Wednesday, March 10, 2010

HomeBrew 2

Sunday Mike continued the beer making process from the week prior.

First he opened the Ale Pail that had been sitting and fermenting all week.

I believe when he did this he said, "Okay, you dork, come and take as many pictures as you want."  So I did.

This is what the beer looked like after a week of fermenting in our basement:

Yum, huh? 

To be honest, Mike was a little nervous halfway through the week.  He had it sitting in our little utility room in the basement but when he checked, the top thing wasn't bubbling much.  He was afraid it was too cold down there for it to ferment properly.  So, the Ale Pail moved to our kitchen for the last half of the week. 

Next comes the racking cane.  Doesn't that sound pleasant?  I will try my darndest to explain what this does in layman's terms. 

What Mike is doing is getting everything transferred to a plastic carboy for a secondary fermentation.  This isn't really necessary, but he prefers this process because it cleans out the beer better.  He could have left it in the Ale Pail for another two weeks and the beer would have continued to ferment in there.  According to Mike, "The secondary fermentation makes the beer 'clearer' in the sense that it doesn't have all the crap." 

The racking cane not only siphons the beer from the pail to the carboy, but it acts as a sieve and cleans out the beer.

And it is beer at this point.  Once it's begun fermentation it is no longer considered wort

I don't think this whole transfer process took longer than five minutes.

But then we have the science part jumping in.  He had to retest the beer to check the levels.  Of what?  I'm not totally sure on that to be honest, but once the numbers level out, the beer is done fermenting. 

His fermentation had slowed down, but not stopped so that was good.  I guess.

Next he stopped up the carboy and filled it with water so we could sit for hours and watch it bubble.  It's how we roll here.  We also like to watch grass grow and paint dry.

He then topped it off with a cute little red cap.

This was moved to our future basement bathroom, which is apparently our current sewing-storage-and-beer-fermenting room.  It will sit down there for another week.  It will be measured again and if the fermentation has stopped then he will bottle it.  He can't bottle it before fermentation stops or the bottles will explode. 

That's not really something I want to take pictures of anytime soon.

Episode three coming soon to a blog near you...

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