So my first batch of homebrew is done. It's an IPA (India Pale Ale) I'm calling "TayPA." Like all IPA's, it leads with a nice hoppy taste and has a relatively high alcohol content (both of which made it possible to transport this type of beer from England to India--hence the name).
I modified a recipe I found on the web. I got the supplies from Canadian Homebrew Supplies--which is an mail-order company run out of a dude's garage near the airport. He's happy to save local brewers the postage if you'll pick it up.
The best on-line guide to brewing I've found is the excellent How to Brew by John Palmer. Lots of detail and explanation. Very useful.
Tay PABased loosely on "Big Two Hearted River Ale."
1 lbs. Carmel #77
7.4 lbs. Briess Amber Dry Malt Extract (DME)
1 oz. Centennial Hops (at start of 60 minute wort boil)
1 oz. Centennial Hops (at 20 minutes remaining in wort boil)
2 oz. Centennial Hops (at 5 minutes remaining in wort boil)
1 oz. Brewer's Gold (Dry Hop - add after primary fermentation has calmed down)
WYeast #1084 Irish Ale Yeast
Steep grain in muslim bag in 1.5 gallons GOOD water, bring water from cold to just under 160F, steeping for a total of 30 minutes. Let grain bag drip when you remove it, but do not squeeze.
Add another 1.5 gallons plus 1 quart of water, bring to boil. Stir in 1/3 of DME at start of boil, remainder 15 minutes before end of boil.
Add hops per schedule.
Cool rapidly (use a cold water bath in the sink or a wort chiller if you have one) to at least 80F. Aerate wort (stir in some air, but don't go crazy). Put into primary fermenter (Carboy), top off water to get to 5 gallons, pitch the yeast/starter.
62F worked pretty well as the ambient temp in the basement, though that's on the low end for Ales, I guess. After the fermentation dies down (when you go to put on the smaller vapour lock), add the last of the hops. Then, process like any other beer!
Original Gravity = 1.064
Final Gravity = 1.021
Calculated Alcohol = 5.5% by volume
Taste? Excellent. One friend who likes Pacific-Northwest-style IPA's said it was "the best Canadian Beer I've had." Sweet!
I leaned a lot in the process that will make the next go-round easier. Sanitizing the equipment (an important step) could be streamlined. I want to try making this recipe again once or twice before I move on to something else.