FÄRINGSÖL Behind the scenes

Lots of different kind of malt in the Black Beauty; Färingsöl Stout.

Malt. One of the 4 base ingredients in beer. In the mashing process the malt is heated with the 2nd base ingredient, water. Mashing allows the enzymes in the malt to break down the starch in the grain into sugars, typically maltose to create a malty liquid called wort.

The mashing can be done using a bag, so called BIB (brew in a bag), this makes it easier to remove the rests of the malt from the wort.

Mashing. I use a simple method where there temperature is constant, around 68 degrees. The pot is isolated by a modified foam mat from XXL.

The mashing takes 1.5 hour. Every half hour I stir the malt and check that the temperature is ok.

When the mashing is done, it's time for sparging. Sparging, also called lautering is a step at the end of the mashing process where hot water is run through the grain bed.

Sparging.

So how do you do it? You put the bag above the pot and pour hot water over it to extract the interesting rests of the malt into your wort. This of course also increases the volume of the liquid that has recently vaporized away in you kitchen.

Now it is time for boiling. The wort boils for about an hour, and during this process you add hops at different intervals. The type of hops and when you add it in the boiling process affects the taste, body, bitterness etc of your beer. The hop can be in the form of cones or pellets. Of course cones feels better and more natural. It doesn't stick that bad in the filtering either. Did you know that hops can grow 3 dm per day. PER DAY! I hope my own plant can start grow like that.

Measuring the different amounts of hops (pellets) that will be added during the boil process. Yes, there is a small pill there. It is called Protafloc, and the purpose is to make the clarity of the beer higher.
Hops in the form of cones. This is from Sweden and is called Svalöf Mauritz.

After the boiling, it is time for cooling the wort. In my first brewing projects I did it in the sink, but realized that my beloved bathtub is so much more efficient.

From now on it is extremely import that everything that comes in contact with the worth is clean, or actually sterile. I use some stuff that achieves this... I think they call it "active oxygen".

After the cooling, the wort must be filtered. There are lots of stuff that must be filtered out. I Think most of it is hops particles. And, as I said, everything must be clean and sterile.

Filtering the wort into the bucket where the worth will be fermented. This is probably the most boring part. It seems to never pass through the filter.

Time for fermenting. You put the 4th ingredient (the 3rd was hops) into the bucket, yeast. This comes in form of a powder for us lazy people. (The real enthusiasts use yeast in another form.) This is a bit confusing, because the yeast I use can ferment in room temperature, regardless of the type of beer I make, Ale or Lager. The normal definition of these types of beer is that your ferment at low or room temperature. It also defines if the majority of the yeast floats up or falls down to the bottom. But all my beers ferment at room temperature and the yeast is ending up in the bottom of the bucket.

A package of Lager yeast that ferments at Ale temperature.

You put the the yeast into the bucket. Shake (rattle and roll), seal the bucket with a lid and put this little plastic tube with a water lock to let the pressure out, but nothing bad get in. (The opposite of the water lock in your toilet.)

Fermenting.

Now I put the bucket in the cellar or cover the bucket and wait for action. It is nice to hear the sound of fermenting, but not as nice to take care of all stuff you have to dish. The pros ferment at different temperatures with home made fridges and control equipment with heaters and sensors and stuff.

2 weeks later it's time to put it into bottles. Or... I usually let the upcoming beer cold crash. That means I put the bucket in the fridge for one or two days. Purpose is to force stuff to fall to the bottom of the bucket and make the beer clearer.

Cold crashing. Beer, cheese and butter in the fridge. Enough.

Time to put the beer into bottles. The bottles must be sterile. The beer is transferred to another bucket and you should try to avoid the mess at the bottom of the bucket.

Transferring the beer to another bucket.

Prima. We need some bubbles in the beer so we make a so called prima. Just ordinary sugar is mixed with hot water and then cooled. It's about 50 grams of sugar. This is mixed with beer and the purpose is to let it react with the rest of the yeast and create nice bubbles.

The beer is poured into the clean bottles and the bottles are sealed.

Half way. Beer is in bottles.

The bottles rest at least two weeks in darkness and you have time to open photoshop and create some labels.

Since I like graphical design, this is as fun as the cooking. IBU means International Bitterness Unit and is a measurement of how bitter the beer is "supposed" to be, according to the recepie. The higher the more bitterness. EBU is a measurement of the color of the beer. The higher number, the darker. The amount of alkohol can be estimated by measuring the gravity of the beer before and after the fermenting. You can adjust it before the fermenting process by adding more or less water. But who cares. As long as you don't mix drink and drive (or brain surgery, programming or SMS-ing exes...)

Milk. The perfect glue.

Well... two weeks later. Put em in the fridge and then enjoy your result on the jetty, to the Xmas lunch, with a couple of friends... of course it's not like a cheap bought industrialized beer... it's not as clear, maybe it tastes to much yeast, could have been more bitterness, more bubbles, ... and you are already planning your next home made beer...

The Färingsöl Summer 2016 line up.
A home made Lager is waiting for you.

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