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Test Porter Re-brew

October 22, 2010

Recipe

BeerSmith Recipe

Brew Day (10/24/2010)

I ended with about 2 3/4 gallons at 1.050 resulting in an efficiency of ~72%!  My mash process was more “back to basics” by adding the 1/2 gallon of water indicated by BeerSmith to the mash tun following the mash (done for 75 minutes).  I soaked and teabagged the grain socks (had to use 2 of them) for about 10 minutes before transferring to the brew pot that contained the additional 1.5 gallons.  After adding each sock (done individually), I made sure to raise the temperature to 168F+.  Then I soaked and teabagged them each for 10 minutes.

With the extra wort at the end and a free 1-gallon jug, I decided to fill them all up.  The first two to the bend as usual and the 3rd ended up just a little shy.  I’m going to let the 3rd one ferment in the closet (since there’s not enough room in the cooler) and then I’m going to bottle it next week and let it bottle condition (since I want to use the fermentor for a follow-up brown ale).

Finally after some debate, I decided to go with re-pitching yeast for the 4th time.  I considered getting a new pack, but I’m cheap and I like how it’s been doing.  I think I might actually re-use it one last time with the brown ale next week (since it seems like pretty minor risk since it’ll just be a gallon), but then I imagine I’ll have to let it go.

Fermentation

Over night, all the fermentors started showing activity.  The one in the closet is not surprisingly more active, while the ones in the cooler are nice, slow, and steady.  I’m looking forward to comparing the results.

First Impressions

This is definitely better than the previous version.  I still don’t feel that I’m there – it could still use some more flavor – but it’s not a bad beer.  It goes really well with Girl Scout Caramel deDelites (and I would assume most things containing chocolate).

Last Impressions

I opened the second-to-last bottle on 2/20/2011 (~3 months after bottling) and it had a stinging undercurrent to the aroma and taste (made my nose and back of my mouth burn a little), not unlike the feeling I get when smelling the cloud of CO2 that comes up out of a keg when it’s been purged by CO2.  I’m pinning this on an infection, and the resulting beer wasn’t so hot.  I ended up dumping the last few ounces in fact.

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