Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Roundup of Brewery activities

It's been a while since a post so I thought I'd blog a little about what's been happening with my latest concoctions. At the end of last week I kegged up the Chinook IPA. The sample tasted great, it was nice and hoppy and really did what I think I wanted - to test our a single hop beer. I hope to tap it sometime this weekend and share with some neighbors. The porter I made a few months back just keeps getting better and better as it ages a little bit. I've had a few of the Kolsch beers so far and while tasty it just didn't hit the mark for me. I was hoping to get a nice crisp clear beer. This beer is a fantastic tasting brew but it looks like something out of Back River. It's cloudy, hazy, and just generally yellow in color. I think next time it gets brewed I need to remember to use the Irish Moss and maybe some other fining agent to clear it up.

My next batch will most likely be either a wheat beer or a brown ale. I have both in stock and am ready to brew however my pot is currently on hiatus getting fitted with a nice bag so I can do a BIAB brew this time around. I have a few other things I will be introducing this time as well. I will start to use paint strainer bags for my hops so that I can keep the sediment down for the chiller. I really want the plate chiller to work but I need to address the hop gunk and I think using the bags along with the Hopblock should do me well. I will also be making yeast starters from now on as I bought a stir plate from Stir Starters. Dan Jeska really does a great job making the stir plates and even puts a label on the bag of the plate that says "Built for the Home Brewery of" and gives your name. Here is a picture of the setup:

Notice the stir bar inside nicely stirring up the water I did as a test. This should help make my fermentations a lot more active and get the beer started a little sooner. I hope to get my final gravities down a bit also as lately I have been ending in the upper teens on most of my fermentations.

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