Test driving the new toys

By the time you read this, two things will have happened.

1)  I’ll have taken delivery of my new car.  I broke my cycle of indecision (see post on gas range) and went ahead and got a new car.  A Toyota RAV4, with plenty of cargo space for hauling sacks of grain, bushels of peaches, bottles of beer.  And even non-beer or canning stuff.

2)  I’ll have begun my effort at brewing an all-grain English Mild ale.  This is a somewhat challenging first* all grain because it’s very malt centred, and apparently if you don’t do it right, it can come out lame.  Not much hops to hid behind.  It is a low alcohol, but full bodied beer.  The full body comes from a higher mash temperature, which creates fewer fermentable sugars.  Those sugars, dextrins, stick around when the yeast has fermeted all the other sugar.  So when it’s done right, you have a slightly sweet and malty, chewy beer with low alcohol and very little hops for bad brewing to hide behind.  Normally one would get the specific malt, a “mild malt” or others that are also less fermentable, but I don’t have any.  So, in consultation with the beeradvocate brain trust, I am doing the mash higher and hope for the best approach.

(*I’m not including the barleywine in this calculation because I was still not fully prepared to mash properly.)

Wish me luck.  I’ll post updates with pictures later.

UPDATE. Before I posted this, two things happened.  1) I decided to brew tomorrow. 2) I went across the river and picked up the proper type of malt for the mild.  so forget what I wrote about pale and Vienna malt.  I’m using mild malt.  I also got 10Lb of English Pale Ale malt, which is tastier than North American.  this will be the base malt for my ESB and so on.

I’m going to have to brew some big hoppy American style IPAs soon, because my big ziploc bag full of hops is full to bursting.  Most of those hops are American style.



About danmalleck

Medical historian and jack-of-all-trades curmudgeon. I tend to ramble about politics, social incivility, and our self-centred culture more interested in buying the next cool ringtone or LED TV than actively engaging in the sorts of discussions and issues that matter. The more opportunity we have to buy more stuff, the less concern there is, it seems, in politics, social justice and let's face it, basic human decency, unless those things actually can save us money or get us more things to show how awesome we are through displaying our material wealth. And I like to brew beer, make cheese, and put food in jars.
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