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Posts Tagged ‘primary’

Just a quick update of various movements of beers between different buckets, kegs and bottles. It may not look much but then you didn’t have to clean the stone out of the bottles and kegs with a pipe brush and a hosepipe…

The Boxshed Top Secret Autumn Ale finished secondary fermentation, dropping nice and clear. We put 25L into a primed King Keg, which was kept in the warm to build up some pressure and to allow venting of oxygen before being transferred to my bruv’s house down country lanes in the passenger seat of an ageing hatchback. A further 19L filled a cornie for the Boxshed, while several bottles were primed and filled as testers and treats. All are now in cold conditioning, in one shed or another!

The Boxshed Dark Garden ’09 finished primary fermentation and has been siphoned into clean FVs for 5-7 days of secondary in readiness for racking off to a similar selection of kegs and bottles to the Autumn Ale, which has by the way now been given a (hopefully) beguilingly dull name.

*Hopefully there will be news of another brewday later in the week – watch this space*

A few grainy pictures of various transfers:

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Nothing much to report before the weekend, when we’ll be checking the hops in the makeshift loft ‘oast’ to make sure they’re all fully dried. That’ll mean bagging them up and freezing them until a suitable brewday comes around. We still haven’t invested in a vacuum sealer, so it’s just a matter of stuffing ziplocks and making ’em airtight, just like last year.

In the meantime, the Autumn Ale is shaping up nicely, tested today at 1.018 on its journey from 1.043 to 1.012. I’ll move this brew to secondary quite early because I have the feeling it would go down to 1.009/8 if left alone to clean up for too long. Sunday night, perhaps.

In other news – we’ve run out of draught beer at the Boxshed!

Our Summer hiatus is really starting to bite, so another brewday will have to follow hot-on-the-heels of this one as soon as we can get everything ship-shape. We’ve basically run out of Star-San and Iodophor, so we’ll have to resort to VWP and its clouds of chlorine gas for sanitisation- yuck. On the plus side, I dipped into the final reserves of Boxshed Premium APA last night, enjoying a pint straight from the fridge. What would CAMRA say?

Well, I said “Ahhhhhhhh! Yum! Must brew that again one day!”

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Well the fermentation for my dry stout was rapid and impressive to watch. This is only the second time I’ve ever invested the extra money and effort to get hold of the most appropriate liquid yeast rather than just shoving in S-04, US-05, Gervin or Nottingham dried yeasts, and I really don’t know why! Last time was when I bought an East Coast White Labs vial for an extract APA style thing and it worked really well, both for that brew and when harvested for the next golden ale I made. This Dry Irish version took off like a rocket, smells superb and will definitely be harvested and used in whatever dark ales I brew in the near future.

As I mentioned prior to kicking off this brew, I ordered the yeast much too late, expecting Patsy at Hope & Grape to travel back in time in order to get the gear to me with enough of a run up to make a worthwhile starter for brewday. As it turned out, 24hrs or so proved more than enough, which is good to know. I boiled up 200g of Muntons Spraymalt in one litre of water, let it cool in a demijohn and shook it well with the yeast vial before putting under airlock.

By the time I needed to pitch the next day the starter didn’t look spectacular, but a layer of yeast had formed in the bottom of the bottle and there was a very gentle fizz and occasional airlock burp. I swirled it up and pitched it into the fermenter as the 20c wort transferred from the boiler. A thorough paddling and a warm room did the rest. Fermentation kicked off after just a couple of hours, in 24hrs the krausen had billowed high enough to coat the underneath of the FV lid in sticky stout tar, and just now, less than 48 hours after pitching, it was already susiding and gravity was down to 1.016 with a lot of action still coming through the airlock.

Very satisfying so far, all in all. I had a sample from the hydro drips while testing the gravity this lunchtime and, yup, it’s stout allright! Bitter and dry as you like, but unmistakeably stout. I plan to move this into secondary towards the end of the week where it will stay for a further week. I’ll update as and when anything interesting happens. Meanwhile, here are some pics as ever:

 

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