We’re going to have a house full of people for Thanksgiving, and today it dawned on me that if I wanted to serve any homebrewed beer I had best be making it right quick. It needs to be drinkable in a couple weeks, so a low-alcohol stout would be an excellent choice!
Ten minutes later I was looking thru Vermont Homebrew’s recipe notebooks, and the Dark & Stormy Stout caught my eye. I had brewed that once a couple years ago when I first started homebrewing, but this time I’d be making it as an all-grain brew. Matt helped me out by doing the math and converted the 5.5 lb of malt extract the recipe called for to the 8 lb of malted barley grain I’d be using (thanks Matt!). It also took 24 oz of dark grains and some flaked barley to round out the recipe. I started heating water at 1:30 and now it’s 5:00 and I’ve got over six gallons of wort (sugary grain water) happily boiling away on the stove and filling the house with the wonderful smell of grains and hops.
By 6:30 that pre-beer should be cooled and in the fermenter, where it will sit for a few days while the little yeasties multiply and convert the sugar into alcohol. When it’s done fermenting it gets siphoned into another big bottle, leaving the yeast, grain and hops sediment behind, and it will develop (very briefly) for about a week before it gets bottled.
Homebrewing is a wonderfully magic process, and I really do enjoy this kind of alchemy.