House Stark Brew Day

For the third and final beer of my Thrones themed beers, I’m brewing a Belgian Stout. The weather has gotten a little colder, which of course means……

Recipe

Information

Method Style Boil Size Batch Size Efficiency
Brew in a Bag Belgian Stout 3 gal 2.5 gal 70% Target

Stats

OG FG ABV (alternate) IBU (tinseth) SRM
19.5º P 3º P 9.64% ABV 30 38

Target Water profile: Chimay (boiled)

Ca+2 Mg+2 Na+ Cl SO4-2
30 7 7 21 21

Once again, I’m using the Chimay water profile. 

DI Water additions

Gypsum 0.70g
Sodium Chloride 0.25g
Calcium Chloride 0.50g
Lactic Acid 3.0g
Ca+2 Mg+2 Na+ Cl SO4-2
24.3 0 8 31.9 31.8

Estimated mash pH: 5.32

Fermentables

5.5 lbs Château Pilsner
0.50 lb Weyermann CaraMunich 1
0.25 lb Rahr Roasted Barley
1.0 lb Belgian Candi Syrup D-180
100 g DME Pilsen (starter)

Hop Schedule

1 oz Hallertau Mittelfruh (4% AA) First Wort 30 IBU

Yeast

WLP500 – Monastery Ale (Chimay). I pitched 1 fresh tube into a 1 liter starter at about 4:30PM yesterday.

Brew Day

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This morning I awoke to the sights of my yeast starter nice and active.

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I sanitized all my equipment, added my my minerals in the kettle, diluted those minerals with 10 quarts of DI water, and fired up the GigaWort. 

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As strike water heated up to about 154-155, who’s measuring, I opened up my bag of grains. They look and smell great.

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I poured in the grains. I stirred it all up to ensure no dough balls in there, and began the 90 minute timer. 

10 minutes into the mash the temperature is just about where I want it. 

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The mash stayed fairly consistent throughout, but dropped to about 147 at the end. 

The fresh wort was a nice brown color. I poured in 1oz of Hallertau hops before the mash, and then began pouring hot water through the grains. 

I sparged 3 quarts through the grains with extra bag squeezing, and still came up just a bit short of 3 gallons, very slightly more than 11 liters. After pouring in D-180 Candi Syrup, I grabbed a gravity reading of 16ºP, and decided to stick with this volume.

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I fired up the kettle, and waited patiently for the beer to boil.

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The wort boiled for 60 minutes, with no other additions. 

After the boil, I opened the ball valve and filtered the beer through a nylon mash bag.

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I began the cooling process.

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As it got cool enough, I got a gravity reading of 20.8ºP.

When the beer fully cooled, I poured it into the fermenter, and pitched my 1 liter starter. A final gravity reading said ~19.6ºP, right on target. If WLP500 does its typical job, this beer expects to be about 9.7% ABV.

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I moved the fermenter into the chamber, where it will ferment for about a week. I’m going to ferment this beer a little higher, around 70ºF instead of 68ºF, because I’d like a little more Belgian flavor to come through and play with the roasted barley flavors more. 

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Pale Wheat Doppelbock 10.23.18

Final stats on this beer:

Expected OG Expected FG Expected ABV SRM
17.6º P 2.7º P 8.5% ABV 6
Actual OG Actual FG Actual ABV SRM
17.6º P  1.012 SG 8.3% ABV 6

I’ve been slacking on a review of this beer. Initially I had it and it was OK, so I let it age a bit, and then it got better. So I’ve aged it again. 

Appearance:

Deep golden, not very transparent. Bright white minimal head of foam.

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Aroma: 

Sweet aroma coming through. Can’t tell if it’s Munich malts, Hallertau Blanc hops, Acetaldehyde, or some sort of combination of those. 

Flavor:

Snappy carbonation. Medium body mouthfeel. The flavor is kind of cloying on this bottle. In past bottles I’ve had a mix of flavors. Some bottles really gave off an acetaldehyde flavor of green apples coming through, other bottles have been exceptionally balanced. I think this bottle is more on the green apple side. Not great, but not awful. There is a healthy flavor of booze coming through on this one too. 

