After 7 days in the primary fermentor. Last weekend on Sunday afternoon, I racked off the Irish ale to a secondary fermentor.
The final gravity after 7 days was 1.024, when the target gravity was suppose to be ~1.014. But after racking the beer to the secondary, enough yeast was kicked up to get the fermentation going again. I have a good feeling that in about another 10 days in the secondary that it should finish fermenting down to the target FG. I guess only time will tell.
Note: Keep in mind that this article was supposed to be posted in November 2009, I guess better late then never. For a current update on the ciders status, see this posting.
So get a load of this. It’s been about a month since I started fermenting this year’s batch of hard cider. And about two weeks ago, I finally bothered to take an FG reading to see how the fermentation was coming along. And what was the FG on the hydrometer…..it was the same as the OG….1.050. Then I started thinking to myself “What the hell just happened?” Continue reading →
Since I ended up getting Monday off for MLK, I thought that is is high time that I brew up a batch of beer, since I’m running low of both BL and homebrew. Sure I still have the keg of Christmas beer that hasn’t been tapped (even though all the bottles were drank in early December.)
I really don’t remember how this recipe developed other then JRR mentioned that he also planned on brewing a irish red ale. So I basically took the base recipe that he gave me, made a couple of tweaks and I was off and running. We’ll see how this batch turns out in a couple of weeks. Continue reading →
Well its been a couple of months since the last gravity check on the hard cider, and surprisingly we are doing pretty good on the final gravity.
Here is the breakdown of the three different batches:
Lalvin 71B-1122 yeast – 0.996
Red Star Premier Cuvee yeast – 1.004
Red Star Cote des Blancs – 1.000
Out of the three batches, the batch that used the Premier Cuvee yeast is crystal clear (all pics below are from the premier cuvee batch), while the other two batches are still cloudy. But I think that the most surprising item is that the Cote des Blancs is the only batch that is done fermenting, while the other two still have some slow activity going.
I’m thinking about maybe pitching another batch of yeast into the Premier Cuvee & Lalvin batches for one final push, but I haven’t really committed to this idea. Part of it being that I’m already 4 months into these batches, and I still haven’t even bottled any of the stuff so that it can really lay down to mellow out. Not to mention that I’m short on wine bottles, even though I have 4 cases of empty bottles. Decisions decisions, so many little decisions to make.
Boy did I leave this beer in the secondary a long time, just shy of a month. But this time around I’m doing something a little different, in that I’m priming the entire 5 gallon batch of homebrew before bottling & kegging. I’ve had this discussion with JRR offline, but the gist of the conversation was about the pro & cons of kegging homebrew. With the major downside of kegging being the inconsistency in carbonation, when the homebrew is force carbonated.
So I’m using this Pumpkin Ale to test out if priming in a keg will produce a better carbonated product compared to force carbonation. Conceptually when you think about it, its like you are basically carbonating one giant bottle of beer, when dealing with a keg. Plus with priming the whole batch, it allows me to bottle part of the batch and keg the rest. I ended up only bottling 13 bottles of the Pumpkin Ale. Since I had 13 open slots in the cardboard case that currently has 11 bottles of the Dry Stout I made a while back. I guess we’ll see in a couple of weeks, the results of this little experiment. Wish me luck.
FG – 1.014
Priming ratio – 3/4 cup Corn Sugar (Dextrose) & 2 cups of water, with both brought to a boil
Brewed on 10/17/09
Racked to Secondary on 10/27/09
Bottled & Kegged on 11/21/09
Last week I ended up racking the Pumpkin beer to a glass secondary, and I took a quick FG reading and it was at 1.014. Which isn’t too shabby. At first I thought about saving the yeast from this batch, but as I kept racking the yeast between jugs. I just couldn’t remove all the spice aroma that the yeast was giving off, so I ended up having to dump it down the sink.
It’s a good thing that I saved some of the Wyeast 1056 yeast right out of the smack pack, so that it could be deposited in my personal “yeast bank” in the back of my kitchen refrigerator.
I’ll give the beer another week or two in the secondary, or basically until I can free up some space in the kegerator, which currently has a 1/2 barrel of BL (which was free) and three corny kegs of homebrew (JRR’s stuff, IPA & dry stout.)
There is no point in rehashing the post from 10 days ago about the Pumpkin Ale. So then lets dive in head first into the nitty gritty from this brew session.
Last Saturday morning I headed out to the farmer’s market to pick up a butternut squash, after a quick walk around to gauge what was available for purchase. I found a vendor that had a 5.5 lb butternut for $2.00. Consider it sold! Now with the butternut in my possession, it time for all the prep work.
