Sunday, December 15, 2013

Batch 6: Papa Bear Porter: Tasting Day

This one turned out OK. It's very dark, almost completely opaque. It has a subtle coffee nose. I still like the balance of chocolate maltiness and the hops. The vanilla adds a very nice front-end smoothness that is offset by the alcohol flavors at the back-end. I'm happy to report that using the swamp cooler seems to have eliminated the off-flavors that have plagued all of my previous batches. I just cannot get this beer to carbonate, though! It is quite flat. I upped the priming sugars from 3.5 to 4 oz. from the previous batch with no discernible difference. I'm wondering if the high alcohol content (7%) is damaging the yeast, though I've not had this problem with the 'Merican IPA of similar gravity. I might have to try re-pitching before bottle conditioning with the next batch. Still, it'll make for decent Christmas gifts.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Batch 6: Papa Bear Porter: Secondary Fermentation/Bottling Day

After two weeks in the secondary fermenter, the final gravity of the beer ended up at 1.014. With an (assumed) original gravity of 1.067, the ABV ends up being about 6.96%. I tasted the sample from the thief, and the vanilla was fairly prominent. I expect this to mellow somewhat during the bottle conditioning, which will make the beer quite nice. I primed the beer with 4 oz. of corn sugar before bottling, an ounce more than in the previous batch, which was a bit under-carbonated. I used several larger bottles this time, filling five 26 oz., five 24 oz., one 20 oz., one 18 oz., and 28 12 oz. bottles. I lost somewhere around 16 oz. in the process. (I had been coveting the narrow-lipped champagne bottles previously but now know that they hold the same volume as the larger one-off  bottles, the latter of which is far lighter, because they use less glass, and is also easier to cap.) I'll be giving away almost all of this batch as Christmas presents to family and friends so I've designed a label for the six-pack carrier and the larger bottles.

Not too shabby if you ask me.