Many of my readers may be wondering where I am? No posts in over two weeks, WTF mate! Well, between travels, graduate school and conferences, life has certainly diminished the brewing operations in my apartment. Not to worry! While the busy times are still here for the month or so, I’m actively getting back into the swing of things. So, in this apartment brewing blog post, I intend to tie up some loose ends and provide some outlook for future posts. As always, cheers and happy brewing!
The advanced summer planning for Fall 2014 German Lager worked well as planned (and even jumped the gun a bit). Both the Schwarzbier and Summer Solstice Helles Bock are lagering and ageing nicely. The Helles Bock is spot on, and while the Schwarzbier is very nice, it’s a tad too roasty for style (although no where close to stout levels of roastiness). That said, the little bit of roastiness is quite nice with cooler weather coming into Austin. And the Oktoberfest (pictured above), well that was fantastic! So fantastic that I brought it to the Austin Zealots Summer Picnic, and well, disappeared much sooner than expected. It was quite the hit at the summer meeting, and wouldn’t change the recipe one bit for future re-brews.
Testing New Equipment?
I recently purchased a wort chiller looking to speed up my chilling times from ~1 hour to near 15 minutes. The short of it is that chilling has definitely quickened, and the test batch, a California Common, came out very nice. In fact, I had forgotten it was an extract batch, which goes to show that one can make fantastic beer with extract once you’ve dialled in water chemistry and fermentation. The only flaw I can detect is that the bitterness seems to be a bit low even after correcting for alpha acid changes. I suspect that my quicker chilling times reduced residual isomerization, leaving less-than-expected bitterness. Ultimately, this is a good thing as I’ll be able to leave those nice hops aromas and flavors without converting them to bitterness. Overall, it’s a nice brew, and I’ll modify my bittering additions in the future to reflect the new chilling standards.
I hope to turn out some more technical posts in the near term. Reader traffic over the past few months has really focused on the Small Batch Brewing series and Apartment Brewing Tech series. In particular, I plan the finish the lab-grade yeast pitching rate series and continue the essential brewing equipment posts with considerations in brewing materials: plastic versus glass versus stainless. Other than that, I might post a tasting notes, perhaps on my California Common brew, since it has been a great addition to my Fall 2014 beer line-up.
How has brewing operations been in your home brewery and have you ever had brewing lulls? Leave your experiences in the comment section below. Cheers, and happy brewing!