Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Let's start again

Starting this blog back up after a hiatus -- more for my own selfish purposes  -- rather than to be truly informative. I've been using Beersmith to keep track of my recipes for many years now and somehow I've ended up with so many recipe files I can't keep them straight. Moving the app from PC to PC over the years seems to have created this problem. I've reinstalled the app a few times but I keep all my databases in my Dropbox. I'm thinking this is why I've propagated so many recipe database files. So, I'm finding myself referencing this blog for information on past recipes.

Here's a quick recap of what I've been doing.

A few months ago I purchased a Brewjacket Immersion. This is a chiller that I've started using with my bucket fermenters. I've had pretty decent results so far. I have a batch going right now that is an altbier that I plan to lager for a couple weeks at 58 degrees. I'm hesitant to drop it down too much more than that as I'm worried that too much yeast will drop out of suspension. I am using Wyeast 1010 though which is a pretty low flocculator, so I probably shouldn't worry. I've dropped the temperature down to 58 after seven days of primary fermentation, which might be rushing it, we'll see.

In the past several months I've also brewed a couple saisons, a pale ale, a cherry stout and what I'm calling an American bitter (English malts and American hops.) I've had a lazy habit (redundant?) of picking up Brewer's Best kits lately and tweaking them instead of designing recipes from scratch. I did this with the Cherry Stout (used the Milk Stout kit as a base), the pale ale and the altbier I have fermenting right now. I still have some of the Wee Heavy and Wild Pale Ale I keep referring to as Near Wild Heaven." I'm enjoying a glass of the Near Wild Heaven now. It has an amazing apple pie character to it all derived from five different yeasts that I added throughout fermentation. I need to do something like it again, but right now I'm obsessed with temperature control using the BrewJacket. I was hoping it would be cold winter so I could really push the temperature down. I live in a third floor condominium and the ambient room temperature averages between 68 and 75 depending on the season. I've used an infrared thermometer to find the coolest spots in the room. The coolest spot is unsurprisingly a corner near the sliding glass door to or balcony. I had the fermenter located there for the primary ferment and the temperature ranged between 66 and 70 without using the BrewJacket. Why was I not using the Brewjacket you ask? Because old numbskull misplaced the power supply. I ordered a replacement and have my altbier fermenting at 62 currently down from 70 about 10 hours ago. Look to Twitter for updates on the fermentation of this beer. More on some other beers I've brewed later.