So, this is the beginning of my extract phase of my brewing journey. I'll explain it all in more detail at some other point but this basically means that I'm no longer relying on someone else to do the hopping for me, but I am relying on them to do the extraction of the the sugars from the malt. Luckily for you, I managed to take some photos whilst doing it, so i'll talk you through how it went down...
I decided I wanted to do a really simple brew for my first go so I chose the clone of Summer Lightning in Graham Wheeler's near ubiquitous book Brew Your Own British Real Ale. As I also only wanted to be making 10 litres at a time to start with, I plugged the recipe into Beer Engine (also by Graham Wheeler, he seems like a great guy). This meant I would only be using small amounts of hops so instead of using 2 different types of hop (1 for bittering, 1 for aroma) I decided I could afford to use just the one hop. This really means that the beer I've made isn't much like Summer Lightning anymore, but oh well. The long and the short of it is that I ended up with recipe for 10 litres of a simple, one type of malt and one type of hop beer.
After all of that japery, and having ordered the ingredients etc, I finally got down to brewing today.
Thanks for reading, I'll update you as the fermentation of this one proceeds.
EDIT: Finally got around to pitching this at about 10:00. It had been at a low enough temp for a while actually, but I was engrossed in the leadership debate so couldn't do anything about it. I suppose I should give this brew a suitably election-based name, but can't think of one yet. Answers on a postcard.