I started Brewed in Canada by Allen Winn Sneath on Thursday, and 76 pages in, he's still giving an overview of the many breweries which were started and failed within a few years in the 19th century.
On Friday I went to the brew shop and made another purchase...
6.5 gal. brewing bucket.....$12.99
lid for bucket.....$1.75
8 oz. Star-San.....$$7.95
Wyeast Irish Ale liquid yeast.....$6.50
1 lb. Briess Gold Light (4 Lovibond) dry malt extract.....$4.50
1 lb. Biscuit Malt grain crushed.....$2.10
muslin grain bag.....$0.50
In regard to my Holy Saturday batch of Irish Stout, there was no fermentation for a week. I used White Labs Irish Ale yeast. The shop doesn't carry White Labs, but has a large selection of Wyeast. The sales clerk assured me that the Irish Ale liquid yeasts of White Labs and Wyeast are the same thing. So I bought a pack of the Wyeast.
The next day I remembered to take it out of the fridge in plenty of time. Five and a half hours later I pitched it into the wort. Upon opening the bucket for the first time since brewing day, I could see that there was some (I think) kraeusen floating on top, and there was an inch of something (I don't know what) which formed a ring around the entire side of the bucket. Maybe there was a little more fermentation than I had realized. I don't know. Still that was 36 hours ago, and there has been no fermentation again. I'm going to give it another week and then bottle it. Without alcohol and carbonation, if it still tastes good, I'll drink it like it was iced coffee.
This evening I made my second batch, a light ale. Twenty years ago all of my batches were grain + extract kits. Tonight's was my first batch trying my own concocted recipe.
I made it for a friend who likes light beer. I had already purchased a 4 lb. can of Alexander's liquid malt extract from Midwest Supplies, and I added the 1 lb. bag of Briess Golden Light dry extract. For the grain, I kept it simple and used a pound of Biscuit Malt which smelled delicious in the bin. For the hops I just used one oz. of US. Saaz (8.1%). The sales clerk said that for such a light beer that would be all that I would need.
Palmer had recommended using three old copper pennies in the wort to prevent boilovers. I found among my pennies five from 1969-1974, so I used them. Palmer recommended soaking the pennies in a white vinegar and salt solution to clean them. I couldn't find where he said that in the book, so I soaked them for 24 hours in a quarter-cup of vinegar with two tablespoons of salt. That did the trick. The pennies were bright but with a dull rather than shiny finish. I put them in the wort, and didn't have a single boilover!!! Of course, I'm still learning my stove, so I kept the heat a little lower than last week. Actually, it took 25 minutes for the wort to reach rolling boil temperature, so although I cooked the extract for 60 minutes, it boiled for only 35. I don't know if that will make a difference.
I mentioned that the LD Carlson sanitizer that came with the OP order was only enough for brewing day, so I decided to try some Star-San because it is no-rinse and because it was recommended by both Palmer and Papazian. Twenty years ago I only used iodophor.
For today's yeast, I used the tube of White Labs liquid Cream Ale yeast, again remembering to take it out of the fridge in plenty of time. I don't remember whether it was Palmer or Papazian who said that liquid yeast should be shaken, and carbonation should be noticed. You may recall that I didn't take the Irish Ale yeast out of the fridge until it was time to pitch it. I shook the Irish Ale yeast thoroughly, and it seemed to show some carbonation. Now I wonder if most of the yeast stayed in the tube because it was cold. Today's yeast looked the same when I shook it, but when I opened the tube (fortunately over the bucket) the yeast shot out like I had shaken a can of beer! There's your carbonation for you!
I decided to go with the three-piece airlock this time because they are much easier to clean than the snake-bubbler should the need ever arise.
A week ago I bought a carboy for the Irish Ale; but if nothing happens, I'll use it instead for today's batch.
Rapira Swedish Supersteel
Gillette 1948-1950 Super Speed