)
We bought the Carafa whole, so we put the grains in a freezer bag and crushed them with the bottom of a glass bottle. Then we put the grains in a nylon mesh back, tied it off, and boiled it in 1 gallon of water for 1 hour, along with the dark liquid malt extract and the Northern Brewer hops (in a muslin bag). Next we let the wort cool for a moment, then poured into the carboy.
Important: make SURE you do not pour hot liquid into glass containers; you will not only end up with a mess, but probably a few severed digits too. In retrospect, we should have cooled the wort longer
Then we discarded the grains, and with the hops bag still in our tiny pot (we had yet to upgrade), we boiled the dry malt extract in 1 gallon of water for 1 hour. Let cool, poured into carboy, and topped off with cool tap water. Dry hopped with the 1 oz Hallertau for 2 days, pre-fermentation.
We pitched the dry yeast on 1/4/2010, and fermentation was noticeable within 48 hours. Fermentation ceased on 1/26/2010, at which point we primed each 12 oz bottle with 3/4 tsp corn sugar, the old-fashioned way.
Looking back on this beginners' quest into brewing, I would have changed alot of things. The Carafa would be steeped, not boiled. The dry hopping would probably be converted to a late hop addition during the boil. We would have used light LME, rather than dark (more fermentables). We would have bulk primed, rather than priming bottle-to-bottle.
But doesn't that look like a damn fine brew? It sure tastes like it!