February 23, 2009

Beer en route

Here is an update to my previous post about the Breckenridge Christmas Ale clone:

1) Alexander does NOT make a 5.25 lb. can of liquid malt extract. Instead, I added a 4-lb. can of LME plus 1 pound of light dried malt extract dissolved in 1 quart of cold water at the 45-minute mark. The reason I didn't add the dry malt extract directly into the boiling wort is due to the fact that the dried malt extract would instantly develop a melted, hardened shell and not conclude melting for about hour or so. Not that this has ever happened to me, of course. It's just something that I've heard about. ::cough-cough::

2) American Ale yeast II doesn't act like most other ale yeasts I've used. Most of the rest quickly ramp up from zero activity to Old Faithful style fermentation locks within 24-48 hours of pitching the yeast. After that peak activity, things quickly subside to a more normal level of ferementation. Contrast this with what I've observed of the American Ale yeast II, which started slowly and then gradually increased it's activity over 6 days, popping my fermentation lock off of the carboy twice in one day; no, it did not rest on the seventh day. The third fermentation lock didn't blow it's top, but the lock did fill with dirty-colored water bubbling up from inside the carboy, which kind of negates the sanitary effect of using such a device.

3) I have to check my last batch of beer to see if any of the bottles are salvageable. If so, great: more to drink. If not, well, not so bad: I'll now have empty bottles to use. However, there's something inherently wrong about pouring bottles of lovingly crafted beer down the drain just because it's trying to win an Oscar for it's performance in the role of horse urine.

In any event, I'll probably rack (transfer via siphon) the beer to a secondary carboy, which will buy me some time before bottling. Since the arrival of child #3 is more or less imminent, I'm in favor of anything which pushes back due dates on activities.

Posted by Physics Geek at February 23, 2009 11:09 AM | TrackBack StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble It!