Last night I cracked open one of these bad-boys after two weeks in the bottle. The color seems to be spot on (I’m sure the Blue Moon glass aids in its appearance) and it’s an appropriate level of cloudy. The carbonation seems to have gone well (the photo was taken some time after the head settled). Unfortunately, there’s a taste in this batch that was present in the last one that I can’t place my finger on. I don’t know if it’s the water or the plastic from the fermenting pail or what, but it’s not something present in any homebrew I’ve had from other folks (even fellow amateurs). It’s even in the smell a little bit. Anyone have any thoughts? I’ll distribute as many sample bottles as is required to solve this.
I think I’m going to imbibe one of my last remaining three Amber Alerts so that I can see if the issue has to do with aging. The Amber Alert has been drinkable for nearly a month, but it’s been at least two weeks since I’ve had one. Curious.
I’ll soon know if it’s plastic since Dad’s Dirty IPA was fermented (and continues to do so) entirely in glass.
Late Friday night, I put the Huskerweizen bottles with the help of the Mrs. I’m sure it could be done by one person, but two sets of hands helps make sure nothing goes horribly wrong. We bottled a day early, but really it was only like 8 hours since we finished at 1am and I had originally planned to do it Saturday morning. By getting it done ahead of time, I had time to clean the carboy so it could receive a batch of the IPA I would brew the next day.
The stuff doesn’t taste too bad, but again, I still have a hard time rating flat, warm beer. I have 51 bottles of the stuff, so I hope it turns out OK.
It looks like the fermentation went OK on this batch. Everything was quiet by Tuesday so I figured it was safe to move it this weekend. First time using the new carboy and I’d say it was a success. Since Ted was already in town for the wedding of the year, he gave me a hand with the transfer and gives the batch his personal two-thumbs up.
On Saturday, I had the house to myself and too the opportunity to brew my second batch of beer. This time, I was completely unassisted except for the moral and emotional support of my beloved cat Husker Boo Bear, Esq, for whom this batch was named. It took a bit of time to get going mainly because I decided that pipelining the steps was a surefire way to screw something up, so I didn’t even turn the stove on until all other ducks were in a row. So far as I can tell, I made only two mistakes but I don’t think it’s going to affect the outcome:
Completely forgot to take an original gravity reading before putting the bleeder on and throwing the pale in the basement. Oops.
Everything was sterile and ready to go and then I realized about 15 minutes before I needed it that I had not pulled in the garden hose from outside to hook up to my new wort chiller. So I had to shoot outside, pull house, pop the screen out of the window and get everything all put together while keeping a watchful eye on 3-4 gallons of ferociously boiling liquid. The good news is that the thing works like a champ.
Here’s a copy of the recipe used for this batch with one small adjustment. I substituted the general-purpose brewing yeast for a packet of special wheat beer brewing yeast I picked up from Gentile’s. I also hydrated the yeast a few minutes ahead of time to make sure it was alive and healthy and considering the cream-like sludge that soon developed, I have to assume that it was.
I’m also going to be trying a two-stage fermentation for the first time so I’ll be transferring everything from the pale to the nice glass carboy I got for my birthday here in a couple of days. I have a feeling this is going to be a “hit it and quit it” situation considering the vigorous bubbling I was getting from the pale yesterday morning through evening. It’s slowed down a bit today but it’s still going. I might take a reading on Wednesday and then transfer on Thursday if everything checks out OK.
She’ll be drinkable in a month, let’s see how it goes. I hope to start another batch pretty soon after this one makes its way into bottles. I’m rapidly accumulated sufficient glass for this project. The majority of the feedback I’ve received from the Amber Alert project makes me think I need to use a smaller filter when transferring from the brew kettle to the pale. The last recipe was a good deal cloudier than it should have been. Luckily, the Hefeweizen is a little cloudier by nature though it should be tamed somewhat by the two-stage fermentation.
Here are some shots from the day. Thanks for checking in.