Sunday, June 21, 2009

Chico Pale Ale

Brewed the West coast style pale ale on Father day. Nice easy drinking beer for the summer It should be ready for the trip to Long Beach Island in mid-July.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Yeast Failure, changing gears.

I checked in on the Pilsener Tuesday evening, and there was nothing going on with the fermentation. I suspected that the fermentation may be stuck as a result of underpitching the yeast. My suspicions were confirmed after I took the gravity reading. It was stuck at 1.044. It had been almost 72 hours and nothing was happening. Red flags are now popping up all over the place and I needed to make a decision. Ditch or pitch?
When brewing beer it is paramount that one pitch an adequate amount of viable yeast. In this case the yeast I used was obviuosly not adequate enough to jump start the fermentation process.
Ideally, one would like to see the fermentation lag phase commence within four to six hours of pitching the yeast. Three to fifteen hours is considered acceptable. Anyting longer than that and your risking uninvited guests to your fermentation party. Since I had already invested around six hours in this brew session, I decided to go for it and pitch more yeast.
The only hitch was that I didn't have enough viable lager yeast to pitch into this brew. Instead I pulled out theWLP 565 (Saison strain) and pitched it. This essentially will change the characteristics of my beer. Instead of a crisp clean lager, I'm now making a light farmhouse ale.
Ahhh....Alchemy at it's best. Well fermentation blasted off within a few hours, and it is bubbling away.
I'm taking a gamble here and hope it pays off. Best case scenario I'll make some fine beer. Worst case, I'll have wasted six hours of my time, a few dollars in material and have to pour some beer down the drain. Only time will tell.

Racked and Ready

Sunday afternoon I racked five gallons of the ESB, and ten gallons of the Scottish ale to final packaging. These beers are now conditioning in the kegerator and will be ready to drink shortly.

Next up in the brewing docket will be a West Coast style Pale ale brewed with Canadian two row, a little crystal, and some malted wheat. This beer will be hopped with Perle and Cascade.
I have finally gained some momentum on the brewing front and plan on carrying on until my basement gets to warm for normal fermentation temps, and then perhaps will brew some freaky Belgian shit.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The German Pils

I finally got down into the basement after a month and a half hiatus from brewing. Between being out of town, out of CO2, and spending time working on the first floor apartment I have found myself without any free time to make beer since end of April.
My luck changed this weekend when a window of opportunity opened and I brewed ten gallons of German Pils. This time around opted for not performing a decoction. So instead it was a single infusion brew, mashing in at 152f with 22 lbs of fine pilsener malt from Germany. I pitched a nice cake of WLP 830 from my yeast bank.