Monday, February 23, 2009

Bubbly Bitter and Belgian Ale

The bitter I brewed a couple months ago is definitely over-carbonated. Both the bottles and the Party Pig are excessively foaming. I haven't noticed any off-flavors in the beer, so I'm thinking I must've just goofed and added too much priming sugar and/or the beer wasn't done fermenting. It's disappointed, but at least the beer is drinkable. It just requires some patience.

Yesterday I brewed up a sort of Belgian Pale Ale using mostly Northwestern Gold LME, some crystal malts (20L and 80L) along with some Spalter and Czech Saaz hops. I pitched Wyeast 3787 Trappist yeast at about 73 degrees. The kitchen is always warm, so I decided to surrender and brew a yeast that is more tolerant to warmer temperatures. I'm not sure why I even try to brew English style bitters in my kitchen; they always turn out really fruity with a ton of esters. Nothing off-putting, just lots of fruitiness. Certain Belgian yeasts, like the Wyeast 3787, seem to be able to tolerate the heat better. I've had pretty good look with dry yeasts, too, especially SafAle S-04 and S-05 which seems to ferment fairly clean up into the mid-70s. So maybe dry and Belgian yeasts are what I should use instead of trying to brew the perfect bitter in a warm kitchen?

The Wyeast 3787 seems to be starting kind of slow, but I'm not worried about it. I've got pressure in the fermenter (the cone of the airlock is pushed all the way up), I just don't have bubbling going on yet...except in my over-carbonated bitter!

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