22 October 2009

Liftoff, and Real Ale Fest Leftovers

I added the yeast--Fermentis Safale S-04--to my beer, all six or so gallons of it, last night, after running to John to borrow a hose for blow-off.  Original gravity 1.085, potential alcohol around 10%.

For any newbies to homebrewing, a blowoff tube allows the vigorously fermenting wort--and do I mean vigorously, almost explosively--to throw off not only carbon dioxide, but also excess yeast foam, and the foam carries with it the bitterest and worst of the hop resins.  Homebrewers learn REALLY quickly that the biggest jar or bottle possible should hold your blowoff bubbling water--I've already dumped off perhaps a quart or more of excess blowoff, and sadly it actually tastes better (even though it's watered-down foam) than a lot of American beers I've had.

Let's look inside the fridge for a minute, and we'll see the down side of $5 growlers at the end of a Real Ale Festival.  From left to right: Troegs Javahead Stout, Brewers Alley Woodford-bourbon-barrel-aged Oatmeal Stout, Olivers/PSAH My Monkey's Got Wood, Dogfish Head Chicory Stout primed with gourmet licorice candy, and The Bruery Rugbrod rye beer.  Shoved way in the back is a growler of White Marsh Batch 1000 and a split bottle of a friend's mead......  in the foreground is a Wild Goose glass with some leftover wort from the Christmas beer, which my wife found makes terrific malted milk.........  and, yes, that's a real can of Moxie soda on a lower shelf, and a stray bottle of Erie Railbender to the right..

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