Hyper Critical:

It’s hard to describe this beer because each bottle has seemed a little different. I was never too excited about the results of any of them though. While I thought some of the bottles were decent, I think this beer fell short of what I wanted. I think if I ever tried this beer again, I might go more traditional on the hops, and give it a little more bittering charge to balance this beer out. As for the acetaldehyde, it was a problem in all my lagers I did this past summer. It was something to do with my fermentation and not the easiest problem to fix. I think this beer could have been good, but I don’t think it turned out great, and I don’t see myself brewing this beer again. 

Lemonaughty Milkshake Juicebier 10.18.18

Final stats on this beer:

Expected OG Expected FG Expected ABV SRM
16.3º P  1.023 SG 6% ABV 3.6
Actual OG Actual FG Actual ABV SRM
17.9º P  1.020 SG 7.5% ABV 3.6

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With my new keezer system, this beer got turned around very quickly. I had a nightmare of a time trying to do a closed transfer to the keg on this one because A) I didn’t cold crash, and B) I didn’t do anything to filter the dry hops. In the future, I will be cold crashing and inline filtering my beers as a stress reduction technique.

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I did get the beer into the keg after clogging the liquid connectors multiple times with hop matter, then did a burst carbonation and let it sit on the line for a few days, and then gave it a pour.

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Appearance:

Totally hazy, bright pale yellow, paler than orange juice. It meets all appearance expectations in those two senses. It looks slightly undercarbed, shouldn’t be a big issue.

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Aroma: 

The aroma is almost just plain hoppy to my nose. I mean it smells nice, it smells like a hoppy beer, but nothing too crazy lemon flavor coming off it. I get a general sense of hoppy citrus notes…  As the beer warms up, I do get that tart lemon peel aroma lingering on the backside. As I focus on that, it quickly becomes all I can smell, my nose wants to start picking it out. 

Flavor:

The flavor has a lot of notes of citrus and lemon upfront. It is indeed slightly undercarbonated, nothing I can’t fix with the keg. As the beer warms up, I get a subtle lemon zest character on it along with a lot of hoppiness. It’s a very pleasant flavor. There is a hoppy bitterness that lingers on this, which isn’t bad at all. The bitterness offers some balance. I don’t particularly get a lot of the lactose in this one surprisingly. I wouldn’t know that it had lactose if you made me guess. It has medium to full body and mouthfeel, but nothing milky crazy. I think the lactose addition just belongs in this beer and blends in perfectly, rather than being too thick and whatnot. 

Hyper Critical:

I like this beer a lot. I’ll probably find myself drinking this beer quite a bit. I think I nailed every aspect that I could have in brewing this beer. This malt bill is ideal for me and my hoppy Juicebiers, and I think the lactose addition was good. I like the amount of hoppiness I got from doing a 4oz whirlpool at lower temperatures and a 4oz dry hop. The London Fog yeast played really well, and chewed up a little more sugars than I expected. But were the Lemonaughty hops my favorite? Not necessarily. Overall, the flavor seems more hoppy than lemony, but there is a nice mix of them going on. These hops are good, I enjoy this beer. I definitely prefer these Lemonaughty to Lemon Drop as a single hop use. But I think I might prefer these hops paired with a light addition of something like Citra or Amarillo to really accentuate the citrus flavors. I think I could also toss in some fresh meyers lemon zest in the keg to give off an even bigger burst of lemon. 

House Targaryen Brew Day

House Targaryen

The second beer in a short series of Thrones themed beers, I’m brewing a Belgian Dark Strong, hopefully more on the red side, with diced habanero peppers added to the boil. Fire and Blood.  

Recipe

Information

Method Style Boil Size Batch Size Efficiency
Brew in a Bag Belgian Golden Strong 3 gal 2.5 gal 70% Target

Stats

OG FG ABV (alternate) IBU (tinseth) SRM
19.5º P 3.0º P 9.65% ABV 30 15.25

Target Water profile: Chimay (boiled)

Ca+2 Mg+2 Na+ Cl SO4-2
30 7 7 21 21

Once again, I’m using the Chimay water profile. 

DI Water additions

Gypsum 0.70g
Sodium Chloride 0.25g
Calcium Chloride 0.50g
Lactic Acid 3.0g
Ca+2 Mg+2 Na+ Cl SO4-2
24.3 0 8 31.9 31.8

Estimated mash pH: 5.32

Fermentables

5.5 lbs Château Pilsner
0.50 lb Weyermann CaraRed
0.25 lb Weyermann CaraMunich 1
1.0 lb Belgian Candi Syrup D-45
100 g DME Pilsen (starter)

Hop Schedule

1 oz Hallertau Mittelfruh (4% AA) First Wort 30 IBU

Yeast

WLP500 – Monastery Ale (Chimay). I pitched 1 fresh tube into a 1 liter starter about 24 hours before brew day.

