I finally got around to brewing again, this time with a twist. I have way too much beer on hand right now, a problem most would like to have, right? I’ve had ingredients on hand for a three-gallon batch of Kentucky Common. A brief history, Kentucky Common was a beer brewed before Prohibition in the Louisville area. The records I’ve read indicate it was a dark cream ale, heavy on adjuncts, mostly maize and some rye. I’ve tried it several times before but haven’t gotten anything I’d drink much of. So this time I did some research and did the recipe pretty straight.
So, with such a small amount of grain on hand (5.5 pounds) I decided to do a Brew in a Bag batch. Here’s the setup:
You see the bag, the thermometer, the timer and the supplemental hot plate. My normal brew rig is a propane fired banjo burner but for this small amount, I decided to use the hot plate. It played into the scheme later as I used it to add heat back to the mash. That was a story in itself: I got everything set up, the strike water heated, then the fun began. Heating, cooling, overheating, it’s a wonder if I had any beta amylase left and may wind up with a very dextrinous wort. But I got it going and got it done. Here’s the temperature control:
Yep, old towels thrown over the pot, inserted into my normal mash tun. But I finally got it to a boil, cloudy and full of stuff I don’t normally have in my beers courtesy of a good, fine grind. In the end, I got a 1.062 wort, I was shooting for 1.052 but boiled off more water than normal due to the small volume in my kettle. Cut with water, I hit my numbers. I pitched cream ale yeast at 72 degrees and the wort’s aerating now. It’ll live in a water bath for a few days during primary fermentation and I’m looking forward to a good Kentucky brew.