Monday, August 21, 2006

Party Pig disaster averted

Yesterday I forgot to metion that the beer I bottled from the improperly activated Party Pig (see Party Pig Woes below) turned out just fine. The bottles I've opened up so far (two of them) have had a near perfect level of carbonation and had very minimal off-flavors.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Busy day

Brewed up a new recipe today. I'm bucking the trend of big brews with what could be best described as a British ordinary bitter -- except that I'm using American hops -- Simcoe, to be precise. Here's the recipe formulated with Promash. The only modification to the recipe that I made in brewing was that I mashed for something more like a half hour than 15 minutes. Since I did a partial mash, I used a large grain bag instead of my full Gott cooler setup. I plan on adding the dry hops at kegging. I'll put in a quarter-ounce of Simcoe in each Party Pig (my preferred kegging option). I'm really looking forward to a draft pint of this low alcohol session ale.

I also racked my Kitty Kat Biere (inspired by Jolly Pumpkin La Rioja) today. It tasted rather alcoholic and quite complex, with some unusual bitter flavors (probably due to the cardamom I added late in the boil). Here's the recipe for the Kitty Kat -- except that I substituted cardamom, fenugreek and black pepper (about a tablespoon each) for the ginger. This is a very experimental brew.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

More Party Pig woes

After brewing the Sleepy Wheet, I brewed an IPA. I used a half ounce of Sterling pellet hops every 15 minutes during the 60 minute boil. The rest of the recipe included 6.6 pounds of Munton's Extra Light liquid malt extract, some light crystal, some dextrin and some pale ale malts. I used the US-56 dry yeast (sprinkled right on top of the cooled wort) and let if fermnet for eight days in the primary (plastic) and another 14 days on more Sterling dry hops in secondary (glas carboy).

All was going well (beer tasted wonderfully fruity-hoppy) until I "pigged" the beer. I let the first Party Pig sit for two weeks before tapping, but the container had no carbonation after pouring the first couple pints. It also became evident that the pressure pouch inside had not activated and that the pig wasn't properly pressurized. At this time, I decided to open up the pig and rack the contents to a bucket to be bottled. I mixed in a quarter cup of malt extract for carbonation (the beer had already had a very light carbonation) and I'm planning on popping open a bottle in a couple more weeks. Meanwhile, I'm anxious about tapping the second pig and letting it condition a little longer before moving it to the fridge. I'm thinking two to three weeks of conditioning should be good (seeing that I used malt extract for priming).