Beer Dishes (No Comments)

Last week I ordered supplies to make a batch of Beerios and a batch of IPA. I haven’t brewed them yet, but I prepared by transferring the two lagers out of the Primary fermenters. The Munich Lager has completely fermented, looks beautiful, tastes good, and is probably ready to be bottled anytime in the next few weeks. The Doppelbock fermentation has slowed considerably, but it’s not quite done yet and I expect it to take another 3 or 4 weeks before it’s ready. On the plus side, it was rather tasty.

I also transferred the Belgian Strong Ale again and it has been stuck at 1.060 for a little too long now. I think the stuck fermentation is a combination of using an older yeast packet and not having any temperature control. The carboy is at about 66 degrees and Belgian yeast strains seem to ferment best in the mid 70’s. The higher temperature is also what leads to the very fruity and esthery character of many Belgian ales. I’m not quite as concerned about those flavors, but I do want it to ferment down to 1.020, so I pitched some fresh yeast. I pitched another package Wyeast Trappist Ale Yeast and as a little insurance I added a packet of Lalvin champagne yeast. My only concern with the champagne yeast is that it may ferment the ale a little too fully and add some warm alcohol notes and reduce the overall body of the beer. Neither of those would be particularly detrimental to my enjoyment of this ale, so it doesn’t have me too worried.

The act of transferring only takes 5 or 10 minutes per batch, and I even take a specific gravity reading in that time. However, it takes closer to 30 minutes per batch when all of the cleaning is taken in to account. First sanitize everything, then move the beer, then wash everything. One thing none of the Homebrewing books will tell you, is how much time you’ll spend ‘doing dishes’ when you brew. Brewing day isn’t quite as bad, but bottling day is even worse. I don’t really mind, but as I was washing the 3rd carboy I was thinking about how much of my brewing time is spent cleaning and how 5 gallons of beer can use as much as 20 gallons of water.

– Chris

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