Now that the January blues are gone, the usual long wait for pay day from the day job and also the wait for the first batches of homebrew to be ready have passed. Have cracked open a few bottles and given that they're the first batches I've done, they've turned out quite well! I brought a few bottles along to the local homebrew club -Capital Brewers, homebrew tasting that they have every month and got some decent feedback. Fair enough now, the beer I had made from beer kits but still good to know I'm on the right track. Also some very good beers produced by the other members brought that night, great variety there!
Of course, given my eagerness to get brewing again, as soon as the January pay check was in the bank I was straight online to the homebrew suppliers. I already had everything picked out in the cart, just waiting to pay I've been that keen! Got in a large pot to start doing extract brewing, which I briefly explained about in one of my earlier blogs. Also got in the makings for two batches, an Extra Irish stout which I've added to a bit from the original recipe. The other is going to be a Witbier (Belgian wheat beer) with some orange and coriander additives, a bit like Hoegaarden.
Done up the stout yesterday, bit more complicated recipe than the Witbier will be. While steeping the speciality grains I got with the recipe, I added another 500g wheat malt and 100g of oatmeal and steeped the lot for an hour (as opposed to the half hour advised). Basically I was doing a mini/partial mash of the grains I added to add further flavour/body to the stout. Based on the reading I took, It's looking like it will be aroun 5-6% ABV.
These should be ready just in time for St. Patrick's day, have a few friends over for some Irish Stout on Paddy's day and some witbier for the non stout drinkers! Should also have a few bottles of the first batches which will age well between now and the next 6 weeks.