Saturday, January 29, 2005

Adventures in racking

Went out and got a 6.5 gallon carboy for secondary fermentation. I know it's not ideal, with the extra headroom, but it is a bit more versatile. If i decide to go the two carboy route, i'll get a 5 gallon. For now, tho', i like my brew bucket. And this way i could have two batches brewing and then go to secondary in the keg instead.

I opened up the bucket to encounter a bit of an odd smell. Racking the wort into the carboy I yielded about 4 gallons. There was almost two inches of trub in there... looked like chocolate pudding. Figures, with the pound of chocolate that went into the batch.

At this point i released CO2 into the carboy, to try to reduce the oxygen content in the headspace. I then tried to put the rubber stopper in the top for the airlock and it kept popping back out. Trying to properly seat it, i managed to push the stopper through and into the carboy. Argh! Not wanting to contaminate the batch, i racked it back into the brew bucket, got the stopper out and then racked it back again. I hope i didn't damage it too much will all the airation. We'll see.

I did set aside about half a cup of the wort for tasting. And while the the smell seemed off, the taste was about right. I compared it to one of bmd's Stouts and you could tell that mine was based off the same recipe, just with a bit more coffee and chocolate aroma.

Also picked up the Nitrogen gear today. I like the look of the guiness tap on my tower. It's cool. Decided to get a dedicated nitrogen tank and regulator, since i'm going to keep using the spare CO2 for racking and as a portable source, should i take a keg somewhere. Now i just need to track down a supplier for the beer gas. The ones i checked out were closed on Saturday, which is about right for industrial supplies like that.

Well, we'll see if i'm too impatient next weekend and end up kegging the Stout. Either way, i'll probably try my hand at cloning Paulaner Hefeweizen next weekend.


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