Batch #2-11: Alt Beer

Style German Old-Style Ale
Ingredients View Here
Brewing Date: Sunday, January 16, 11
Primary Fermentation: Sunday, January 16, 11
Original Gravity: 1.050 @ 80F (1.0526)
Secondary Fermentation: n/a
Bottling Date: Sunday, January 23, 11
Final Gravity: 1.012 @ 72F (1.0133)
Release Date: February 25, 11
Alcohol by volume: 5.2% (5.7% final) ABV
Final Release Name: The Beerinator


A very good brewing session.  This recipe is unusual, in that all 3oz of hops are added right at the beginning of the brew for bittering.   None are added at the middle or end for aroma.  The wort had a nice sweetness to it.

I decided after the problems with the yeast in the last batch to try something different with the yeast starter.  I used the 5oz starter malt pack, but added 6oz of corn sugar to the boil.  After 25 hours, the yeast was VERY active in the flask.  I gave the flask a swirl, and the foam grew rapidly and blew the water out of the airlock.  When I pitched the yeast from the flask into the bucket, it again foamed up wildly as it entered the wort, like a warm, shaken bottle of soda.   I just hope I don’t have to deal with any blowouts with the fermentation bucket tomorrow morning.

Jan 17, 7:30AM :: The airlock has steady single bubbles coming out, two per second.  No bursts, but this is a very fast rate.  I am anticipating a faster rate this afternoon.  I’ve never seen the bubbling cycle like this.. I am both excited, and a little nervous.

Jan 23 4:00PM :: Bottling time.  The bubbling was very strong and consistent for four days, and then quickly subsided.  I was so happy to see the final gravity reading.  The extra sugar to give the yeast starter a boost appears to have a made a big difference.  I was hoping this batch would go over 4%, and got over 5%.

Yield was 1x 2 Growler, 3x 34oz Ikea clear snap-tops, 2x 16oz snap-tops, 1x 22oz, and 28x 12oz bottles.  The wort in this batch has a fruity aftertaste.

Jan 30 10:00PM :: Opened the first bottle to try it.  A real surprise: almost zero head is forming.  The beer is smooth, fruity, and really tastes like the alcohol level is above the usual 3%-4% range.  I am just disappointed in the lack of carbond dioxide buildup in the bottles.  I think the wort may have settled too long in the bottling bucket with the corn sugar primar added to it, and a lot may have ended up in the bottom of the bottling bucket.  I hope not.  This means some bottles will have good head carbonation, and others won’t.

Feb 5 9:00PM :: Opened a second bottle, and there was head forming.. although only about 1/2″ and very aerated.  It mostly dissappated in under a minute.  The taste now showed very nice melding of the flavors, and was very good.  The fruitiness, bitterness, and the alcohol ratio is now very well balanced.  I am now optimistic that the next two weeks will yield a very good beer.  I hope that time will cause the head to become a little less aerated, but it is acceptable the way it is now.

Feb 18 @ 1:00PM :: I think this particular beer came out well, as far as flavor melding, but didn’t really offer me anything to say it is outstanding.  Other people, however, really liked this beer.  There was a continuing problem with the carbonation which showed as I opened various bottles.  The bottles which had snap on caps had decent carbonation, while the crown capped bottles had very little carbonation.  This may be an equipment problem.