Batch #4: Brewday

So, what started out as a pretty uneventful brewday ended up with my biggest screw-up to date. I learned my lesson from the last batch’s boil-over and kept a careful eye on the pot. I ended up with a slight boil-over at the beginning of the boil after adding the extract. With something like 8 pounds of extract, I didn’t take into account the fact that I should have used less water to begin with. No biggie there, though. I managed to clean it up pretty well and we continued on with the boil and massive hopping.

The problem didn’t come until the very end. I added the last of the hops with 15 minutes left in the boil, sat down, and started eating lunch. Somewhere in that time, I decided it’d be a good idea to put the cover back on to sterilize it before I chilled the wort. I did that and sat down. Susan noticed the cat looking near the stove, I got up and noticed I had a huge boil-over on my hands. Luckily, it kept on the stovetop. However, I lost a small, but significant amount of my wort. I chilled and from that point on, everything went pretty smoothly. In fact, I’d say it went smoother than any other time.

I decided to take the advice of reader markmier and used the cheap vodka in the airlock. I aerated and pitched the yeast at the correct times. The only thing I did differently was not strain as I poured the wort into the fermentation bucket. I figured I’d let as much get in there as I could (without dumping all the crud at the bottom of the pot) to keep the hops up, since I did lose some. I’m not sure if it’ll affect the flavor or just the difficulty in transferring it to the secondary.

The original gravity was supposed to be about 1.070. Because of the lost wort, it ended up at 1.062, which is about the low end of the scale for this beer. I’m hoping the yeast works overtime. I think the biggest effect of the lower gravity will be in the flavor. I have a feeling it’s gonna be a bit more bitter than I had planned (not that it wasn’t going to be bitter to begin with since the planned IBU’s were about 64-65).

The final recipe is online at my hopville.com account.

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