Sunday, October 28, 2007

Dark Beer Season Has Arrived!

As mentioned previously, Marco and I brewed a batch of "Phat Fired Weizenbock" (p.195). We used DME instead of LME (with the proper conversion), because it's not as messy to work with, even if it does take longer to dissolve. The recipe calls for 1.5 lbs of amber DME, but since we don't buy in bulk, we went with a 2 lb bag. For the crystal malt, we used a #80 roast. The store didn't have debittered black malt, so we substituted 1/8 lbs of regular black malt instead. The hop varieties called for were only available as pellets, while we prefer to use whole hops, so we substituted 2 oz of Hallertau for the boil (again, increasing to the nearest purchaseable unit), and Tettnang for the flavor and aroma. We used a Heffeweizen liquid ale yeast.

The boil (Oct. 13) smelled fantastic, as did the ongoing fermentation. We did, however, experience blow-off in the 6.5 gal Ale Pail. Since Marco didn't have the makings of a blow-off tube (that may change with our next shopping trip), I went over with the necessary equipment, and we got it cleaned up and safely bubbling into a bucket of santizing solution. When the blow-off ceased, Marco reinserted the normal airlock. The remainder of the fermentation was (externally) uneventful.

Yesterday we transferred it to Marco's new keg. It was still bubbling just over twice a minute, but it needed to be re-racked at that point, regardless, so we decided to let the fermentation complete in the keg. For reasons that aren't important, we didn't try it last night, so it'll most likely have another full week in keg under minimal pressure (enough to seal the keg well) to ferment.

Based on the aroma, we expect this batch to be wonderful. With a two-week turnaround (kegs are so nice), we might be making more of this soon.

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