I started my second brew today. I am using another kit — this time, a can of Young’s Mild — but I deviated from the recipe a bit with a few tweaks picked up in my recent studies of home brewing. I wanted a beer with a fuller body and richer taste so, rather than making the kit up to 40 pints, I have only brewed it up to 32 pints. I have also substituted dark dry malt extract and brewing sugar for the granulated sugar specified. Since I was reducing the volume to 80% of the original, I added 500g of DDME and 300g of BS. Based on the taste of the prepared wort, I am very optimistic about the results; now comes the waiting.
The new brew is starting off with an original gravity of 1.041 @ 23ºC. Since I had the hydrometer out, I also checked the present gravity of my first batch (the Geordie Scottish Export). That has come down to 1.008 @ 19ºC, which means the final ABV reading is 3.49%, which I think I will round to 3.5%. The taste is also improved, particularly if you aerate and scoop off the foam (a required step to be able to see the reading on the hydrometer!), which reinforces the lesson that time is a vital ingredient of beer and, since you can’t add that at a faster rate, the importance of waiting is clear.
However, at least now I’ve got a drinkable brew on the shelves to tide me over the gap.