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Almigo brews a beer #3 - The Bazweigan

A visit to the local brew shop, secondary fermenting and learning to love some pink looking powder. It's all happening here in our latest brew, a blonde ale just in time for the visiting Father in law...(That's of course him in the funky head wear..)



I THINK WE NEED TO GO ANOTHER STEP

In my last batch (the Midnight Pirate) I've found that the bottled goods have been varied. Some have magnificent aromas of stone fruits, some have non. Some have had stronger bitterness than others.
All have had zero head action....except for the one that I acidentally siphoned some of the trub up into which resulted into some insane looking foam.

Therefore for our next brew session I'm going to have another fermenter ready to transfer to when ready to cut the trub and resulting lower layer right out and hopefully have an even spread of flavors, bitters and everything else. It's not going to be something fancy, more than likely a food grade tub with a lid to continue on where my small batch carboy left off.   

Edit: I found these on Gumtree for a stonking $5 each. At this stage I'm going to use one as a (large) secondary fermenter and the other as a bucket case for all my brewing gear before the cardboard box I have falls to bits..


TIME TO BREW AGAIN

With the Father in law roughly a month away, it's a great time now to get the next batch underway. Having perused the excellent Brewdog recipe book, it's a Trashy Blonde that we're going to be small batching up so he has something to enjoy when he gets here.
(Making brews mainly for someone else - I suppose it had to happen sooner or later..)



BEFORE WE START THOUGH

I needed some decent cleaning stuff as my small pile of sodium percarbonate has been whittled down to hardly any left. So I popped into the local brew shop and got a blank look when I asked about Starsan sanitizer.
However they did sell me a half kilo of the dodgiest cocaine looking cleaner you've ever seen and this is called Sterolab (well this bag was, there's probably a few different names for the same thing.)



The very helpful woman at the shop swore by this stuff explaining that you throw everything in the sink, a few teaspoons of this in the warm water and leave overnight. 'Even if you thought your stuff was clean, you won't beleive what comes out after using this' she explained and even gave me tips on how you could use it to clean the seals on your washing machine. Seems like pretty powerful stuff. In the initial testing it worked very well...



I also picked up some dextrose for a better head and the hops needed for the recipe. I haven't used this mini hop packs before and they seem to be more for dry hopping than bittering but the store owner explained they would work for both so let's see what happens.



The grain side of things? Yeah we hit a bust on that angle - there were a total of three bags of grains available (small 300gm bags) and apparently they were getting fazed out as more people were doing extract cans and big tubs of the stuff.

Since I couldn't use any of the three in this brew, enter Hoppy Days brewing supplies.

LET'S GET HOPPY

Since I had already picked up the hops and am using the yeast I had leftover from the last batch, all I need was the grainbill. Which came to a staggering $5.36
I don't think you can even buy a sandwhich anymore for that.

Even better, I ordered it at lunchtime and less than three hours later I got an email saying it was on it's way. Milled, bagged and good to go. The next morning it arrives in a small box with a nice sticker for the car too. Will definitely order from them again!



FINALLY IT'S BREW WEEKEND!

The kids out of action to help me due to illness, I kicked off the weekend with a good brew session even though my nose was blocked and I couldn't smell the lovely aromas (my wife could and she confirmed that things smelt as usual.)







SO HOW'D WE GO?

Now that I've worked out my rolling boil issues (namely I can't hit a rolling boil with the slightly indented brew box and the induction cooktop inside, so I boil out the back on the bbq burner which does the trick) I hit all my timings just fine without a snag. One little hiccup though, a bit too much was boiled away..


Also because of what was left, the Original Gravity was a little out of whack too. What should have been 1.041 jumped to 1.06 with a decently sweet wort.
What to do? I added more boiled water to the mix. An extra 1.5 liters meant that there would be more to bottle and drink thankfully but will mean a slightly lighter ABV at the end. The OG after the water addition now means with start with 1.036 now....which is a little closer to where it should be anyway.


So now it's happily bubbling away until our next update, into the secondary fermenter and hopefully closer to a nice golden blonde as we await the father in laws arrival..

UPDATE

Plenty of the pics and a bit of video ended up in my latest (number 2) Youtube effort:




Like, subscribe, make me a millionaire. Thanks in advance! :D

So I built my secondary fermenter

And even made a video of it to. A bargain really, considering it was just five bucks. 



And it truly paid off too, helping to create one of the clearest brews I've ever had the fortune of brewing so far.


Crystal clear! (Why couldn't the others look this good?)


However when it came bottling time, the clear didn't last long as I managed to kick up some of the minor trub that dropped to the bottom of the secondary (lesson learned, buy a tap..) 

Final ABV - around 3.5%. A little lower than expected but it tastes clean with a hint of fruit notes so it should be a ripper. 


Now all that remains is for the father in law to arrive so we can crack open a couple for the true test. Wish us luck, results coming soon!

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