Brew Day

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I sanitized all my equipment, added my my minerals to my DI water, and fired up the GigaWort. 

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Today I’m going to dough in slightly higher than I did yesterday, considering this is 6.25 pounds of grain vs. 2.5 pounds. I heated the water up to about 155ºF, poured in the grains, and gave it a really good stir. I added the thermometer back in, closed the lid, and let the temperature inside the kettle climb. 

After about 5 minutes with the lid on, the temperature slid right up to 150ºF. I let these grains mash for a full 90 minutes. 

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When the mash was completed, I pulled the grain bag out and slid my strainer underneath it. I gave the bag a good squeeze first, and then grabbed a gravity reading of my mash conversion. I’m at 15.4ºP.

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Next I tossed in my FWH addition of Hallertau, and then added 1 lb of Candi Syrup.

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I then began sparging the grains with 3 quarts of ambient temperature DI water. I had to sparge half a quart extra, as I only came up with 11 liters of boil volume. I stirred up all 3 gallons of collected wort, and got a preboil gravity reading of 15.7ºP. 

I turned up the kettle to the boil setting, and began the boil. 

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During the boil, I chopped up 3 habaneros. From right to left, the first bowl has 1 pepper flesh with half its seeds. The second bowl has 1 pepper flesh and NO seeds. The third bowl has 1 pepper flesh and all of its seeds. The bowl on top is extra seed scraps from pepper 1 and 2. My plan is to add the first and second bowl after the boil, and see how that tastes. 

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When the boil was done, I opened up the ball valve and transferred the wort into a kettle lined with a nylon bag. Color:

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I prepared my pepper additions, and I ended up adding all three habaneros to the wort, didn’t really get much heat from that at all. So I’m going to let it steep during fermentation, and hope I get some heat coming through on the final beer. 

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Once the wort cooled, I poured it into the fermenter,

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pitched yeast,

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and placed the fermenter in the fridge, where it will ferment at 67ºF for about a week, with gradual temperature ramping. 

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Starting gravity for this beer: 18.5ºP… not as high as I anticipated, but as long as this beer gets above 9%, I’ll be happy with it.

Bière de Table Brew Day

I have a new all in one electric system, the GigaWort from Northern Brewer. So I’m doing an out of the blue quick beer to test out how it handles doing all grain BIAB as the mash tun and boil kettle. I’ve been sitting on a Table Beer recipe I came up with a long time ago, and I figured it would be easiest to brew a tiny session beer for the first GigaWort brew.

Recipe

Information

Method Style Boil Size Batch Size Efficiency
Brew in a Bag Belgian Tafelbier 3 gal 2.5 gal 80% Target

Stats

OG FG ABV (alternate) SRM IBU
7.3º P 2.1º P 2.6% ABV 4.74 25

Target Water profile: Chimay (boiled)

Ca+2 Mg+2 Na+ Cl SO4-2
30 7 7 21 21

DI Water additions

Gypsum 0.60 g
Epsom 0 g
Sodium Chloride 0 g
Calcium Chloride 0.70 g
Lactic Acid 1.0 g
Ca+2 Mg+2 Na+ Cl SO4-2
26.9 0 0 27.5 27.2

Estimated mash pH: 5.28

Fermentables

2 lbs Château Pilsner
0.25 lbs Weyermann CaraMunich 1
0.25 lbs Flaked Oats

Hop Schedule

0.5 oz Hallertau Mittelfrüh (4% AA) FWH (60 min boil)
0.5 oz Hallertau Mittelfrüh (4% AA) Boil 5 min

Yeast

Fermentis T-58… I am going to rehydrate 1 pack into 1 quart of DI water, and pitch the resultant slurry into the chilled wort. 

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Brew Day

Taking as much notes as possible so that I’ll be better set for future beers… I cranked up the unit on the 1600 watt feature up to 216ºF, and let it rise…My plan is to mash for maybe, 80 minutes…

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As the temperature approached 152ºF on my floating glass thermometer inside the kettle, I poured my grains in. The readout on the outside of the kettle does not accurately measure temperature, typically it measures LOWER than what is actually going on inside the kettle. 

