Beginning Homebrewing

I created my first batch of homebrew the other day: a hopped cider (familiarly) called Graf. I wanted to try something I could bring to Wasteland Weekend with me, and since a lot of my fellow Dust Reapers don’t like beer, it would be wise to make something everyone enjoys.

Not that I’m not going to also make a beer, I’ve got plans for a Hefeweissen too, but this seemed like a good place to start.

Following the steps from a recipe I found online, I used:

Safale US 05 yeast
Wyeast 1056 Yeast
1/2 Pound Crystal 60L
1/2 Ounce Torrified Wheat
1 Pound Light Dry Malt Extract
1 Pound Amber Dry Malt Extract
1/2 Ounce Crystal Hops
1 Gallon of Water
4 Gallons of 100% Pure Apple Cider

I documented most of the process over on instagram (Click here for step one).

I forgot to take the gravity of the wort originally, but also killed my safale 05 yeast by putting it in either too hot of water to activate it, or making the wort too cold for transfer. After a day of no airlock activity, I pitched a second bag of Wyeast 1056 – I’m only using smack packs from now on. I love them. The airlock is currently bubbling about 1.5 times per second at 66*F thanks to an SCP-1000 I wired up to run an old mini fridge. My apartment smells like bread and apples.

After pitching the yeast, I took my gravity reading. It was 1.071, with an estimated final gravity of 1.017 and ABV of just about 7%.

I already bought some bottles and was donated a couple of used Mini Kegs a friend had left over (he likes Virgil’s Rootbeer), so once bottling day gets closer (August 3rd) I’ll be cleaning those out for priming.

8.5.2015: Bottled and kegged the Cider last night. One of my friends stopped by and we tasted some, it’s a bit tart and it’s got a high amount of alcohol in it. When I say that the ABV is 9.22%, I mean that that’s the product yielded from where the Hydrometer stopped when it hit the bottom of the bucket. I don’t know how much alcohol is in it, really, and I’m not sure how I managed to get so much fermentable sugar into the wort without adding more. Beginner’s luck?

I primed each of the 5L mini kegs with a tablespoon of brown sugar and each of the bottles with three carbonation tabs.

I started the aforementioned Hefeweissen, as well, which will also be ready in time for Wasteland Weekend.

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