Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tay PA - Round 2

Last night I "racked" five gallons of homebrew beer. "Racking" is just the brewing term for bottling. Five gallons yielded about 30 bottles. The specific gravity (a measure of a liquid's density) was on target, meaning that the sugars had all been converted into alcohol as expected. The taste was fine--it will be a lot better after a few weeks of aging. It's a nice, big-hearted IPA.

Brewing this batch was far easier than the first batch I made. I invested in a few odds and ends, equipment wise, that made a big difference. Even something as simple as a "bottle tree" made the step of sanitizing all the bottles much easier and faster. I also switched from using a diluted bleach solution to a product called "Star San," which is an industrial food equipment sanitizer. One of the beautiful things about this product is that you don't have to rinse the equipment once you soak it, just air dry. Also, you can reuse the product--so once you have a bucket going you can just use it over and over again until the PH rises to 3. (Which reminds me, I need to get some PH test strips.)

In truth, the set-up for brewing is more hassle than anything else about it, so I feel that in the future I should maybe do double batches and realize the increased return per work effort. It's like canning that way--the bigger the batches the less effort it takes per item.

Anyway, I think I'm in for another batch of good beer in three or four weeks!


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