Unicorn tears and Sasquatch blood…10 more gallons brewed.


Man, I love this. Last night was a good night. We put 10 more gallons of brew into the fermenters. This time, we went with an easy Amber Ale and then a full-bodied Brown Ale.

Amber and Brown Ale getting their ferment on. Basement temps have dropped, so these are now in the dining room. My wife loves that.

Amber and Brown Ale getting their ferment on. Basement temps have dropped, so these are now in the dining room. My wife loves that.

Keith is off on a business trip this weekend so our buddy Michael volunteered to pitch in – and to do some brewing of his own. Two kettles going at once this time and experimentation with two new ingredients made this an adventure.  Instead of hop pellets in these beers, we used whole leaf hops (Goldings and Perle) which totally changed the look and feel of the wort as it brewed. It also added considerable time to straining the worts before moving them to the fermenters. And totally worth it – the aromas were incredible.

Whole leaf hops surfing the amber.

Whole leaf hops surfing the amber.

The other new ingredient to us is someting called Fermcap – used to prevent boiling over. Just a couple drops of the stuff did wonders. What is it, you ask? I found one guy who says it’s ” made from a blend of unicorn tears and sasquatch blood.” Another source said it’s a silicone-based emulsion that reduces the surface tension of the liquid, preventing boil-over.  I prefer to believe the former. Either way – it works.

Ten pounds of Pale extract go into the Brown Ale

Ten pounds of Pale extract go into the Brown Ale

So here’s the big curveball from last night – our hydrometer readings. I need to go back and consult my book, because these things didn’t make any sense. One said our specific gravity was at 1.72 … we gotta be doing something wrong.

1.72!? WTF?

1.72!? WTF?

10% ABV before we even add the yeast - nice!

10% ABV before we even add the yeast – nice!

And now for something completely pedestrian – the Bubbling of the Wort Live-Action Movie:

Cheers,

Steve

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3 Comments

Filed under Making Beer

3 responses to “Unicorn tears and Sasquatch blood…10 more gallons brewed.

  1. Colin

    1.072 original gravity
    Potential alcohol is 10%. If the yeast ferments 100% of the sugars, which it won’t. Alcohol % can be determined by subtracting the final potential alcohol, after fermentation, from the beginning potential alcohol.

    • Thanks for your help, Colin. Not surprising that I was reading the hydrometer incorrectly (amateur!). But this means that previous readings have been WAY off, too. My initial reading for SumoCitrus2 was 1.015 – and that sucker had 10 pounds of extract and over 7oz of hops. We’ll get the hang of this eventually. Thanks again.

  2. Michael

    In lieu of a web cam, I suppose a picture of the fermenting tanks will do.

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