Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Well, I've opened a bottle of the black ale and it's pretty good. It definitley has some robust hop character and a nice bit plum and molasses character. I still think it will benefit from several weeks of aging.

Speaking of aging, I decided to brew a Biére de Garde the other day and use my Brewjacket for a nice cool ferment in the low- to mid-60s. Well, I've determined that something is wrong with my Brewjacket Immersion as it coudn't keep the temperature from raising once active fermentation really got going. Ambient temperature in the room was about 72 and I set the Immersion at 64. The temperature slowly climbed over a period of 24 hours to a 77 which is still in the acceptable (but not optimal) range for the K-97 yeast that I picthed. The next morning I noticed the temperature was 84. Not good. At this point I removed the fermenter from the jacket. It was very warm inside in the jacket. I verified the surface temperature of the fermenter with an infrared thermometer as being 84. Definitely not good and cause for concern that this batch might turn out to be an estery mess. I removed the immersion from the fermenter and resealed it with sanitized lid and airlock filled with gin from Two Brothers that ended up not liking. The surface temperature of the fermenter has slowly cooled to about 78 after being out of the jacket for about three hours. I'm a tad worried about a stalled fermentation, but I have other this happens. In the meantime, I took the Brewjacket Immersion apart when I noticed a little build up of dust on top of the fan. It really wasn't that bad but I cleaned it anyway. I then set up the Immersion in a bucket of warm (84) degree water and set the temperature to cool it to 74 to get the fan going. The fan sounded bad and I realized I reassembled the unit wrong, putting the screen above the fan in upside down. I fixed this and started my test again. The fan sounded normal but the temperature probe (taped to the side of fermenter) was reading about 10 degrees higher than the reading from my infrared thermometer. This continued to the case about two hours later. When I checked my records to see how long I've been using the Brewjacket Immersion I discovered that I've been using about four years, so perhaps it's just at the end of its life. I decided to purchase the Immersion Pro which is the second generation of the Immersion and we'll see how that works out. Hopefully it lasts at least another four years. Also, all this talk of brewing temperature has me thinking about getting a Tilt hydrometer. It's a good thing I have enough money to throw at my homebrewing hobby...

The recipe for the Biére de Garde is as follows: