Another go at this great ale, this time applying some of the lessons learnt since I first attempted this kit towards the end of November last year. God that feels like a lifetime ago … will be interesting to see if there’s any difference in quality now that I’ve learnt so much.
It’s been a month since this was moved out into the cold, thought I’d neck a cheeky one to see if we’re onto a winner or if I’ll be handing out duds at the July shoot. Glad to say that it’s just fine; only the very faintest hint of twang on the nose and palate, maybe a touch too much carbonation at first but it soon settles down – unlike that Grapefruit IPA I’ve still got knocking about somewhere.
I seem to remember from my first taste of Bure Gold, another one that will be handed out in July, that it wasn’t quite ready yet, and could do with a few more weeks. Well, Wherry has now had a month of conditioning and Bure Gold just two weeks, so I’m going to make a note to check in on BG on 1st July.
An easy couple of hours in the brewery tonight; sanitised 40 bottles and put Wherry away using standard racking cane, 4-5 ml dextrose, gold crown caps. I also filled one 500 ml PET plastic bottle in order to keep tabs on fermentation – a trick I picked up online and loosely based on the fact that you can squeeze a plastic bottle in order to feel how much pressure is in there.
FG looks like 1.015 at best, which is higher than the claimed 1.014, but nothing’s been happening for a couple of days here so I’m confident in calling it a day.
40 brown 500 ml bottles with gold crown caps are staying in the server room for about a week, then it’s out into the cold for conditioning.
This one’s been chugging along nicely but I need the fridge in order to cold-crash Thirst Scratch, so seeing as the brewery is hovering around 18 ℃ anyway I may as well move Wherry out into ambient and control her temperature via the tried and trusted window method. Tilt reports the gravity as being 1.007 right now but I need to take that with a large pinch of salt as Tilt’s OG was 1.032 while my manual hydrometer put it at 1.045. Applying the same 13 point offset to today’s Tilt reading and we’re probably nearer 1.020 which is 6 points above finished.
Where visuals are concerned there’s still some occasional airlock activity but not as much as there has been these past couple of days inside the brew fridge, which was bouncing between 18 and 20 ℃ until I reduced the thresholds from 2 to 1 ℃, switching the fridge on as soon as it hit 19 ℃ (instead of 20) to get it back to the target 18. Exciting [yawn] stuff, eh?
I wanted to revisit one of my first ever brews and have something I can share this summer, so it made sense to break out a popular one: Woodforde’s Wherry. There’s not much to say about “brew day” other than wow, aren’t kit beers quick and easy? Following my forays into all-grain brewing it makes a refreshing change to accomplish with one can opener in less than 5 minutes what I’d otherwise spend 5 or 6 hours doing, not to mention the clean-up operation afterwards.
A couple of tweaks from my last kit brew:
I used a mixture of iced water and regular tap water to make sure I arrived at my target temperature and fermentation volume at the same time. No Tesco Ashbeck this time around, couldn’t tell the difference which either means we have good water or my taste buds are shot. Nil desperandum.
Instead of stirring the wort in order to introduce oxygen I used my aeration kit, dangling the stone in my chilled wort while pumping in pure O2 for a couple of minutes until there was a 2″ head on the bucket.
Deployed a newly arrived Tilt Pro (blue) and set up cloud logging so that I can keep an eye on fermentation progress without having to open the fermenter.
Placed the bucket into my newly commissioned fermentation fridge and dialled the Inkbird to 19 ℃. There’s a discrepancy between the readings from the Tilt (1.032 / 19.2 ℃) and the actuals (1.045 / 18.9 ℃) but I’m more interested in the progress graph than absolute values.