The Repeat Batch That Wasn't.

It seemed like a no-brainer: repeat a beer that you made in the fall because it would be an awesome summer beer.  Ki-What?, a kiwi heffeweizen, was the beer.  Pretty easy to brew wheat beer with an easy recipe to repeat...or at least it should have been.

I realized as I was getting my grains that I used a slightly different wheat than what I initially intended to....so I changed that.  And, when it came time to hop the thing, I didn't have what I thought I did, so substitutions was the name of the game..and addition...because why leave well enough alone!  ...and there was more
The mash that didn't drop temp as expected.
[warning: beer geekery ahead] I've been fighting the standard strike temp calculations lately. Seems like every time I drop into the cooler, it just doesn't drop as expected. What was really strange about this brew was that I thought I had a stable temp after I stirred in the grains, so I walked away and played with the kids for a bit.  When I popped the top 20 minutes later, I noticed it was sitting at 164! It barely dropped!  Not much else to do besides recirculate things to drop the temp a bit, so I did that.  Of course now I have to wonder if it's going to end up with a higher final gravity though, which'll be on my mind until I take a gravity reading in about a week when I throw it into secondary.

SOOOO nice to have a big pot!
Using the new pot/kettle was awesome! (Thanks Mom & Dad!) So much space!  ...and yet, I did boil it over right at the beginning.  Chock that one up to rite-of-passage on a new kettle, I guess. As mentioned, I did mess with the hop schedule a bit: did a 90 minute addition and a 60 minute addition like the original batch, but with a different set of hops. Buuuut, I also threw the remnants of some Cascade pellets in a the end. Will this be a mistake?  I have no idea...but it seemed like a good idea at the time...and then the wort turned green.  I like the convenience of pellets, but man, they are a mess to work with.  Whole leaf hops seem to just be cleaner and easier to work with...and they don't turn your beer green.

The not quite final product.
Thankfully, things did settle out...after the transfer to the carboy....after sitting WAY too long out in the back yard (yet another thing to get my mind spinning...).  But, on the bright side, hit my numbers pretty well (OG 1.050) and the yeast took off after about 5 hours, which is pretty good for dry, in my experience.

What else...
Gathering more strike water.

I can't forget to mention that I did have helpers!  They did pretty good.  My boy was the only one that stuck around to get his picture taken. Even then, he has to make his face!  Their "beers" ended up needing a bit more cleanup than mine though, so that was kind of annoying. But, we made it through the day and everyone slept REALLY well for it!

Soon to be chicken feed
I also pulled some grains out for one of our neighbors. They have 3 chickens that really liked what I gave them last time. They are also the ones that provided the kiwi, so it only seems fair.  The drying rack was knocked together in about 5 minutes with some scrap 2x4's and some window screen. It'll double as a hop dryer later in the year.

As for what's next, I have the grains and yeast on hand for a Black IPA, but my hop supply is looking dismal, so I think it might be time for a small order from Freshops.  If there is ANY hope of getting close to what I did the last time around, I'll need to refresh my supply.  After that? Who knows! The IPA or Pale Ale direction seems most compelling, but I also have a belgian yeast and a german lager-ish (doesn't need low temps) yeast waiting in the wings. Belgian IPA maybe? Or bring back the Bell-Lap blonde?  We shall see!