The temp immediately dropped to 148 on my glass thermometer when I doughed in. After a few minutes with the lid on, the temperature rose to up about 153, as expected with a heated kettle. 

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The outside temperature of the kettle reads 144ºF with the unit turned off, while my thermometer is reading 152ºF inside, 1 hour and 10 minutes remain in the mash.

The outside temperature of the kettle reads 135ºF with the unit turned off, while my thermometer is reading 150ºF inside, 35 minutes remain in the mash. 

The outside temperature of the kettle reads 133ºF with the unit turned off, while my thermometer is reading 148ºF inside, 15 minutes remain in the mash. 

After the mash was over, I squeezed out the bag and grabbed a gravity reading of 7ºP. 

I sparged my usual 3 quarts of DI water through the grains with squeezing, this time not having to use a 2nd kettle. I stirred up all the wort and grabbed another gravity reading of 6ºP.

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I tossed in 1oz of Hallertau to the fresh wort, and turned up the kettle for boiling. 

The boil starter without me evening noticing, and with no boil over.

When the boil was over, I opened the ball valve and transferred the wort into another kettle lined with a nylon bag for ice bath cooling.

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I pulled out the nylon bag with all the hop matter, and was left with very clean wort to cool.

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When the wort dropped to 70ºF, I poured it into the fermenter…

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…pitched the yeast…

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and moved the fermenter into the fermentation chamber.

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In total, brew day was an hour shorter, 4 in total. Starting gravity on this beer: 7.2ºP, just about where I wanted it. If I get 70% attenuation I’ll be looking at about 2.5% beer. 

Snooty Cooter 10.5.18

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Appearance: very clear and transparent when straight out of the bottle. Deep mahogany brownish red. Surprisingly transparent, very attractive looking beer initially. It keeps a good color when the yeast gets stirred up and poured in, but gets cloudy, loses some of it’s luster. It has a snappy looking carbonation on it, and a decent lace. It was hard to get the true color from the camera tonight. The picture above shows it OK… the pictures below show it a little bitter. 

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Aroma: strong Belgian candied fruit up front… caramel lingers behind but sticks around. There’s a booze aroma coming off of it. Very pleasant all around, smells like a nice Belgian ale. 

Flavor: A lot of flavors are there, but they’re surprisingly balanced. I predominantly get what I can only describe as Chimay flavor on these beer. It has a lot of caramel and dried fruit notes that I expected. The specialty malts and Candi Syrup did its job well in this one. I get some lingering balance of bittering hops in there too. The carbonation is snappy and lightly effervescent. This is a great drinking beer. I don’t have a lot of bad things to say about this one. 

Hyper Critical: While I think this beer turned out fantastic, I think if there is a next time for this beer, I could get better efficiencies on the brew day. The grains for this one weren’t crushed enough for BIAB, and I came up well short of my goal of 8.6% ABV. While the beer was supposed to go something like 17.8ºP down to 2.7ºP, the actual stats were 15.8ºP to 2.8ºP, making this beer 7.3% ABV. Not bad, but not what I was exactly shooting for. Would I brew this beer again? Hell yeah, this was a fantastic tasting Belgian ale. 

Lemonaughty Milkshake Juicebier Brew Day

I was gifted a half pound of Experimental Lemonaughty hops by a buddy of mine. Milkshake Juicebier sounded fun. 

Recipe

Information

Method Style Boil Size Batch Size Efficiency
Brew in a Bag Milkshake Juicebier 3 gal 2.5 gal 70% Target

Stats

OG FG ABV (alternate) SRM
16.3º P 6.0º P 6% ABV 5.94

Target Water profile: Juice

Ca+2 Mg+2 Na+ Cl SO4-2
115 5 10 200 50

My typical juice profile for this one, mineral additions and actual water profile shown below.

DI Water additions

Gypsum 0.60 g
Epsom 0.40 g
Sodium Chloride 0.40 g
Calcium Chloride 4.60 g
Lactic Acid 1.0 g

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Ca+2 Mg+2 Na+ Cl SO4-2
113.3 5.6 12.8 200.1 49.4

Estimated mash pH: 5.32

Fermentables

3.5 lbs Château Pilsner
1.0 lbs Golden Naked Oats
1.0 lbs Flaked Oats
0.5 lbs Lactose
100 g DME Pilsen (starter)

Hop Schedule

4 oz EXP Lemonaughty (10.5% AA) Whirlpool @ 180ºF for 15 minutes
1 oz EXP Lemonaughty (10.5% AA) Dry Hop for 5 days
1 oz EXP Lemonaughty (10.5% AA) Dry Hop for 4 days
1 oz EXP Lemonaughty (10.5% AA) Dry Hop for 3 days
1 oz EXP Lemonaughty (10.5% AA) Dry Hop for 2 days

Yeast

WLP066 – London Fog, pitched onto a 1 liter starter. I’m going to let this tube do a 5-7 hour wakeup time instead of a 24 hour starter.

