Thursday, November 28, 2013

Giving Thanks For Beer

Bellevue Bitter turned out to be a nice beer.  But cold weather is really the best time for me to brew so I moved on to other beers I "need" to make.
I kegged a Pale I made as a house beer last week and made it again for the bottle on Friday.
The gravity looked good and the beer started well.
A bit of trub slipped through the strainer when I put the wort in the carboy but, as always, I expect it'll settle out.  The color was nice too.
I bottled Eric's Oktoberfest on Monday and saved the Bavarian Lager yeast so I could make the beer again yesterday.
Although I'm not sure how much good it does, I did a decoction.  I do this while a low temperature mash step is performed to maximize the starch content of the grain for the main mash.
Some of the wort is drained off and boiled for a few minutes.
Then the hot wort is added back to the 122 degree mash to bring it to 155 so the starch conversion can take place effectively. 
The starting gravity was a little light because I sparged a bit too much but I got an extra quart of beer to drink.
The cold weather helped but I did have to pump ice water through the chiller to get the wort to 53.
I pitched the yeast and set the vault to 52.  As of this morning there appears to be a nice layer of krausen forming on top of the beer. 
This is good given the chilly fermentation temp. 
The yeast will work for 4 weeks before the beer is packaged and conditioned. 
I expect this to be a nice, malty beer with an unmistakably clean lager taste.

Hoppy Thanksgiving.
And, good beer to you.


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