I was lucky enough to have a 4 day weekend this week, and I definitely made the best of it! 2 beers were brewed: my belgian dubble and a new wheat beer. Both were brewed to take advantage of some other ingredients on hand. The dubble is getting the remnants of my swing at some red wine.
|1 pound of grape detritus getting ready to take a swim.|
The wheat is going to get kiwi added in a couple of days. A neighbor gave us a 5 gallon bucket full of kiwi. Naturally, SOME kind of brewing had to be done with them! And, it seemed like a good pairing with a simple wheat beer.
It should be more than ready by now, so I'll give that shot here soon, figure out a label for the rauch, and start pondering the next beers while the dubble and wheat ferment away. Yeast options right now are Belgian, English, Marzen, and Wheat. Given the time of year, I'm leaning towards a big barley wine and follow that up with either another swing at the rauch since I think the smoke isn't pronounced enough...or another Marzen. Decisions, decisions...
So that all sounds good, right?
Turns out that my recent "upgrade" has presented some annoying challenges. Namely - hitting my target gravities! Both batches came up short. The dubble I corrected with some additional sugar mix, but the wheat I didn't want to mess with, so it's looking like it'll be a session beer at a OG of 1.035. The kiwi should add some fermentable sugars, too, but there's still the matter of getting reasonable close to you target. I was a full 0.010 off. My two solutions at this point are:
1- ramp up the grain bill to make up for the ineffeciency - aka, the easy fix.
2- upgrade the kettle to allow for additional capacity and boil off more. (Please, Santa??)
I suppose it is also possible that my batch sparge technique could be to blame, but I'm pretty sure I'm following best practices, so that one doesn't always seem to be the answer.
But, on the bright side, I still have yet to come up with something that I consider to be a drain pour. I thought I might have been there with the Crazy Powerslide, (an 11% pumpkin ale) but a little time in the bottle is doing wonderful things. It's also time to test this paragraph's original statement on the Oat Moat.