What happens in the carboy, stays in the carboy
So in these 2 weeks since you’ve last heard from me, my beer has undergone a transformation of caterpillar proportions. The yeast did their job well and were absolutely ecstatic to be able to eat be merry and multiply. The primary fermentation was so ferocious with this particular strain of yeast, renown for their sturdiness and ferociousness. (American Ale II) In fact it was so ferocious that the temperature of the beer started to alarm me by rising to as much as 72 degrees at one point. Certain IPAs have a golden zone of 63-68 degrees. If too much hotter for an extended time the yeast will begin to produce off flavors. I let it do an extended primary and eventually racked it off to secondary in order to dry hop it with 2 oz. of mosaic hops 1oz. of cascade hops (both pellet form) and 1.5 oz. of citra hops in the loose leaf form. The beer has now reached it’s final gravity of 1.020. Meaning it is 6.1% ABV!! Wednesday I will take if off the hops in preparation for the bottling! I can’t wait!!
What I learned
Myself and my friend have continued to upgrade our equipment, as well as our knowledge, based on what we experience. We learned that our mash process was much more difficult then it needed to be for both my IPA and his Belgian Dubbel. My friend was so frustrated by this process he took it into his own hands and looked up cheap alternatives! I’ll be excited to document our new mash cooler in action. It has a steel filter and valve at the bottom to filter out all unwanted grain particles.
In my IPA’s primary fermentation I was so afraid of it reaching too high a temperature that I placed it outside for a couple hours, on a cold night. I ended up regretting this decision, because it killed the yeasts party and they became close to dormant afterward. It was at a crucial point in fermentation, and because the alcohol content was much higher it became difficult to start their roll again. Fortunately there was no contamination thus they had the time to lazily complete their primary fermentation. Because of this mistake they took at least another week and a half to reach the goal Final Gravity. In the future I will be more conscious of how long I cool them off if their temperature is reaching alarming temperatures.