Yesterday I quickly, well, not quickly at all, boiled up two lots of gallon trials. The first was the Smithish recipe with roasted barley (1/5 oz for 1 gallon) the second was the same but with toasted malted barley (1 oz for 1 gallon) instead of roasted. My aim is to improve my brew-day skills with small batches, and also to see if the recipes are any good. A side-by-side test of two identical, bar one ingredient, recipes should be interesting*.
On Sunday night I ‘knocked up’ a quick batch of pale ale (though it’ll be more like an IPA, I went a bit mad with the malt and hops), and I’ve racked it off into a gallon demijohn with a Quality Street wrapper placed over the top while the froth settles down! Mmm… hygienic. Nevertheless, last night it settled down enough to put on one of those plastic bubbler fermentation locks. I couldn’t believe just how much CO2 one gallon of fermenting wort produces! The airlock is pretty much a constant stream of massive bubbles. I had to drive to the garden centre to buy two trees this morning to ease my conscience.
And then, while I was at it, I racked off a gallon of my 5gallon batch of Coopers Pilsner into a demijohn to ‘lager’ in the fridge. I needn’t have bothered. With the hot weather we’re having the fridge isn’t much colder than the front room (about 6oC – that’s the fridge, not the front room). When the main bulk of the Pilsner is ready I’ll bottle it as usual, and set some aside in order to do more side-by-sides, but I’m expecting it to be a big waste of time, and a big waste of the bottom of the fridge, where we retire bits of butternut squash and courgette we didn’t use. I’ll probably try another lager this winter, when the temperatures are more consistently conducive to lagering (0-4oc). At the moment it’s just too warm and I’ve misplaced my cave.
One of the things I need to work on is hopping rates. I’ve useless kitchen scales, so I’m guessing conservatively at the amounts of hops to boil. I think I need to be a bit more liberal as the Pale (bottled yesterday) has next to no bitterness whatsoever. I like bitter beers so instead of putting in little and working up, I’ll start putting in shed-loads and working down.
So, now the front room smells fantastically of fermenting booze; though the cat has started to get a little drowsy when she goes in there… I wonder how much CO2 8 gallons of fermenting wort will produce?
*For me, anyway.