Saturday, May 26, 2012
Here is a picture that I took while brewing my first batch. (I really need to remember to clean the lens of my cell phone before taking pictures with it). My first attempt was using a kit for an Irish Red Ale. It called for steeping some specialty grains to impart a particular flavor into the wort. At the edge of the boiling pot, you can see a paper clip holding a porous bag that holds the grains.
Afterwards the wort must be placed in a sanitized container and allowed to ferment. Homebrewers often split the fermentation is split into two phases, a vigorous primary phase and a slower secondary phase. The primary phase is fast, and produces a frothy foam so you need a large container to keep from blowing foam out the airlock. The primary fermentation also produces a lot of dead yeast cells, which can create bad flavors. After a couple of days the wort is transferred to a secondary fermenter, without transferring the dead yeast cells at the bottom.
Here is a photo my first two batches, freshy transferred to the secondary fermenters. On the left is the Irish Red Pale Ale, and on the right is Mark's Orange Peel Hefeweizen - a mildly hopped wheat beer.