Thursday, January 19, 2012

Homebrew Updates

Here are a few updates on my homebrews as the "fruits" of my Holiday brewing are coming to fruition.

Clementine Hefeweizen - today, I will be racking this beer from primary to secondary. Overall fermentation has gone well, but had trouble early on stabilizing temperature within the recommended range. On the first day, temps hit 70 degrees, higher than the recommended range for WL029. I then moved it to a cooler spot in my basement and after a cold night, temps dropped to the high fifties/low sixties. I then moved it to my bedroom closet, which seems to be a great spot for fermenting beer. Temps stabilized at 68 degrees. I am a big fan of this yeast and am planning to use it in future recipes.

Innkeeper - my version of the Innkeeper recipe has perplexed me, so much so that I may have to buy the kit and brew it as it's creator intended. I used slightly more malt than the recipe called for and yet my original gravity was 1.032, well below the 1.043 target gravity the recipe indicated. Fermentation has been going at a temperature of 64 degrees. I will be bottling this brew on Saturday. My guess is that it will be an extremely light version of an English Bitter, which will make for a good thirst quencher on Super Bowl Sunday.

Sierra Madre Pale Ale - this brew took a little time, but finally reached full carbonation. It is a great beer, one of my favorites. I always like to keep a bit of pale ale or IPA in the rotation as it is the style that appeals most to my palate. I will definitely be brewing this one again. I will be sampling this beverage with some friends tonight and will post tasting notes later this week.

Finally, if you've always wanted to do a lager but haven't had the means to do so, check out the latest edition of Brewing TV. The Brewing TV gang experiments with a couple of different fermentation approaches to achieve a lager-like beer at ale temperatures. I have always had success with the "steam beer" approach, using Wyeast 2112 California Lager, and fermenting in a cool part of the basement (sometimes placing the carboy in a bucket of water and wrapping with a wet towel). White Labs 029, the yeast used in my Clementine Hefeweizen, also yields great results for a smooth flavor profile.

Now go enjoy a homebrew.

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