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You got salad in my beer!

You got beer in my salad! … Or something like that, either you get it or you don’t 😉

salad in my beer

So yesterday I finally had the opportunity to transfer the Anniversary Ale into secondary carboys and to add the dry hops. Let me be the first to say: 6oz of dry hops in 5 gallons of beer is totally and completely unnecessary and absolutely overboard. OK, now someone has said it, and I agree. BUT I did it anyway and it makes me smile.

When I was getting ready to add the dry hops I realized this is going to be a huge amount of hops, it filled about a gallon of space in the carboy, so my typical 5 gallon secondary carboys were not going to work, so I had to use my 6.5 primary carboys for this experiment. As of right now I would say only about a 1/4 of the hops are actually wetted, but I plan on leaving them in for three weeks, so I ‘ll give them a week on there own to absorb. But if it appears as if it it just too much, well then I guess I’ll flush the head space with CO2 and then give the beer an nice swirl or shake or something to get them as wetted as possible. No need to be wasteful in an already lushy environment.

The bad news was when I transfer the beer I always take a second gravity reading, the beer was still in the mid-1.020’s, not really what I was looking for. It wasn’t excessively sweet, but it had a lot more “chew” to it then I was looking for which for me lowers it drinkability (is this Bud Light?). I was thinking more West Coast style IPA, now we’re looking at more of an East Coast style, a la 90 Minute IPA from DFH. And I’m talking about body and fullness, not flavor as of now. I suppose that’s the flip side to Summer brewing is Winter brewing. In Summer it’s a constant battle to try and keep fermentation temperatures low, in the Winter trying to keep them high enough. It did ferment around 67/68F for the first week, but was probably closer to 63/64F for the second, and then fell close to 60F for the third. Oh well. I guess it’s time to try and find the time and money to work on the fermentation cabinet that I have, which should be able to create a year round stable environment.

Also of brief note, the Harvest Ale is now on tap. This is the beer that Garrett and I brewed using only fresh hops. Literally from the vine to the kettle. I totally appreciated the opportunity to brew that beer since I would not have been able to do it on my own since I have not re-planted my hops in years. I know, bad hop daddy. The beer turned out great, very different flavor than most “hoppy” beers and a great silky/creamy texture I wasn’t expecting. The hops are more floral, spicy, earthy, mellow but still retain a fresh flavor. It’s been dubbed the Freshy-Fresh around here. So soon there will be the Freshy-Fresh and the Sticky-Icky on tap, too funny.

2 Responses to “You got salad in my beer!”

  1. Garrrett Says:

    I can’t wait to try it either – should be really tasty. As for keeping fermentation temperatures up, don’t forget the sleeping bag trick – seems to work really well for me during winter fermentations… you just got to slap it on after high kraeusen when the yeast cake is just starting to drop, and then let the fermentation ride out…

  2. Brian Says:

    Thanks for the reminder, but I did do the sleeping bag trick, and those were the results. The only thing I did differently was I wrapped two carboys in one bag, so maybe the lack of relative closeness of the bag to all sides of the carboy made a difference? Not sure. Next time I’ll probably primary upstairs, but I then hate moving the carboy to the basement for secondary – it just screams “you are oxygenating the shit out of your beer right now” to me.

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