Sunday. Another good day for brewing. A little blustery, but then again, who doesn’t need a little wind-blown afro to look sexy? Okay fine, we brewed indoors again…we didn’t want pine needles, leaves, and those stupid little helicopter things (that are impossible to catch, by the way) to fall in the brew.
But before I forget, updates from previous brews: the ESB is gonna be awesome! It’s fermented, re-racked, and now conditioning. From tasting, it’s quite light with a very good infusion (SAT word) of hops, and a mildly hoppy aroma. The IPA seems like it took to the baker’s yeast, and it appears we’ll have another good batch there as well. We dry-hopped it on the re-rack, and it’s also in conditioning. We’re making it do push-ups and crunches twice a day…I think we’ll be impressed. Okay, enough talking about the acronym-ed beers.
As for the new brew, we decided to brew two batches of wheat beer, or as the Germans say, Hefeweizen. Or as the Americans say, wheat beer…anyway, these beers seem challenging yet entertaining to brew. It takes a lot of attention to get these right. The wheat itself makes for a gummy mess when filtering anything. Rice hulls help somewhat with this problem, but first you have to remember to add them in! We forgot them on the second batch…bollocks.
We ARE starting to hit mash temperatures consistently now though, and we couldn’t be better at sparging! Since we learned how and got the feel on setting the grain bed well, this part’s been smooth sailing. We are beginning to monitor the wort as it sparges in order to repeatedly test the gravity of the sugar/water ratio. When it drops past a certain point, we are no longer pulling the good stuff out, so we know better when to stop draining the mash. With this monitoring we may not, however, come up with quite as much a quantity of beer by the end of brewing. We may stop before we reach the desired amount. But the quality should be better. And that’s the important part!