Sunday, April 13, 2014

Impatient I am

Dundalk Irish Heavy that has only been in the bottle for a week.

I had expected flat and somewhat nasty but it is not bad at all. It will be so much better with age.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Secondary, secondary, bottle

Time marches on.
Dundalk is bottled.
Kelly's homey wheat for her birthday is in secondary.  It was honey wheat until auto correct made it homey wheat. Now homey wheat it is.
Plinian Legacy is now in secondary as well.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Friday, March 28, 2014


Three weeks after bottling.

I have become enamored of the bitter and the hops. So glad summer is on the way.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

That day again

What did we learn today? We learned that a lid will make a liquid come to a boil faster. It will also prevent you from seeing it before it overflows the vessel. We also learned that a razor blade is an essential cleaning tool when scraping burnt muck back off a ceramic cook top.

Oh bother.

What day is it?

Saturday, March 15, 2014


Just because all beer and no bang makes Dan a dull boy.

And, that is how many years old I will be in a few days.

Sunday, March 9, 2014


Started with five gallons in the primary fermenter. By the time it is bottled, the yield is about 4.25 gallons or 85%. Odd that, the bottling bucket said it had a little more than 4.5 gallons in it. Guess I had best check the graduation marks on it and the primary fermenter.

Used the last ten caps left over from a bottling event many years ago and began on the caps acquired at about the same time. They seem to be working pretty well so far.

One other interesting note. The refractometer tells me (~1.035) that it is nowhere near the FG I am looking for but the hydrometer tells me (~1.013) I am spot on. It appears that the refractometer is not a good way to check specific gravity in an alcohol/water mix. Next time we will use both for OG and FG measurements.

It turns out that the preceding paragraph is one big no shit Sherlock... Ferment Progress Using 18.75 Brix (corresponding to my OG of 1.078) as my starting point and 9 Brix (corresponding to my FG of 1.035) as my ending point, we arrive at an ABV of ~8.3%.

Bottling Day

Took the secondary fermenter out of the fridge about three hours before bottling time. Adding two cups of simple syrup just off the boil to the bottling bucket, letting it sit for a couple minutes and then racking onto it had the temperature in the bottling bucket around 58 F.

Let it all sit for about 10 minutes while I assembled the bottling stage, gave it a vigorous stir and commenced with the bottling.

Tasted the last little bit that didn't get bottled. A little bit sweet from the priming sugar but this one ought to be pretty tasty and will land right around 8% ABV.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Cold Crash

Never done this before. Will give it a couple days in the fridge and probably bottle on Sunday.

Anyone know if I should get it out of the fridge and let it come back to room temperature before bottling or just bottle cold and let it warm up in the bottles?

Friday, February 28, 2014

Russian Imperial Stout

This is from a bomber after a couple weeks about a month (my how time flies) in the bottle.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Secondary Fermenter Loaded

Transferred to the carboy tonight at around 8 pm. The airlock was down to one very lazy bubble on occasion and the temp was again at 68 F. Pulled a sample for the refractometer and according to it, the SG is about half way from start to finish. Transferred it too soon... still learning here.

I will now leave the house thermostat alone at 70 F and not fiddle with it for a couple weeks. We'll see how this turns out.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Stupid organics...

says the metallurgist brewing his second batch of beer. Well, second batch of beer since the last time I brewed which was many, many, many calendar flips ago.

This morning I look to the primary fermenter and see that the temp has risen to 72 F. I then stand there puzzled in the predawn moments trying to sort out why the temperature would have risen two degrees Fahrenheit over night.

I wander back to the other bathroom to begin daily preparations and mention to my (cell biologist) wife that yeast converting sugars to alcohol appears to be ... wait for it... exothermic.

DUH... DuH... dUH. Dammit it hurts when the stupid smacks you that hard practically first thing in the morning. Funniest was her answer of ... uhhh, yeah? Oh well, stupid organics.

Set the household thermostat to 65 F before leaving for work / school and upon arriving home this evening discovered the primary fermenter to be sitting there at about 69 F and the airlock still moving but much slower than when we started this on Sunday.

Bodies are in the house, so temp is set back to 70 F. We will see what is going on in the morning. Tomorrow night may be when it transfers (I know... racks) to the secondary fermenter. Then again, maybe not, class doesn't let out until about 7 pm on a Thursday.