Brew day in the new cave

Greetings brothers and sisters, Bifur here, as I mentioned in a previous post I recently moved abode and, a few days back, Dwalin and I had our first brew day in a while. We had a fermenter of Lager doing its thing for the past couple of months in a nice cool place and it was (probably) ready to bottle. But while the Lager had been gently fermenting its way to goodness for a couple of months our other side project has been maturing for over six months. That’s right, our sour beer was also ready to bottle!

Sour beer

The sour beer heading for the bottles

Both beers are a big leap for us in terms of style and process but we thought it would be good to push ourselves a bit and try some new stuff that was out of our usual comfort zone. We re-pitched yeast for both beers so they would be able to carbonate properly, a wine yeast for the sour beer and an ale yeast for the Lager. Yes, I know we should have used  the same yeast to reactivate the Lager

Lager

The Lager gets a yeast and sugar kick to carbonate.

for carbonation as we used to ferment it but unfortunately we’d had to use our second packet of the yeast to get the lager going after a slow start. To make matters worse we then forgot to order any more of the Lager yeast and thus our resorting to using some good old S04 that we had set aside. It shouldn’t make to much difference to the final product but a bit of an embarrassing mistake none the less.

So with the bottling out of the way it was time to get on with the main business of the day; Brewing a new batch! Today we’d decided to return to our favourite style, IPA. Always a favourite for both of us we decided to brew up a nice big batch to give us some nice big hoppy beer to drink in a month or so. We are still very much the same experimentally obsessed, slightly chaotic brewers so naturally we tried something different with our latest IPA. A new base grain, Golden Promise, and a very different hop profile and we will hopefully end up with something new and highly drinkable.

MAshing

Our new scrupulous note taking

Sparge arm

Our sparge arm got refreshed too

This IPA has minimal hop additions to the boil, only around 40 IBUs worth in total (10 grams each of Mosaic, Azzacca and Citra.) but, once our primary fermentation is done we’ll be adding a massive 130 grams of hops as a dry hop (split roughly equally between the three hops). It’s by no means our most adventurous brew but today’s session was more about trying out our new brewery (read: my kitchen) and making sure that all the equipment fitted and worked how we wanted it to. It did. Everything looks good and seems to work well, although I reserve final judgements for when we have taste tested our latest beers.

After one last spark of inspiration (actually, several bottles of homebrewed inspiration 😉 )) we also pitched a gallon of the wort into the dregs from the sour beer, maybe in another six months we’ll have another jug of sour beer, or maybe it’ll fail miserably and we’ll have to ditch it,but at least we’ll have tried.

Despite the fact that we bottled two beers and started two more we even managed to fit in a game of Fire Fight, the Sci-Fi game from Mantic, where a force of Dwalin’s Forge Fathers ambushed my Enforcers. My Enforcers only just managed to edge out the Space Dwarfs, just clinging to the slimmest of margins to win a minor victory with only four models left on the table. More from this game in future for definite, its a great game that deserves more of our gaming attention…

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