What’s Brewing – 8/1/11

Sometimes when you’re brewing everything goes right.  Your grain crush is spot on, you sparge completely clear and exactly on-target for your specific gravity, you don’t have even the slightest hint of a boilover, and your O.G. is right where you want it.

 And then sometimes you step on your hydrometer because it’s in a bag with some other stuff and you didn’t even realize it was there.  For those of you who don’t know, a hydrometer is a tool used in brewing to tell you the specific gravity (density) of your beer or wine.  By measuring the density before and after fermentation you can determine how much sugar the yeast consumed, which tells you about how alcoholic your beverage is.  So it’s a pretty important piece of equipment…which I happened to crush beneath my feet.

 It just goes to show you that you can’t always plan for everything when you’re brewing, or even in everyday life.  I now have to find the time tomorrow to go to the brew store and acquire a new hydrometer so that I can actually measure the gravity of the few batches I have to process this weekend.  The pinot noir, two batches of strawberry wine which also need to be sweetened, and the hard cider all have to be measured and packaged.  I’ll probably keg the cider, the pinot is getting put into secondary, and the two batches of strawberry are already in secondary. 

 The two batches of beer that I have brewing will also have to wait until I get a new hydrometer.  The all-grain Irish Red Ale that I have going will just have to be content sitting and waiting for a keg until I can measure its final gravity.  The Liquid Stupid even more so needs to wait, as I need to add a pound of sugar to it once I put it in secondary.  I need to be able to check the gravity both before and after sugar addition.  That way I can measure the _total_ gravity change over the entire length of the fermentation to get an accurate measurement of the alcohol level.

 I really am not all that concerned, however.  Everything that I have going right now could certainly benefit from a little bit more aging, and since no one is desperately clamoring for some of my brews (okay, that’s a lie, my friends are starting to get antsy) I feel just find giving everything an extra few days.  RDWHAHB.  Happy fermenting, and may the froth be with you.

 Skål!

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About Josh

I'm an engineer, brewer, vintner, gamer, hiker, biker, and many other "-ers" besides. I grew up in Connecticut, but now live and work in Delaware. This is where I put various ramblings and musings, as well as tasty recipes for beer. Yes, beer. I brew my own beer, wine, cider, mead, and other fun fermented beverages. It's fun, easy, inexpensive, and I love it. It's something I'd love to do professionally, but that's a plan for a future day. For now I work as a chemical engineer with a bunch of great people that I'm never going to talk about here. Have a great day, and good brewing to all!
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