Thursday, September 22, 2011

Beer Bomb, Busts, and Black IPA Name

August and September have only allowed for one double brew day in each month for a total of (4) batches.

The beers brewed in the first session yielded what was supposed to be a highly hopped pale ale and an improved version of the Pirate’s Breakfast (PB) – Imperial Oatmeal Stout. 

The Busts: The pale ale, despite having large amounts of late boil/whirlpooled hop additions and significant dry-hopping had virtually no hop aroma. It also failed to carbonate in the bottle. I’m working on a solution for that, so we can at least have a carbonated beverage.

The PB I unfortunately had to dump because I forgot to check the pitcher of water that the blow off tube was discharging into. We bought a house and remodeled it during the month of August and with all the activity, I forgot to inspect the beer more frequently. The water completely evaporated, allowing untold contaminants to enter and spoil the beer. I could smell the bad odor immediately and it had very bad off flavors.

The second brew session was the inaugural brew day at our new home. It was great having all the extra space to brew in our backyard. We brewed two somewhat difficult beers – the Pirate’s Breakfast (to make up for the dumped one) and a Barleywine. The PB mash got stuck and took us an extra hour to drain the mash tun. The boils on both beers are long (90 minutes and 120 minutes). So between the stuck mash and long boils, it made for a very long brew day.

The beer bomb occurred when the barleywine apparently got clogged in the blow off tube and blew the stopper off over night after 3 days of fermenting. It rocketed off 3 ½ gallons of half fermented wort all over the fermenter fridge and the garage floor, requiring an hour and a half of clean up time for Liz. At least the beer shouldn’t be contaminated, but it’ll be interesting to see how it turns out now. I was trying out the new yeast strain from White Labs, WLP090 San Diego Super Yeast. Unfortunately, this won’t be a good indicator of how the yeast really performs, other than it is obviously an extremely strong fermenter. 

Black IPA Naming: Thanks to Jon for coming up with a terrific name for the Black IPA (which tastes amazing)! The new name is "Dark Side of the Moon".

The beer bomb

The barleywine on the left should be as full as the pirate's breakfast on the right.

We also set up our new Chugger Pump, which worked ok for pumping horizontally, but it wouldn’t recirculate into the kettle. More to come on that later.

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