After years using dry malt extract as the base of my home brewing, today I finally used my home-made mash tun to do my first full batch all-grain brew. I decided to make an amber ale with pale ale, munich and crystal malt, and a hop I had never used before; glacier. Hence, I named the beer Glacial Amber. The recipe is here if you really want to know.
I'm not going to get all brew-geeky right now, but it was a long process. Exactly the reason I used extract till now, as it meant I could make a beer in three to four hours. Today took about eight or nine hours from start to finish. However the process is so slow with lots of waiting that I made a very tasty cottage pie in between as well as trying to clean the place up before my Mother arrives on Wednesday. I need to find a new place to put the fermenter actually...
Right now I'm sampling a bottle of my Christmas beer. Although only bottled a week ago, it has a light carbonation that I think improves it. Plus it's been in the fridge. Tomorrow is the office Christmas party, so I was considering bringing in a few bottles if it was any way condtioned. I'm tempted. It gives a nice spicey warmth. I don't know what beer will be on offer, but I fear a night of Becks or Veltins.
Next brew should be a barley wine. I can't wait!