Thursday, 4 November 2010

Operation 'Elizabeth': Filling her up

We still haven't got round to finding a permanent home for her yet but I'm happy as long as its somewhere quite stable in temperature and out of harms way (like not behind the caustic or hot liqor tank). For now she's on the racking station. The story of Elizabeth has gone well so far. The Old Ale brewed for her tastes strong, piquant, fruity, with a lot of alcohol burn. But given a couple of months it should mellow out.
As mentioned the fermentation was quick and aggressive at first until around 1030 was reached then the yeast started to die off. Tho I was originally after a more strong but steady fermentation this was not the major flaw of the operation. The main anomaly was discovered a few days after brew day when it was discovered that the digital scales used to weight the coloured malts were around 40% inaccurate. Shock!

This meant that the 4.5% black malt was closer to 7% black malt, the 9% crystal malt was closer to 12% crystal malt and the original gravity was 1092 instead of 1088 (and yes I did think it was a bit dark). Sadly this means that this exact brew, if it is a masterpiece, will be very difficult to re-create. But still worse could happen and at 8.6% alcohol the beer was finally transferred to the barrel and the last half gallon was squeezed into a demi-john for safe keeping and future top ups. A bit of seepage has occurred from the wooden shive and keystone (as you can see) but it seems to have stopped. I plan on leaving this baby till some point early next year, maybe February, so it should be good to drink some time around Christmas 2011.

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