Brew Day

I boiled 1 liter of DI water with 100g Pilsen DME in the morning, cooled it, and then pitched my tube of London Fog on it. I set it on the stir plate and let it start to activate. 

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I sanitized my equipment and then prepared all my mineral additions. I diluted my minerals with 10 quarts of DI water as usual, and began heating my strike water. 

The plan is to mash a little higher today, around 155ºF. So I am going to dough in at about 157-158ºF.

I doughed in and hit my higher mash temp, a little lower than expected, at around 154ºF, should work out though. I gave it a little heat and bumped the temp up to 157, where it held. In the meantime, my starter is in the midst of fermentation already.

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And with about 30 minutes left in the mash, I checked on the mash temp… 152… oh well. It will still be beer.

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After the 90 minute mash, I sparged 3 quarts through the grain bag, with squeezing each time I added some water. Check out my oat milk second runnings.

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I achieved my 3 gallon boil, and fired up the kettle for a 90 minute hopless boil. 

While waiting for this boil to finish, I first weighed out my lactose addition. 8 oz.

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And now to sort out out the 8oz of hops.

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I put half the bag into four 1oz bags for the dry hopping, and measured out the remaining four ounces in a bowl.

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The initial aroma when opening the bag was just hops. I got a little pinch and rolled the hop dust between my fingers, indeed the aroma of lemon peel comes shining through. The particular sour citrus aroma really lingers on the end of the nose. 

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The boil showed signs of breaking through

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and then indeed broke through.

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After the 90 minute boil, I dumped in my half pound of lactose and gave it a good stir to ensure it completely dissolved.

I then, trying my new whirlpool method, added the beer to a brief ice bath to cool the wort below 180ºF…

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I got it to 180, pulled it out of the ice bath, and confirmed the temperature before adding 4oz of Lemonaughty hops and beginning a 15 minute whirlpool. 

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Checking the thermometer about halfway through, I fell quite a ways down to 156. It’ll probably be alright.

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When the wort was cooled, I strained it through a nylon bag to catch all the vegetation, and collected my estimation of 9 quarts.

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I grabbed a gravity reading of 18.9ºP, overshot it.

I pitched the 1 liter starter and grabbed a final gravity reading of 17.9ºP, over shot it by 1.6ºP. That’s 79% efficiency on the day, 9% higher than my target.

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I moved the beer into the fermentation fridge, where it will ferment in the upper 60s for 7 days while receiving another quarter pound of hops before packaging.

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I’m going to try and guess what this beer will turn out to be. I brewed a brown ale in January of 2018, it had an expected starting gravity of 16.5ºP, with 8oz of lactose, and fermented with WLP066 London Fog, very comparable to this beer in terms of stats. Granted, that beer had a lot of caramel and roasted malts in it, the beer did indeed start at 16.5, and had an attenuation of only about 63%, but as expected with the large amount of lactose. The two tables below are what my expected stats were before brew day, and what I expect the beer to turn out to be after brew day using prior knowledge and information.

Pre-expectation Stats

Projected OG Projected FG Projected ABV SRM
16.3º P 6.0º P 6% ABV 5.94

New knowledge

Actual OG New Projected FG New Projected ABV SRM
17.9º P 6.9º P 6.5% ABV 5.94

Time will tell.

 

…well transferring this beer was a total nightmare. I set up to do a closed transfer, but pressure was stopping and blowing off the carboy cap.

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I quickly figured out that the dry hop matter in the fermenter was clogging the black beer connector to the keg, and preventing any liquid from going through.

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I just kept replacing the black connectors and powered through, and I got a majority of the beer in the keg.

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The beer was set to 20psi and burst carbonated. I’ll wait a few days to try it.

What did I learn? Dry hopped beers are hard to transfer. I immediately bought myself some inline filters for the next one, we’ll see how those work out in the future.