The boil went pretty well, without spilling over so I hadn’t even made a mess at this point! The next task was to cool the wort down; as my pot was only 8 litres and had thin walls I thought I might be able to just cool this in the sink with some cold water. I filled the sink with water and put the pot in the sink. I circulated the cold water around the outside of the pot and once it started to feel like it was warming up I drained and refilled the sink. The temperature didn’t seem to drop as quickly as I’d hoped, but it wasn’t too bad.
The next, and almost final task, was to transfer from the pot into my fermenter. We have a few glass demijohns from previous batches of wine my wife has made, so I’m using one of these as they are the ideal size for this beer. I’d neglected to remember that I would need something to strain the hops out with as I transferred the beer, so at this point I found a piece of jam muslin and sterilised this in some boiling water. I pushed the muslin into the top of the demijohn and then pushed the siphon tube in after it.
I’ve not got any photos at this point as the muslin soon blocked up with hops and I started flooding the kitchen floor! After a bit of a panic I ended up transferring the entire contents of the stock pot into the demijohn. The hops started to settle quite quickly after this, so I then transferred the brew back into the pot – this allowed me to stretch the muslin over the pot and have a bit more control over the flow. One final transfer back across to the demijohn and I ended up with more or less what I was hoping for at the beginning of the process, just with a bit of added stress in the middle. All part of the learning process! 🙂
I did manage to fill the trial jar with some of the brew and take an original gravity reading – it came out at 1054, I was expecting 1055 from the kit’s instructions, so I think this was pretty good.
The final steps were to sprinkle the yeast on top of the brew, add the rubber bung and airlock, fill the airlock with some sterilised water (I’ve also used Vodka in the past) and leave it alone for a couple of weeks.
I was surprised by how quickly fermentation started, after 24 hours I had a pretty active airlock, which was good news!