I already had a yellow neck squash from the end of season harvest in the garden. I had no idea what to do with, so I though that I might as well use it along with the butternut. After prepping both squash (peel, de-seed & dice), I tossed all the squash with 1/4 cup of light C & H brown sugar (4oz by weight), before putting it under the broiler. It turned out to be just enough sugar to coat everything evenly, but not so much that I had leftover sugar in the bottom of the mixing bowl.
I roasted the butternut/yellow squash under a low, then high broiler for about 90 minutes. After about 45 mins of no broiling action under low, I cranked it up to high so that it would actually roast. Now with that bit out of the way, here is the complete recipe:
Jack-off Ale Recipe (Powers Brewery format at the bottom)
6 lbs – Pale Malt (6 row) USA
2 lbs – Munich Malt – 10L
.25 lb – Chocolate Malt (UK)
1 lb – Caramel/Crystal Malt 20L
1 lb – Flaked Barley
.25 lb – Light C&H Brown Sugar
Wyeast American Ale – 1056
~5 lbs of cleaned Butternut squash – 75 mins
Fuggles – 1oz pellets- 4% AA – 60 mins
East Kent Golding – 1oz pellets- 5% AA – 15 mins
Fuggles – 1oz pellets- 4% AA – 3 mins
Spices added during final 30 mins of boil:
2 tsp – Nutmeg
2 tsp – Cinnamon
1 tsp – Allspice
Other info: Mashed for about 90 minutes at 150-154F with 3 gallons of water; batch sparged with 1.5 gallons of boiling water & 3.5 gallons of 170F water; First running was 2.75 gal and the second/final running was 3.75 gal; 90 minute boil; 10 days in the primary, OG 1.048 @ 80F.
I actually spent some time this go around, looking at how the Powers web page was set-up. And after making a couple of adjustments for the dead space in my mash/lauter tun, I basically hit the recipe right on the nose, both in OG and final volume, which is a first for me. Now for the hardest part…..waiting to drink the final product.
RO^Jack’off Ale^October 17, 2009^94^75^5^60^9^4^73^100^8.8^0.3^0.1^0.4^0.4^0.25^72^72^6^64^64^2^41^41^0.25^31^31^
^0^0^0^1^0^0^0^0^1^0^63^153^1.2^^^^~5 lbs of cleaned/diced/roasted Butternut squash, coated in
4 oz of Light C&H brown sugar; All spices added during final 30 mins of boil, Nutmeg 2 tsp, Cinnamon 2 tsp,
Allspice 1 tsp.^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^5^5^5^0^0^0^0.1^
Since I really don’t have anything lined up this weekend, other then swapping the battery in my truck. Why not brew up another batch of beer, since I’m starting to run low on the dry stout and IPA down in the kegerator. This time I thought that I would brew up something totally different, but very fitting for the Fall Season, that being a Pumpkin Ale. I’ve had a couple different pumpkin ales over the years, with the most notable being the Pumpkin at Lakefront in Milwaukee.
Yesterday I stopped by the LHBS to get all the raw materials, now I just need to stop by the farmers market on Saturday morning to get a large butternut squash. I talked with the guys at the shop, and one of the guy said that if I was going to roast the squash in the oven that I should toss it in a little bit of brown sugar to help the butternut caramelize when broiled. Plus the brown sugar will add a little bit to the gravity, but I only plan on use a couple of tablespoons. So the gravity difference will be negligible.
Wish me luck, and I’ll post the recipe after the brew session.
Its that time of the year again. With the fall harvest fast approaching, so it could only mean one thing. Time for fresh apple cider! And with fresh apple cider, it means that its time for me to make some hard cider!
Since the local homebrew shop that I use doesn’t carry White Labs (long story from the owners), my only other option was a Wyeast Sweet Mead smack pack or Red Star dry yeast. So I ended up going with the Red Star Premier Cuvée dry yeast (PDF datasheet), since I’m looking to make more of a dry cider instead of a sweet cider. Continue reading →
One tip on separating yeast in the fridge, don’t let it sit in the fridge overnight. Since the yeast in suspension will eventually settle on top of the trub. It may look pretty cool in the growler, to see all the gradations of trub and yeast. But all it does is forces you to start from scratch, putting everything back in suspension. The lesson I learned is don’t rack beer at 1:00 am, since more then likely you won’t be up at 4:00 am to separate out the yeast in suspension from the trub.