Batch #2: Smoked Wheat from Brooklyn Brew Shop. I told myself I would make some changes in this batch – hydrate the yeast, more water, and better fermentation temperature control. I did two of these. I added an extra 16 ounces to my mash and used a thicker walled pot. The temperature held much better than my first batch in an aluminum pot.
Sparging went well, but it looked like a lot of wort. And it turned out to be. I don’t know if the boil was not as high as the first batch or if the addition of wheat reduced the amount of water lost to the grain or a combination of both.
After pouring in the carboy we had what looked like 32 ounces of wort left. So sad to see it dumped down the drain. A little for my hommies I guess. It was at this point I felt things were taking a turn for the worst. Side note: limit your alcohol consumption while brewing. My Brother In Law and I may have had a few too many. It didn’t seem like too many but forgot to account for the average ABV of 6.5-7.5 of the brews we bought.
Because of the high fill, I used a blowoff tube. This made me very nervous. For one, how do I replace the hose with my airlock? If I pull the hose, air will get in, right? I decided to leave the blowoff hose on permanently. This makes sense since the end of the tube is in sterilizer it should be the same as an airlock. Thank goodness I did because the tube is full of gunk. But I did not lose any beer! Here it is, in my messy closet, with the blowoff tube. I put the cup of sanitizer in a bucket so if it makes a mess my wife doesn’t kill me. I placed the carboy in a pot and filled it with cool water and a thermometer. I check it constantly and add ice if necessary. It has always read between 69-72.
I didn’t rehydrate the yeast. It worked so well last time I figured why mess with it. After my initial fear that this beer would be a disaster, watching the fermentation has put my mind at ease. Bottling this weekend – I wrote this post almost 2 weeks late – and will take a taste to kill the last lingering doubts I have.