Monday, June 13, 2011

Bloggin' Drinkin' and Plannin'

Total glamour shot of  Witbier 2.0... sexy?

Quick update on Saison... aquarium heater gave up, but I think that's ok. Fermentation finished before temps dropped back to ambient (65 degrees)... I tested again tonight and the gravity was at 1.004 same as Saturday, so it's done. I was raising temp during fermentation to stress the yeast into producing the esters (spicy, peppery, clove flavors) characteristic for the style. Since fermentation is done, I don't think the temp matters as much anymore. So I will just leave it alone for the duration. If I wanted to rush things, I could totally keg this now and stick it in the fridge and carbonate. But... I don't, not this one. I'm going to let it sit in the fermentor (remember I subscribe to the long primary/no secondary philosophy) for another 2 weeks before kegging.

Meanwhile... feeling the itch to brew. IknowIknow, it's only been a week! My next two batches will be specifically intended for summer vacation. Every year we go up to the family cottage in Maine. Again, big family, also friendly neighbors (also family) so I was planning on bringing 2 batches (better to have too much amirite?) I am thinking a bold IPA and a light refreshing session beer... although I have had requests for my summer cider (totally awesome to have requests btw)

For the IPA, I am think I want to do a clone of one of my favorite (badass) Imperial IPAs. One of the mods of posted a recipe for a clone of Stone's Ruination. This is the same person that put up a recipe for DFH 60minute clone which I have brewed a few times and since adapted to make it my own. I won't be bringing my kegerator to Maine... no room.  2 adults + 2 small children x 10 days = ugh, maybe we should rent a Uhaul. And.. I haven't built a jockey box yet. A jockey box is a cooler full of ice with a coiled up tube that you run your beer through before reaching the tap. This way you don't have to keep the keg cold, the beer cools as it runs through the cooler. Eventually I want to build one, but that's low on the list. So... I think I will be... (dramatic pause) bottling this batch. Sucks for me, but at least I can show you how it goes... I will be bottling in bomber (22 oz) and Grolsch flip tops (16 oz) so, looking on the bright side, it won't be as bad as a full batch of 12 oz bottles.

For the session beer, I am thinking Witbier 2.1 I know I know, witbier again?? But my wife's uncle, who is nice enough to share his vacation at the cottage with us, is a big Blue Moon fan. So I want to bring something he will like. I am going to keg this one. I think I can manage to keep one keg cold for the week, but def not two.

So... family, lake, water skiing, swimming, ice cream shop across the street, also, lots and lots of beer... sounds like a great vacation right? Totally.

Also, I keep saying it, but I think I am going to cut and drill the keggle this weekend. I need to get some fittings so I am going to try and get to the supply house during lunch sometime this week. Welding will likely have to wait for another week. So I guess that's it for tonight... Later

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