Brewing with Babies, Cascades, Pineapple, and Ants
As this is my first blog post here, I'll give a little intro. I'm a fairly new brewer. I've done two batches of wine, one of which has come out very good... the other is being dumped soon (metallic flavor). Both were a while ago and, since I had most of the equipment, I figured I'd try a beer kit. I got hooked! My first kit was a Copper Ale that I split three ways with my brother and brother in law. After that I made two hefeweizens, the second of which came out excellently! This was my first liquid yeast AND my first yeast storage (using the methods of glycerin and small vials as found elsewhere on HBT). Another month has passed (I seem to brew on a monthly schedule, more or less) and I wanted to do a Pale Ale. I chose the recipe (here) for a 15 minute Cascade APA and brewed it in my brand new 9-gallon SS brew pot (Bayou) on a Bayou burner, both of which were birthday presents from earlier in July. I used some WLP007 shipped from Midwest that I barely resuscitated (it arrived at 90 degrees... no clue how long it stayed that way during shipping). This was all done just a few days after my daughter was born! (She's my third kid... the others are 6 and 2). So far the APA is doing well... primary is clearly complete (I only take hydrometer readings when I'm already fooling around). I used a swamp cooler since my basement is holding right around 70 degrees... hopefully the fluctuating temps don't bother the yeast too much (I changed out ice once a day). I also think I dry hopped a day or two early, so I may add more... or just see how it comes out. A hydrometer reading (and tasting, of course) will happen soon, so I'll see how it is. Earlier this week, just before I headed back to work, I decided to do a pineapple wine. I'm not sure how this is going, but the pavement ants have found the brew room as a result (a small bathroom in my basement). So far I'm not seeing any signs of fermentation. I used Red Star Premier Cuvee yeast, but the packet is about a year old (stored at reasonable temps in the basement). I shouldn't think it was dead... so hopefully it's just a slow start in a bunch of 1.900 must. I think it's about 7-8 gallons in my 10 gallon plastic pail. Here's hoping the ants don't find the fermenter (it's open, topped loosely with a lid that doesn't actually fit). I'll be checking it with the hydrometer shortly after I check my beer.