The gap between picking up supplies and getting a brew on turned out to be longer than anticipated, although I did manage to draw up a little stockcheck list to help me keep a tab on what is in my stores and what needs using up. Yesterday afternoon I finally mashed and boiled and, before work, I added yeast to the cooled wort to start the fermentation. All things being equal, it should be ready to bottle by next weekend.
I’ve christened the brew 3B for “Back to Basics Brewing”, since my last attempt was a failure and I’m taking extra care at each step. Also, it is based on the Arkells 3B recipe from Graham Wheeler’s Brew Your Own British Real Ale (3rd ed), which was the seed around which the name coalesced. It uses a mixture of pale malts (a 500g pack from Youngs that I got last year, topped up with some of the Maris Otter Extra Pale I got on Friday). I also used up the last of my crystal malt, topped up with some biscuit malt, and a bit more black malt. I’ve had both the crystal and black malt for a long time – at the rate that I’m using the black malt (4g in this recipe) it will be antique before it is finished! The recipe also used a small amount of brewing sugar and a mix of Fuggles and Goldings hops.
Mash efficiency was good and I actually hit a gravity of 1.046, a little above target. I should have thought to dilute it a bit as the volume is on the low side but it will be okay. By the time I get home tonight, I expect it will be bubbling away with the Safale S-04 yeast doing its work.