July 31, 2007

Update

Category: Strong Bitter — Josh @ 7:28 pm

The flavor on this one has really matured, and has turned out to be a really delicious brew. I ended up giving away most of it away to the guys at work because they liked it so much. 55F serving temperature is just about right.

June 5, 2007

Getting better

Category: Strong Bitter — Josh @ 10:50 pm

This one still tastes a little cidery, but is starting to mellow. It still needs to age some more.

May 27, 2007

Taste tested

Category: Strong Bitter — Josh @ 8:37 am

I tasted one of these yesterday. The alcohol hottness has faded, but it now has a weird cidery dry finish. It still needs to age a bit longer.

May 19, 2007

Taste tested

Category: Strong Bitter — Josh @ 4:53 pm

I tasted a bottle of this yesterday. It generally tastes similar to my regular pub bitter ales, except that it still has a slight sharp alcohol flavor. I will taste it again in a few weeks to see how it tastes.

May 14, 2007

Bottling finished

Category: Strong Bitter — Josh @ 8:06 pm

I finished bottling for the evening. I am getting better at bottling more quickly (or Miftik helping me really speeds things up. I dunno which)

Botting has begun

Category: Strong Bitter — Josh @ 6:46 pm

SG is 1.005 @ 70.2F.(1.006 corrected) This is very low. The beer actually tastes ok, but it is kind of harsh on the flavor. This one needs a little more hops flavor to balance it. I am currently siphoning into my bottling bucket. I expect that this beer will need to age a little to allow some of the flavors to blend. ABV calculates out to 6.2%

May 6, 2007

Blow off tube removed

Category: Strong Bitter — Josh @ 3:01 pm

I removed the blow off tube, and placed an airlock on the carboy. The SG reading was 1.009 @ 72 F (1.010 corrected). The taste has a very hot (alcohol flavor) and is dry.

The flavor can be attributed to the following

  • The yeast strain (Wyeast 1028) seems to attenuate very well, and usually produces a dry beer. As a result the beer is less sweet because the yeast has converted a lot of the sugars into alcohol.
  • I mashed at much lower temperatures which produces a wort with more fermentable sugars
  • I used 2 lbs of sugar in the raw. (can contribute a cidery flavor)
  • I aerated the yeast starter and the wort before I pitched the yeast. This would result in healthier yeast and better attenuation.

This one will need to age a bit for the alcohol “Hottness” to subside.

May 5, 2007

Still bubbling.

Category: Strong Bitter — Josh @ 11:37 pm

The krausen has fallen completely. I should have installed the airlock and removed my blow off tube, but I was not feeling that well today. It can wait until tomorrow. I will take a SG reading when I install the airlock.

May 4, 2007

Fermentation peaked

Category: Strong Bitter — Josh @ 9:55 pm

I was looking earlier and noticed that the fermentation has peaked, and is starting to slow down. This is all relative as I can still see yeast rising then falling in the beer as it is carried to the top of the carboy by the CO2 bubbles. This fermentation is really progressing nicely. I imagine that It would be even better if I had remembered to put the wyeast nutrient into the beer while I was brewing. Although I did remember to use it in the yeast starter.

More on the brew

Category: Strong Bitter — Josh @ 9:35 pm

I collected a total of 11 quarts of wort from mashing @ a SG of 1.036 @ 90F which is 1.040 corrected for temperature. Using the calculations located on How to Brew chapter 12-5,I calculated an efficiency of 65%. Not great, but not terrible. My final gravity for this one after the sugar edition came out to 1.052 @ 77F (1.054 corrected; 6 gallons).

I think the efficiency of my mash is low due to mash water temperature only 150F starting. The milling of the grain. Hearts homebrew only has one setting for their malt mill, and they refuse to double grind grain. I tried rolling the grain with my rolling pin, but it is not a substitute for a good malt mill. (On a totally separate side note I hate shopping at Hearts. The guy that is usually there has a poor attitude. They could sell so much more stuff if he was more willing to help customers)

After the wort was all boiled and the hops spent, I placed the pot into the sink and dumped two 5 lbs bags of ice around the pot then filled the sink with water (don’t forget the stopper). I usually only use a few trays of ice for my normal brew and use more bottled spring water from the refrigerator, but my starting boil this time contained almost three gallons of wort, and I needed to cool this wort down more than I usually do.

Another thing is that While I was straining out the hops with my normal stainless steel basket strainer, the hops almost filled the entire basket. It was so many leaves that I knew that there was a lot of sugars in the hops, so I poured the other 2.5 gallons of cold spring water from the fridge through the hops and into the carboy. I did this for my previous batch of bitter with good success.

I was short some water and was only up to the 5 gallon mark, I usually fill up to the 6 gallon mark. I emptied 8 more .5 liter bottles of spring water into the carboy to get it up to the 6 gallon mark. After I topped it up with water, I took a SG reading then put the airstone into the wort. I turned the air on low and oxygenated the wort for 30 minutes, then pitched the yeast.