Saturday, February 22, 2014

Yeast re-pitch and Worthington's White Shield

Tonight I transferred my Super Bowl ESB to a carboy and pitched a new yeast. The bucket primary fermenter did not seem to be producing carbon dioxide as fast or consistently as my previous beer and mead projects. I was concerned about contamination or a dead yeast packet, so I stopped by Black Hawk Brewing Supply for advice and fresh packet of Nottingham Brewing Yeast. I'm still not sure what the values on my hydrometer are telling me exactly, but both samples I tested were in the center of the "finished beer" marked area. Still, I siphoned the beer into a sterile carboy and pitched the new yeast on top. The airlock began bubbling a steady and reassuring pace as soon as I sealed the cork, so it appears there were definitely more sugars to convert. I didn't specifically stir or agitate it after sealing, but it did slosh quite a bit as I carried the carboy to the central fermentation chamber (my closet). Next weekend I'll bottle and then give it a further week to bottle-condition.

Worthington's White Shield
Photo from
I found this dusty bottle amongst my liquor. I have no idea when I got it; it doesn't seem like the sort of thing I'd pick for myself and Sarah knows I usually don't like IPAs. The brand itself is from eighteenth-century England, but was acquired by Coors 12 years ago. I didn't get my own picture, so I'm unsure whether the bottle I tried came from ol' Burton-upon-Trent or one of the MolsonCoors industrial operations in this hemisphere. Regardless, it was very tasty. Two fingers of head and a rich amber color. Caramelized malt flavors and an uncommonly balanced hop profile compared to most IPAs. The internet says 40 IBUs. This was a real winner, but unfortunately not offered in 6-packs here. I think my tastes are drifting away from the Black Lagers and Belgians toward more tradition British styles. This is one I'd get again.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Super Bowl Brew

Northern Brewer ESB kit
I didn't take pictures this time because honestly, all homebrewing looks the same.

1514 Brew Kettle with 10 quarts warm tap water started on High heat uncovered.
1530 Crushed Grains added. Surface temp: 174
1540 Surface temp: 193
1550 Grains removed, kettle removed from heat. LME put in hot water bath. Surface temp 204
1555 1st 3.15 lbs LME added
1600 2nd 3.15 lbs LME added, Kettle returned to high heat burner
So that 2nd Jug of LME was supposed to be added in the last 15 minutes of the boil. Whoops: error # 1
1614 Still not boiling. Surface temp: 193
1620 Placed a clean, bamboo cutting board on top of the brew kettle to act as a partial lid. The actual lid for this kettle is missing somewhere. Surface temp: 207
1625 Boil achieved. 2 oz Willamette Hops added. Still on High heat, stirring occasionally.
1710 1lb Briess Golden Light DME and 1 oz UK East Kent Golding Hops added
1724 1 oz UK East Kent Golding Hops added
1725 Brew Kettle removed from heat
1730 Fermenting bucket, lid, and airlock in starsan solution
1735 Brew Kettle in cold water bath
1825 Surface Temp 84. 1 quart cool tap water in primary fermenter. Siphoned wort into primary fermenter. Pitched yeast. Added cold tap water to bring the volume up to 5 gallons.
I am a little concerned because the airlock wasn't immediately bubbling, but I'll check on it in about a day and maybe re-pitch.

Pike Monk's Uncle Tripel
Representing Seattle, an amber tripel. tonight we've got Very thin, lacy head.
Strong, floral hops profile, but not too bitter.

New Belgium 1554
Representing Colorado (Fort Collins), a Belgian-style dark ale. Looks like Coca-cola with very little head. Roasty, malt, and it's an overall winner.