On Sunday 07.19.09 Robert brewed his first beer, pretty much unassisted = Awesome!


So we brewed Roby’s Red Rye (R3) on Sunday, and for lack of anything else, it went perfectly. So Robert has sat in on at least 10 brews between brewing with me and brewing with Garrett. He has talked about getting into brewing, though he leans toward wine and mead for some reason, but has never brewed. He has assisted me, but really assisting often details trouble-shooting or work of lesser importance. So the last time he sat in I basically told him it was his turn to brew a batch of beer. So we started from square one and came up with a concept of what he thought would be good, then we developed a recipe, ordered in ingredients, and picked a date. He decided on a Red Rye, which isn’t really a style as much as a concept, but I liked it. He essentially was looking for a red beer with Jewish rye bread characteristics (read: caraway), and a nice hop profile. So I started the base for the recipe; Marris Otter and malted rye about 50/50 with some different crystals and some roasted barley to help round out the beer and to aim for the red color. The Jewish rye bread style was met through those ingredients plus a 1/2 ounce of toasted ground fine caraway seed, which actually lent a neat licorice flavor. And the hops are actually 100% whole leaf home grown Nugget hops a la Garrett.

The brew day went fine; my mill motor which wasn’t cooperating last batch worked, we hit our mash in numbers, we didn’t get a stuck mash with a 50% malted rye bill (though it was quite compacted), we didn’t run out of gas (very low and the back up was empty), and we almost hit out OG (low by .003 points), but wound up with an extra 1/2 gallon – so I assume the OG was off from lack of boil-off for some reason. Oh yeah, and the whole hops didn’t totally clog up the kettle too.

After we cooler for an hour and fifteen minutes we called it quits at 78’F. I then did the bath/towel/fan method and it was down to 66’F the next morning. By the time I got home from work it was spooging out the top of the airlock and I had a mess to clean up – lovely. So I cleaned things up and took it out of the bath. It’ll probably raise up to 70 or 72 but I’m cool with that. We’ll keep you posted on how the R3 develops.

So I asked him if he thought he could do it again on his own (he had written directions too), and he said, yeah, probably, until the very end. Not bad.

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