Sunday, 18 March 2012
Sunday, 11 March 2012
I tested this today on day 7ish of fermentation. It's down to 1.012, which is very good progress. I reckon it will be ready to go in the kegs sometime this week. I want it to be ready for my birthday party on March 24th so need to get it into the kegs asap so it can start conditioning a little.
I was surprised by how nice it tasted, very hoppy, but not aggressively so. I left some in a glass for a while to let the yeast settle out and it was much clearer than I expected, considering how slowly it cooled and the nightmare I had draining it through the hop layer.
All in all, I'm a happy brewer!
Wednesday, 7 March 2012
I just gave this its 3 day test and it's diwn to 1.022, which is pretty good going. There is a massive layer of yeastiness on the top, much more than usual. I guess it's down to putting too much yeast in for the brew length. I don't think this will be an issue. I hope it won't.
Sunday, 4 March 2012
- The boiler kept cutting out after the 1st hour of boiling. This is apparently a well known problem with my boiler, and down to the thermostat and the element having temperature cut-outs built in. I don't remember this happening last time, so I'm going to try cleaning the limescale off the element before next time.
- I had to cool the wort using a couple of frozen coke bottles full of water. This seemed ingenious to me when I thought it up, and I imagined plunging the frozen bottles into the wort with steam flying up round my ears. It was, in reality, much less dramatic and less effective than I thought. It took well over half an hour for the wort to cool to pitching temperature, meaning I didn't get a cold break (the beer will be cloudy), and it took longer.
- I don't have a hop filter fitted to the tap of the boiler, and couldn't find any hop bags, meaning that the tap got very clogged up with hop debris when I was running the wort out into the fermenter. This took absolutely ages, and I ended up having to blow up through the tap several times to clear it.
Friday, 17 February 2012
The new house doesn't have a handy place to keep my brewing out of the way like the boiler room in the last place. The only place that is suitable is the porch as it has a stone floor and isn't being used for anything. With that in mind, I've put in some shelves from Ikea to store things like ingredients and mini-kegs that are conditioning. I made the bottom shelf tall enough to store a fermenting vessel so that brews can sit in there whilst fermenting (it's raised off the ground too, so it'll stop the cold getting in). The upper shelves are the height of mini-kegs.
The only problem is that the porch is pretty cold, so not ideal for fermenting (great for conditioning though!) I'm planning on getting an immersible heater to keep the brews warm, but for now I'll probably still be keeping the fermenter in the dining room.
The photo is crap because it's from my phone...
Tuesday, 14 February 2012
I've just finished putting this into the mini kegs and it went pretty well as far as I can tell. I used a bottling wand to make it easier to get the stuff into the kegs and it was very useful. What I didn't think about when planning this all was how to get the priming sugar into the kegs. They require 3g of sugar per litre so I planned on just weighing the sugar and spooning it in. Turns out the hole at the top is a bit tiny and was a bit of a faff. Next time I think I'll put a priming solution into a seperate bucket and do it that way.
Anyhow, here are some pics...