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Saturday, 5 October 2013

MISADVENTURES IN HOME BREWING PART TWO

 So last thursday was the big day—when our beer was finally ready to be tested. We started brewing it on the 8th of September, and bottled on the 21st of September. We had a great bottling system, where I would pour the bottles and hand them over to Graeme who would cap them. During this process, we both called dibs on two bottles: Graeme claimed the first bottle, while I claimed the first bottle I actually managed pour nicely (the ones before that were a bit hit and miss in terms of amount). So when Graeme left for the UK this week, he took his bottle with him so that we could have our big beer testing over FaceTime.


So If you read my previous post about how our misadventures in home brewing even started, you might be pleasantly surprised to hear it that the beer was definitely drinkable. Our first day of brewing was a bit of a shambles, and I’ll be the first to admit that we didn’t necessarily give the brew as much attention as we probably should have during the fermentation process either. I kept a brewing journal, but there’s a couple of times towards the end where we should have been keeping a close watch on our brew and measuring the gravity of it on a regular basis, but somehow we managed to forget about it for a couple of days. We also kept our brew in a room with heated flooring, which kept it at a temperature around 27°C, which was too high for an accurate hydrometer reading and probably a little warmer than it should have been in general. So all in all, our expectations for the beer were pretty low, and the fact that we actually produced a drinkable beer felt like quite the accomplishment!






And it was quite an enjoyable beer too! Having said that, our beer was pretty dark considering it was supposed to be an IPA. It looked more like a brown ale or something. It also had varying degrees of carbonation, in that Graeme’s bottle seemed pretty normal yet mine started fizzing like mad when I first uncapped it. Not sure why this happened, as we mixed in our priming sugar in the whole batch (rather than the individual bottles) before bottling to avoid this. But all in all, we're pretty happy, and I'm looking forward to enjoying a few of these this weekend. “We’ve done well, considering!”

UPDATE: So turns out we were a little bit early with our first tasting. After leaving the brew for a couple of weeks longer and having a second taste, we found that carbonation was more regular and the taste had developed significantly. Every day's a school day, right?

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