Beer

Irish Red is in the bottles

My last batch of beer is in the bottles and will hopefully carbonate correctly. I’ve had a couple of problems in the past with the beer coming out flat and I’m not sure why. It all tastes fine, but the bubbles simply aren’t there.

This batch is resting in the beer closet so let’s hope for the best.

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Irish Red for the Holidays

It’s been quite awhile since I’ve gotten behind the kettle and made beer. The temperatures were too damn hot to get anything to cool down in a reasonable amount of time. I bought an Irish Red 6 months ago, right before the temperatures went through the roof. It’s been sitting and waiting for me brew it up.

Well, with the temperature dropping to a lovely 60 degrees, it’s the perfect time to make that batch. Considering where we are in the year and how long it will take to ferment and mature, we’re at the right spot to have this beer ready by the time we hit Christmas.

The aroma of the Irish Red is wonderful in my opinion. It’s sweet and light and has a fragrance of a delicious tea, which is in essence what it is right now. The boil and steeping went extremely well. The yeast is in the carboy and the first signs of fermentation can be seen. It looks like this will be a really good Christmas batch.

 

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Here we have the DME and grains steeping nicely, followed by cooling off the wort and then straining.

Next we have filling the carboy while Addie anxiously awaits for this batch to be done. And finally a full 5 gallons of Irish Red.

It looks very good.

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Getting all that beer into bottles

I’ve spent a couple of hours working on beer. That doesn’t mean I’ve been drinking it, I’ve been trying to find a place for all of it. The Outback Ale and the Ginger Beer went into bottles, but I had to scrounge and use every bottle I had in the house. I thought I had a ton of bottles ready, bit seems I have more bottles full than I have empty. Seems I have a secret stash I didn’t know about. I have an extra 80 full bottles that came out of nowhere. Nice problem to have.

The American Hefeweizen is still in the carboy because I don’t have enough bottles. I just couldn’t get all three of them in bottles. Too much.too soon! I have the 12 1-liters, but that isn’t enough to handle the whole thing. I need to put the Hefeweizen in another carboy for the time being. I can’t just leave it sitting around forever.

I did take a moment to sample my work. The Ginger Beer tastes about the same as the other batch, which is both good and bad. It means the other batch wasn’t tainted, but it does mean there is barely any ginger flavor (at least to my palette). The Outback Ale tastes pretty damn good. Both of these should be good once they’ve matured a little. I had a full glass of the Ale left over and heaven forbid I waste it. It’s flat, but so what?!

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More beer than I know what to do with

I’ve got more beer than I know what to do with. Is that even something you should say? I have 20 gallons of beer ready to go into bottles, but I don’t have enough bottles to take it all. I’ve made a major miscalculation. I thought I had a slew of empty bottles in the garage. Much to my surprise they aren’t. They are in fact full of beer. Half my bottles haven’t been touched yet. I have nearly two dozen bottles of Summer Wheat, 16 1-liter bottles of Ginger Beer, 16 1-liter bottles of German Hefeweizen plus another 12 16oz bottles, 16 1-liter bottles of Belligerent SOB and 12 16oz bottles of that too. Good heavens! This stuff was all sitting on the other side of the garage and I didn’t know I had it.

Clearly I’m need to invite some friends over and get them drunk.

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English Ginger Beer – Redux

I’m trying that English Ginger Beer kit again. I had problems with this one on my last go round. It was problematic right from the start. My carboy didn’t have enough headspace so the fermenting beer kept going up the airlock which pushed all the water out and my beer was streaming down the sides. It didn’t happen, once or even twice, but at least a dozen times and who knows what happened overnight when I wasn’t looking. Needless to say it was a mess and masses of air seeped in there.

It still fermented fine and even after changing the airlock multiple times during the first couple of days there was plenty of fermentation. Who knows whether it was contaminated or not, but I pressed on and bottled it.

The carbonation was completely hit or miss. Some bottles were perfect and had a nice amount of fizz. Some were rather dead. There were faint traces of bubbles, but the beer looked flat.

The flavor wasn’t what I expected either. This is the beer that I thought had no ginger flavor while others say the ginger was a straight shot to the plums. Even though it was flat, when you chilled it down it was still quite nice. If you weren’t paying attention it looked like a chilled glass of Coke. When it worked it was pretty nice and even the bad ones were drinkable. I’m curious to see how this one turns out. This time it’s in a 6.5 gallon carboy with plenty of space to percolate. While it was steeping it had strong aromas of coffee and chocolate. I could smell the ginger, but I didn’t walk away with a big bouquet of it. It’s still the darkest beer I’ve made even though the alcohol content is only 4.0%.

It smelled good. It looked good. And it’s starting to show signs of fermentation. Here’s to hoping this beer turns out to be a lot more agreeable. I’m going to keep making this beer until I get it right.

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