HopHead Hardware is part of multiple affiliation programs and links help HopHead Hardware generate revenue. We appreciate you using our links if you decide to purchase anything mentioned on this website.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Big Brew 2017 Fail

Enjoying a Bearded Iris Homestyle IPA from a plastic cup during the boil.
Our local club, The Barley Mob Brewers of Chattanooga, had a nice Big Brew 2017 event behind Sigler's Craft Beer and Cigars. I brewed one of the six (maybe seven) batches that we did that day. We all brewed extract kits. I opted for the AIH "Polish" Ale kit which is essentially a Kölsch with Polish hops. I was thinking that the beer would be ready for the hot summer days that are just around the corner.

Yep, I managed to mess up an extract batch. I chose to do a full volume boil instead up just boiling half up the volume and topping up in the fermenter. It just looks cooler and my burner/keggle combo has a very high boil off rate. While collecting water I realized that I shorted myself by one gallon so I added it. I then got distracted and added the forgotten gallon again. OOPS! I didn't realize what I had done until after my final hop addition. I chilled and collected 6 gallons of wort and I collected an additional gallon into growlers to use as starter wort for the WLP090 that I'm going to build-up.

Now I have a fermenter full of 1.034 wort that should have been 1.054. OUCH! I put the fermenter in the 37 degrees Farenheight in the walk-in cooler at the store that hosted the event while I contemplated what to do. I can either boil up more extract and add to the batch or just "let it ride." It's a session beer but I'm going to just "let it ride." The plan is to pitch the S-23 yeast and let it do its thing at 65 degrees. The 20 IBU beer should have been 5.4% abv but I'm probably going to get something more like 3.8-4% abv. I'm chocking this up to a learned lesson. I still expect a tasty and refreshing beer. I will sample before bottling and will dry hop to add some flavor if needed.

Because I failed I will have to attempt this batch again. AIH has an all-grain version of the kit so I will be brewing that soon. I will update this post when the beer is ready to be sampled. Until then....Cheers!

Update 5/23/2017: After fermentation, a diacetyl rest, and some cooling to 66.5°F I took a gravity reading. It came in at 1.006 after adjusting for the sample temperature, or 3.7% abv. I'm OK with that considering the issues laid out above. The flavor is very light and reminds me of an American Lager with an ever so a light citrus finish. The body is very thin and I'm hoping it improves some with carbonation. This beer will sit in the fermenter for a few more days before cold crashing and bottling. I wasn't sure about the S-23 but after the sample I tasted I might be a fan. We will see after this batch is conditioned.

Update 5/24/2017: I'm still thinking about dry-hopping this batch to add a little flavor to this very light beer. If I proceed I will use Idaho 7 Hop Hash. Unsure, of how much to use I turned to r/homebrewing. You can read that conversation HERE.

Update 5/29/2017: I decided to proceed with dry hopping. One ounce of the Idaho 7 Hop Hash was dissolved into 4 oz of vodka and heated to 160 F. The warm hop slurry was pitched into the fermenter immediately. If the hop aroma and flavor is lacking on bottling day I will make a hop tea and priming sugar solution with Mandarina Bavaria and add it to the bottling bucket.

Update: 6/28/2017