Hi Everyone,

Happy NEW beer! To celebrate, I am documenting my first beer brewing experience. In a little over a month’s time, the delicious GPA (Gunnther’s Pale Ale) will be ready to taste! Thought you’d enjoy a peek into the process below…

The glorious grain BAG! Full of delicious ground up barley (that smelled like grape nuts)

The 5 gallon pot, purchased on Clement Street for $40 (a startling value).

After bringing 3 gallons o’ SF tap water to almost boil, in goes the BAG, with a heavy towel to retain warmth.

Out comes the BAG after 45 minutes of steeping to make the “WORT” – AKA Beer before fermentation AKA grain tea.

Next, 6 lbs of sweet and sticky malt extract is added to the WORT and the heat is turned up to HIGH!

…also added at this time, the UK Challenger. This is essentially hops, picked fresh, mashed up and frozen w/ liquid nitrogen (to retain freshness) into pellets. They look like rabbit food.

After 30 minutes of a firm steady rolling boil, ½ oz of the 2nd hop pellets are added along w/ something I like to call an Aflac clarifying tablet and then after another 20 minutes, the rest o’ the hops are added.

Now, 60 minutes in, the WORT has bubbled into a very FUNKY smelling hoppy soup.

Time to cool the WORT down, dipped into a cool refreshing ice bath of U LINE gel packs in the sink for 45 minutes.

Ahhh…check out Billy Dee in the background. Behold the Deluxe Fermenter (sanitized and dry).

After filling the Deluxe Fermenter with 2 1/2 gallons of cool water, 1/3 of the WORT is added and then my lovely Brewing Assistant Riya ceremoniously PITCHES the yeast!

This is then followed by a vigorous pour of the remaining 2/3 of WORT to activate the yeast w/o stirring.

The lid of the Deluxe Fermenter is snapped on, and the Italian made air lock is inserted.

Ahhh…5-6 days of primary fermentation and then out of the Deluxe Fermenter and into the secondary fermenter AKA the glass CARBOY! To be continued….

Check out this added bonus video of the air lock doing its thing:


GPA Primary Fermintation – Air Lock Bubbling from Gunnar Hissam on Vimeo.

Music listened to while brewing: Jao Gilberto ‘Amoroso / Brasil,’ Kenny Burrell ‘Blue Lights’ and Concord Picante 25th Anniversary.

Posted by: Gunnar Hissam on January 12, 2010 @ 2:01 PM
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