Doctor Duvel

I'm like a sommelier, but for beer.

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Location: Upstate New York, United States

Favorite Beers: Orval, Samuel Smith, Duvel, Hennepin, Oude Gueze, Chimay, Dogfish Head, Anchor Steam, and anything made by Trappist monks.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

State of the Brewery

I think I'm in the process of restabilizing the brewery. After a couple nasty infections, a sanitizer change, and a month of being too busy, I've just gone on a brief brewing binge (3 beers in 6 days).

The resulting carboy census is as follows:

In the basement: "Impeachment Pilsner," an all-Saaz pilsner, broadly in the Czech style with a little tweak toward the bolder Victory/Dead Brain Brewery style--in primary.

In the kitchen: "What the Fuck Stout," my crazed, mish-mash, asinine, second-runnings, caffeine-riddled affair, is in primary as well.

Upstairs: "Really Sticky Right Foot Mead" is in secondary, shows no signs of problems (other than being a mead... It won't be ready for a good year). Carboy covered in gunk, "1856 Imperial Stout II" appears to be fermenting nicely. "Moreval," a dry-hopped, Roeslare beer, conceived as a loose riff on the Orval genre, is playing host to over 2 ounces of Crystal, Mt. Hood, and Sterling hops. Two older beers (my lambic and Ned Flanders Red) continue to chill out. I may bottle the latter soon.

Keg conditioning are an Old British Beers Porter (Flowers Brewery 1872 Christmas Porter, to be precise) and Denny Conn's immortal RyePA recipe with Columbus in the keg.

There are no genuinely awful beers in the basement, just a couple so-so batches. One good party, and a couple more brew days and I'm back in business.

Next up is probably a smoked Marzen, a bottled Weizen for late-spring consumption and a simple APA or IPA to go on draft and act as a barley wine starter. Then there's summer-time Belgian brewing to conceptualize and plan out. That's still a lot to do...


Blogger Brendan said...

infections? New Sanitizer?

please explain!


6:34 PM  
Blogger Jason said...

Yeah, I suddenly wound up with a little string where every other batch was infected (sour, overly fruity, generally sucky). I then discovered that I had been over-diluting my iodophor for basically the whole time I've been brewing. It's a wonder I didn't have more problems. Using Star San now. Seems to be solving the problem... Kind sucked though.

9:00 PM  
Blogger Brendan said...

Wild yeasts? - Did you see a pellicle? - Did you notice any latic acid? - sour milk- tartness? - possibly Lacto- or pediococcus which are found on the husks of the grain.

I use Star San as well and I love it. I hae hard/alkaline water which can buffer the acid, and turn it cloudy over time. A mixed solution of Star-san made with Distilled water will last months. use it in a squirt bottle, for quick sprays of the auto-siphon, theifs etc. Great product. and as they say, don't fear the foam. Star San diluted become phosphorus/phosphates that the yeast can eat up. - Just to be careful, wash as much gear as possible in a bleach and water solution, to be sure that you've nuked all the wild yeasts and hard core bacterias, and molds too. (star san can't get all of these) Rinse well, and you'll be back on track.
Good luck!

12:16 PM  
Blogger Jason said...

Yeah, I'm doing a fair amount of the whole bleaching routine and being super anal...

Thanks for checking in...

7:31 PM  

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