Well, that was nice! The hops did start to fade about 10 days after kegging and stayed there in the foreground, bowing out around a week ago – so about 5 weeks after packaging. Somewhere around that time she cleared up very nicely but has been cloudy until then, so I wonder if / how you can brew a hop-forward ale that’s also clear. Probably through excessive finings; bits of plastic, seaweed, and fish guts …
On a side note, I’ve had to shut off the gas towards the end of both kegs and gradually reduce the pressure in order to serve anything other than foam, because something’s changed here and it’s turned this brew into a pig to dispense. No doubt this will have expedited the departure of the hops – different conversation – but I even tried to tame the foam by splicing in 4′ of my thinnest beer line, which made the dispense painfully slow but didn’t help with the foam as much as I’d have liked. The only thing I can think of is that I haven’t gotten the pressures right in my transition to beer gas from CO2, and that I may have inadvertently fermented at too high a pressure to begin with. From memory I think I peaked at 15 PSI, so I’m capping Jubilee Clip at a strict 10 in order to see how that affects its behaviour in the keg.
Wow, that’s nice! I just connected the 18 litre keg as soon as we walked in the door from 2 weeks away, and there’s a nice … peppery (?) side to the hops which I’d associate with a West Coast IPA but without the typical alcohol haze that you’d expect from such.
The brew is a good deal darker than I’d have expected from a Pale Ale but it doesn’t taste quite as malty as it looks. Looking at it now I’m reminded of the recipe error which I suspected when I saw it in the fermenter (too much Medium Crystal @ 240 EBC?) and I can’t help but think how the Kveik might have fared with a lighter brew. Maybe try that next…
I’ve just put away 18 litres in a purged Corny keg (with half a Campden tablet, crushed) using the gravity method, and another 3 litres approximately into a 5 litre MJ mini, not purged and no SMB. There was probably another 1.5 litres still to come from the FV but the post became clogged with hop debris – might have to look at a more efficient pick-up method or install some kind of filter on the floating dip-tube. Anyway, it’s all put away now and will be allowed to condition unmolested as we’re away on holiday for a few days.
The pressure has built back up to 15 PSI since I dry hopped 2 days ago and there’s still the odd bubble in the blow-off bottle, but if I don’t crash this now then I won’t have time to bottle it before going on holiday. Ideally I would have given the yeast a few more days to do its thing, but such is life. Can’t wait to see what this one tastes like!
Threw in 25g Citra and 25g Centennial pellets just now via the main opening, also added the floating dip tube. Fermentation has been slowing over the past couple of days and the curve is now pretty much level, though there were still some pops coming from the blow-off bottle. The top of the brew has been clear of Krausen for a couple of days too, and I’ve never seen so much activity with the top clear, then again I don’t often connect the blow-off bottle so it may be perfectly normal and not something related to this first go with Hornindal.
On gently de-pressurising via the PRV there was a great rush of foam and now I had Krausen again, almost level with the opening. Threw the hops in pretty quickly and refitted the lid, knowing that the small amount of fermentation that’s still going on will help drive out any air induced by the procedure but also take away some of the hop aroma. That latter point isn’t as pertinent as it would normally be, given that I’m kegging this one day before a 2 week break aboard and therefore expect to lose some hops over that time anyhow.
As soon as the lid was back on and the blow-off tube connected I saw more bubbles in the sanitiser, and the spunding valve gauge started to creep up again. Using the PRV to re-pressurise gives less control than reducing the spunding valve, but at least I know that the valve is set to where it needs to be. Will I use this method next time? Not sure. The whole point behind reducing pressure gradually is to minimise structural stress on the vessel and the floating digital hydrometer, so will keep an eye on both of those now that I’ve tried another way.
It’s 21:15, about eight or nine hours since pitching, and this Kveik has just taken off in the last hour or so. I’m seeing a growing carpet of foam on top of the wort and have fitted a blow-off bottle, moving the spunding valve away from the likely erupting Krausen.
I’ve set the spunding valve to 10 PSI by dialling it high and filling the blow-off bottle from my CO2 tank, then reconnecting the valve and opening it until the pressure dropped back down to 10. Unfortunately I didn’t de-pressurise the bottle further, and when I reconnected it to the FV a small amount of sanitiser rushed up the dip tube as the vessels equalised. Hopefully that won’t trouble the wort or the yeast too much in this important early stage – oops!!
A fairly uneventful brew day today with just two small hiccups, #wisdom to follow: I fitted the wrong batteries to my blue Tilt, and I may have been logging gravity readings totally wrong in Brewfather up to now.
After removing the failed lithium AA batteries from my blue Tilt Pro a few weeks ago, I fitted some high-capacity alkaline batteries which I had to hand, mainly out of curiosity to see how long they’d last. Turns out that the digital hydrometer is actually calibrated to use Energizer Lithiums and any other AA battery won’t work, not because of the voltage but because of the weight. My blue Tilt sank like a stone and had to be fished out – didn’t even send any readings back while it was down there because the angle was wrong and it had gone back to sleep.
#wisdom: when replacing batteries in a floating digital hydrometer, use the same ones that it shipped with.
My brewhouse efficiency had been suspiciously good these last few brews, and I was beginning to think I’ve got this licked, but today a thought occurred to me: maybe I should be logging pre- and post-boil gravity values raw, and not correct them for temperature.
Take today’s pre-boil gravity for example. I read 1.046 at 62.8℃, which corrects to 1.063. Slide over to Brewfather and the pre-filled pre-boil gravity field shows a predicted value of 1.048. My corrected value is an enormous 15 points over that, which is an unrealistic level of efficiency. Same story for the post-boil, where I read 1.058 at 51.9℃ – corrected as 1.070 – against a predicted 1.052. Here’s how those two scenarios compare:
I think it’s safe to say that I’m not going to get 98% mash efficiency when a community sourced equipment profile for the Brewtools B40Pro expects 79%, so I’ll have to grudgingly admit that I’ve probably been entering pre- and post-boil gravity incorrectly up until today. I do have the raw values (cheers to decent brew notes!) but I don’t think I’ll bother going back in order to correct the stats for beer that’s already been drunk. Let’s treat this is a learning opportunity instead.
#wisdom:enter ‘hot’ figures for pre- and post-boil gravity in Brewfather. Pre-boil will be straight after sparge (or mash, if there is no sparge) and post-boil will be before chilling.