Monday, 29 November 2010

Bottled Belgian ale

Bit of a disaster with the new bottling bucket leaking at the tap. It didn't when I tested it the other day, but in turning the tap round to angle it so that I could actually get some beer out it loosened somewhat.

So it was a bit of a panic job rather than the relaxing filling of bottles I was expecting. Because of this I lost some beer, but still managed to get over 19L bottled, so not too bad. I also found a 2L bottle of beer #3 in the bathroom cupboard. That was in PET bottles and has been there since May 2009, so it is anybodies guess what it is like!

It was 1020 when bottled and was primed with 80g sugar dissolved in water and 75% of it added to the bottling bucket.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Belgian ale stuck

The Belgian blonde ale had slowed down to dropping a couple of points every couple of days. When I checked this evening it was stuck at 1.020, as it had been previously. I had given it a gentle rouse in an attempt to get the fermentation going again. It obviously didn't work, so this evening I got my newly arrived starsan out and sterilised the other bucket. I racked it into this and moved it right next to the radiator. Hopefully that will kick it off again. If it doesn't I will knock the radiator off and let it settle for a bit before using my new bottling bucket to bottle it.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Beer #8 - Belgian Blonde Ale

Just took a hydrometer reading, now 9 days after it went in the FV and it's at 1.024, which is good work from our yeasty little friends.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Beer #8 - Fermenting

No problems with this one bubbling over so far. It's managed to get a 2-inch krausen on top and seems to be fizzing away nicely. Still in a room varying in temperature with the heating going on in the morning and on an evening.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Beer #8 - Belgian Blonde Ale

It's brewday again, this time a rough attempt at a Belgian Blonde ale. And once again the method is getting a bit of a rough change. This time I tried a little steep at mash temperature of the speciality grains, and also twiddled a few other bits.

Belgian Blonde
  • Biscuit Malt 0.11kg
  • Munich Malt 0.11kg
  • Vienna Malt 0.11kg
  • Extra Light DME 0.65kg (start of boil)
  • Extra Light DME 3.2kg (late addition)
  • Hallertauer 40g (90 mins)
  • Saaz 20g (15 mins) 20g
  • Irish Moss (15 mins) tsp
  • Light brown soft sugar (late addition) 0.23kg
  • WLP550
  • Water to 23L
So, I got the temperature of 7L of water up to about 68/69C took the stock-pot off the heat added the bag with the malts and wrapped the stockpot in a fleece. After 40 minutes and a cup of coffee I fished out the bag, 'sparged' by pouring some previously boiled water through the bag and giving it a squeeze, put the stock-pot back on the stove-top and added the first malt extract addition. Once it hit the boil I added the first hop bag and hit the button on the timer.

At this point I had a bit of an interlude drilling holes in logs and hammering in mushroom-spawn impregnated dowels.

The timer beeped and in went the Saaz. After the 15 minutes were up I took the hop bags out and again 'sparged' each with half a kettle of water. At this point I added the rest of the extract and the sugar, which was replacing Belgian candi sugar as I couldn't source any. I turned the gas on again and let the wort come back up to the boil to help dissolve all the clumped bits of extract. The addition of more volume of water, of course, meant that I couldn't cool to pitching temperature simply by chucking in the rest of the water. Not having any other way of cooling I had to just leave it for a couple of hours and start tidying up a bit. And had lunch which I'd totally forgotten about. I'd taken a hydrometer reading which was bang on Beersmith's estimate of 1.068. I had, however, forgotten that the wort was hot and when I looked later after it had cooled in the sample jar it was at 1.072. Beersmith reckons this is 7.45%. Oops. I hope the yeast is sufficient without being cooked up into a starter. It went straight in as soon as the temperature looked OK.

Have I created a monster?

Beer #7 - Old Peculier taster

Coming back late-ish last weekend after pubs and a curry, I realised that a) the pale ale is a disaster, a complete right-off. I think I may not have rinsed the keg properly and b) the only other booze in the house was the 4 days in bottle OP clone. So we did the inevitable and had a few bottles. I have to say I was impressed. It was really quite nice and actually not a million miles away from the original. Not an exact copy by any means, but still rather lovely.