12 May 2009

IPA Update

Just a quick status update on the homebrewed IPA.

The Pacific Ale Yeast didn't want to activate after two days, so I sterilized a plastic stirring spoon and stirred up the batch, aerating the yeast. There was a nice thick layer of yeast on top of the beer already (unlike my last yeast problem with the hefeweizen, when upon opening the batch I found it exactly as I left it), so stirring the yeasty muck back into the wort was a simple process. I re-sterilized the lid and the airlock, and sealed the batch back up, leaving it on my warm enclosed porch so it would stay a bit warmer than my house, which stays around 65F most of the time.

Sure enough, within a few hours the fermentation process was chugging along nicely. It stopped after another day, though, so I repeated the process a day later. Then I moved it inside to my basement where I could keep a closer eye on it and let the attenuation process go forward.

Yesterday I moved the batch into the secondary fermenter (glass carboy). I sterlized my racking cane and plastic tubing, as well as a plastic funnel. I racked several gallons of hot water mixed with no-rinse cleanser into the carboy, and let the whole thing sit for about an hour. Then I moved the primary fermenter outside, setting it on a small outdoor table. The carboy went out next, and I carefully poured the sterlizing solution out onto the dirt underneath the wooden deck. I put the plastic funnel into the top of the carboy (in case of spillage) and ran the tubing into the hole. Then I carefully opened the primary and enjoyed the sweet grassy aroma of Centennials.

The racking tube went into the beer and was attached to the plastic tubing. I racked the contents of the plastic fermenter into the glass, leaving the trub behind. Then I removed the plastic tubing and poured two ounces of Centennial hops into the funnel, shaking slightly to get them all down the tube. A sterilized airlock and bung was placed onto the carboy, and then it was moved inside and placed in a black garbage bag in a dark area of my basement.

Then I cleaned the tubing, plastic fermenter, lid, racking cane, and funnel, and stored them in my garage. I'll have to sterilize the whole mess before I can use it again, anyway, so I figure leaving it in the garage isn't the worst idea I've ever had, but I like to get the sticky beer off immediately so it doesn't set and become impossible to clean.

I'm planning on leaving the IPA in the secondary for about two weeks to give time for the dry-hopping to be effective and for the leftover yeast to have time to clear the beer. The color was a bit darker than I was expecting, probably because of the large volume of Vienna malt, but it's probably within reasonable bounds of expectation given an IPA. It smelled delicious even now, so hopefully it'll turn out well.

03 May 2009


So it's no secret that this blog has been pretty damned silent as of late. Which is more-or-less de rigeur of my blogging life -- periods of furious updating on a variety of subjects punctuated by long droopy silences. When no one reads you, it's easy to just let yourself forget about updating for awhile.

Also, I've been spending my energies in other pursuits. I've been playing Dead Rising obsessively, and may actually end up writing a three-years-too-late walkthrough just for my own amusement. And since the end of March I've been homebrewing, and just a few minutes ago finished my fourth batch, an American IPA.

Since the blog has been so silent, I figured I'd go ahead and put up the recipe I've used today for reference, and will eventually write up the resulting product and link it back here.


1 lb 10L Crystal Malt
1 lb Breiss Vienna Malt

6.6 lbs light LME


1 oz Chinook 60 mins
1 oz Centennial 30 min
.5 oz Centennial 5 min
.5 oz Centennial 0 min

Original Gravity: 1.043 at 85F.

I boiled the grains in a bag for thirty minutes at 160-170, then boiled the LME for an hour. Hops were added according to the listed schedule. I'm planning on moving the beer into a glass carboy in a week, and dry-hopping it with another ounce of Centennial for aroma. We'll see how that works out as the brewing process goes on.