Blogging Lull (but not a homebrewing lull)
I logged in to this blog today with the intent to post something. I have five drafts started, but none of them are finished. And I somehow doubt that I’ll finish any of them soon.
Lots of stuff going on:
- I bottled my first lager a few weeks ago
I LOVE the flavor – it’s everything I wish American Lagers were. It has a slightly sharp citrus flavor that makes me feel like it’s summer when I’m drinking it. Unfortunately, it’s undercarbonated. I can’t seem to find any style for it in BJCP, so it might be in 34B or 34C in the next competition, because even if undercarbonated I think it’s worth getting some comments from the judges (especially because it’s clean). I have two more beers for that competition. I’m absolutely going to get beers into this one since I missed the last one.
- I bottled a black IPA
I haven’t tasted this one in a carbonated form, but it took FOREVER to ferment. I had issues with my mash temperature, I used lactic acid for the first time (to bring the strike and sparge water down to a pH of 5.5), fermenting initially stalled at 1.030 (from 1.062), and the temperature in my basement fell to 60º F. Some of the tastes had a very harsh bitterness, but that fermented out (thank God!). I think it’ll be good enough, but I’m not sure if I’m going to enter it into the next competition.
- I chased a WHALEZBRO
Local brewery MadTree released a BBA/Red Wine Barrel Aged Rubeus Cacao. Given work meetings, a conference call, a run over lunch, it was tight but I made it… and man, I haven’t ran that fast on a training run in a long time! The beer, BTW, was excellent!
- Grain Absorption
I learned to keep copious notes since I was having some difficulty hitting my mash temperatures. I decided to log everything I could think of. In looking back in the last few logs, I found that my grain was absorbing A LOT more than BeerSmith’s default 0.96 fluid ounces of strike water per ounce of grain. In fact, I’m around 1.4720 fluid ounces per ounce of grain. In searching for this on Google, this number is not out of line, but it does mean more sparge water (I find it slightly interesting, although not wrong, that it has no effect on strike water volume).
- Mash Tun Modification
Since I tend to feel like I religiously have a stuck sparge, I cut my mash manifold slots deeper and added a few more. Of course because of that, I’m going to continue to monitor the grain absorption to see if I need to make on-the-fly adjustments.
I just looked on the “Where’s My Refund” tool and found that my Federal refund is due in a few days. As soon as it hits the account, I’m buying kegs. I’m also going to buy another boil tun (going with a 10 gallon instead of an 8 gallon). Lastly, I’m going to buy a few more fermenters. The current one may become a sours fermenter.
I ordered an inexpensive eBay China special microscope. It’s a waste of money. I started a post, but I have a few things to do before it is ready. The tl;dr: “buy a real microscope, don’t skimp on cheap crap from China”. The other tl;dr: “You can’t see yeast with something you paid less than $20 for”.
- MOAR BREWING!!!
I have three or four or five things I want to brew, including an IPA (of course!), a saison, an American wheat (or maybe a hefeweizen), a berlinerweisse, and a Vienna lager. I am going to run in to an issue with controlling fermentation temperatures and having a kegerator. I have ideas, but nothing that I’ve done… yet.
- This Weekend in Beer Drinking
I may start posting something weekly about notable beers I’ve drunk. This could get interesting.
I’ve managed to keep my injuries at bay since before Christmas and I registered for the Moerlein Beer Series for the fourth year in a row. I’ve made some changes nutrition-wise that may mean that I can keep things together (pun intended!) permanently.