A reader asked me, “At what point does someone have enough knowledge to become a [professional] brewer?
Weeks have passed, the fridge is jammed, the bottles are chilled, and the daughter wants to know when “we” get to taste the beer. The father does, too, by the way.
Today’s the day. Hooray hooray.
My bottles are typical for a homebrewer. They’re an odds and sods collection of empties that once contained commercial beers or prior home brews – well cleaned, of course. They come in all different sizes. Some still bear the original label, most are plain brown.
I select my personal favorite for the style, a former Schneider-Weisse bottle with the label removed. The 500 mL container with the elongated, tapered neck is a graceful looking vessel. Will the beer inside match its sophistication? We’ll see....
Back in the day, the Rolling Stones recorded a song called "Time is on my Side," and the first lyrics from the song are "Time is on my side/yes it is." If anything makes me hate the 60's more than I already do, it's the idea that people actually had time on their hands back then. Here in 2012, nobody I know has much free time for anything, including me.
Which brings me to this blog entry. Do I have a lot of wonderful and interesting new things to report. No, sadly, I don't.
I brewed a tripel not too long ago. Where is it? Languishing in the primary fermenter.
I brewed a Four Loko clone shortly after that after that. Where is it? Also still in it's primary fermenter.
James Spencer and I "recently" announced our newest experiment in our BYO/BBR Collaborative series, so I will describe that here.
Our latest experiment seeks to test if conducting a secondary fermentation is worth while. About a decade ago, standard homebrewing advice was to rack your beer to secondary after primary fermentation was finished, to let it settle. More recently, many homebrewers have suggested this is un-necessary and subjects the beer to possible oxidation.
So, our experiment is this. Brew a batch of beer and split the wort into two fermenters (ideally, identical fermenters). Let them ferment. At the end of primary fermentation, rack one of the batches to secondary (preferably to a vessel with little headspace). Leave the other beer be. After both beers have been given time to settle, package both of them at the same time. See the file at Basic Brewing Radio (www.basicbrewing.com) for the data to record -- it's mostly how clear the beer is at various stages. Then, send us your results. (Even if you're late for the podcast deadline, you'll likely be in time for the BYO writeup.)...
Thank goodness for little helpers.
The brew is ready, or as ready as it’ll ever be. It’s definitely darker than I’d like, but as mentioned earlier, fermentation was quite active and therefore encouraging, despite some oversights on my part. So it was bottling time.
I’m terrible with siphons. I always end up with water and beer on the floor and frustration in my brain. I usually recruit (read: demand) my wife to assist me with priming the siphon and wrangling all the tubing so that as little water as possible ends up on the floor. It never works as planned. I lose my cool and the towels come out to deal with the mess.
So I recently invested in an “auto” siphon, which supposedly makes siphoning a dream. It does not require the user to prime the pump, that is, fill it with water beforehand to create a vacuum and the attendant suction in order to get the beer flowing up out of your fermenter and into the bottles. No, it’s much simpler. According to the directions, simply lower it into the beer and with “1-2 strokes” the beer will start flowing....
The current craft beer market is booming. Passionate beer lovers seek out new beers and are willing to pay a premium price for new experiences.