Ramble On

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Sunday Brew Chores

Dryhopping the Honey Porter with
frozen Willamette hops.
It's atypical for me to have more than one batch of beer going at any given time, but these days I am in a hurry to use my fresh hops. I remain very worried about how they are stored - I didn't have time to oast them, so I simply froze them fresh.  They are very perishable, so I am worried about the impact to them from this unusual handling - there is a photo below.

I have fresh hops from a couple of sources this year - there is the harvest that Bill gave me, which consists of six batches' worth of Cascades, and there is the small amount of Willamettes that Mary picked from our backyard plant.  

I've been using the Cascades in a series of Black IPA brews, as I've posted in the "Brewing with Fresh Cascades" series.  My plan was to dryhop my latest batch of Honey Porter with the Willamettes.

Here's how the Willamettes looked
coming out of the freezer.  I had to use
them quickly!

The two batches going on right now are a Honey Porter, which is one of my go-to brews, and the Black Widow IPA, which is the recipe I have been using with the frozen Cascades hops.  On Sunday, the Honey Porter had been in primary for just about two weeks, and the Black Widow had been in primary for a week.  My chore was to move them both into secondary.

It's not a difficult process - but process is the key word here.  There is a ton of sanitizing that has to be done, and then careful siphoning between carboys.  A key step is taking a sample to measure fermentation progress - this is done with a thermometer and hydrometer - and record-keeping.

For the Honey Porter batch, since fermentation had progressed pretty far already, I will probably only leave it in secondary for a few days.  The Black Widow will stay in for about two weeks before I bottle it, which is the next step, in fact, washing and sanitizing bottles is another one of the chores I'll be doing today.

The brew record for the current batch
of Black Widow IPA - sitting at about
7.10% ABV on 10/18.
This is the record for the Honey Porter
batch - it's at 5.78% ABV.
Closing the post, here are photos of my records for the two batches, showing both the brew cycle and progress through Sunday.  At bottling time, a final measurement of gravity and temperature takes place, and the I calculate the estimated alcohol by volume, or ABV, for each batch.

No comments: