We did our first mash about a week ago. The ladybrewer wanted to try the whole process as she's felt like she hasn't done much actual brewing since we started. Which is true. I was hogging all the kitchen work and she helped mainly on the bottling and drinking end. She also picked up a "mini-mash" kit, which meant a couple small pieces of equipment, and a couple hours additional time. The partial mash still uses mostly extract, but you get a more complex flavor by mashing a few pounds of barley. The recipe is the MoreBeer Malty Brown Ale (Kit300), and smells great during the brewing.
We also took a few minutes out of our holiday schedule of drinking beer and watching Ghostbusters to bottle the dunkelweizen. The stats have been updated in that post. The color looks right, and the apple cider smell is there. I estimated the ABV at about 5.4%, but I think I may be wrong, since I've been doing the FG measurement after adding the primer, which should add about 40ppg. With 4 oz of sugar, that works out to 10 gravity points, so maybe it's closer to a 6.7%.
The blackberry stout has aged very well. The finish is no longer very chalky and the blackberry is a little more pronounced. We've stepped up our operation a bit with an additional primary fermenter so we have a couple batches going at once, and Santa dropped off a keg and CO2 system for a lucky brewer. =)
Malty Brown Ale (mini-mash kit), East Coast Ale Yeast (White Labs P008?)
--7 lbs Ultralight Malt Extract (liquid)
--1.75 lbs 2-Row malt
--1 lb Munich malt
--8 oz Caravienne malt
--8 oz Aromatic malt
--8 oz Carapils malt
--8 oz Crystal 60L malt
--4 oz Chocolate malt
--1 oz Northern Brewer 6.8%AA (60min)
--1 oz Kent Goldings 4.9%AA (10min)
--1 oz Kent Goldings 4.9%AA (1min)
--1 tsp gypsum in mash water
--1 Whirlfloc tablet in wort
Calc. IBUs: 21.1
Update: Stuck at 1.026 SG. Transferred to secondary, added champagne yeast and 3g fermaid K nutrient on 1/15/07. After 2 days, SG has still not dropped.
Next up: St Patrick's Day brews - irish stout and a red.