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Day 122 Bottling Day! Summer Ale!

Cleaned and sanitized bottles.

Cleaned and sanitized bottles.

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Day 119 Racking the American Wheat RyePa and Tepache

Ready to rack to secondary.

Ready to rack to secondary.

The SG is the same today, so I’m racking the American Wheat RyePA to secondary. In the secondary, I’m adding the zest of 2 oranges and 2 lemons that have been soaking in about a half cup of vodka in the fridge for several days to extract flavor and sanitize the zest.

Vodka and zests into the secondary bucket.

Vodka and zests into the secondary bucket.

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Orange and lemon zests in vodka.

I’m throwing in the little bit of vodka as well. The smell and color are good. I figure about 4 days in secondary will be sufficient and then I’ll be bottling. There is a fairly thick layer of trub, as I am finding is common in the BIAB brewing process. (Or regular all grain brewing, too, I’m sure.) I did bump my water a little in the boil, so I have almost 5 full gallons after racking.

Hydrometer sample, refrigerated to check color and flavor.

Hydrometer sample, refrigerated to check color and flavor.

Trub in the bottom of primary.

Trub in the bottom of primary.

 

I also worked on the tepache today. I strained the pineapple and spices out and racked the tepache onto a cup of water and a 12 oz bottle of strawberry blonde ale that was home brewed and unpasteurized. I resealed the fermentation bucket and will allow it to process another couple of days.

Adding a beer to the tepache, after straining.

Adding a beer to the tepache, after straining

Lots o'bubbles!

Lots o’bubbles!

This evening, I decided to take the two oranges and two lemons that I had zested several days ago for the RyePA  and juice them. That gave me about 3/4 cup of juice. I added that to a large measuring cup and stirred in a 1/2 cup sugar and  topped up with water to 48 oz.  Stirred to dissolve the sugar and added 1/4 cup of my “ginger bug” starter. I bottled three 12 oz bottles…thought it would make four? Anyway, let’s see how it does in a couple of days.

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Day 118 Hydrometer Checks

Gettin' fizzy wit it!

Gettin’ fizzy wit it!

Tepache is fizzing nicely now. The hydrometer reading is 1.075…I didn’t check the OG, but first batch was 1.090; so, I’m guessing this was roughly the same. That would put the current alcohol level at about 2%. I’m going to give it another day  and then strain and add the beer (one 12 oz).

The American Wheat RyePA  is at 1.013 and the recipe states that estimated FG is 1.008 to 1.013. I’m going to check it again tomorrow and see if it’s time to rack onto the citrus zest and vodka. If this is where it stays, the ABV should come in at 4.46%; a nice Summery sessionable beer! I like what I’m smelling and tasting in this beer. The citrus zest will be a great addition!

Hydrometer sample...going into the fridge, for tasting.

RyePA Hydrometer sample…going into the fridge, for tasting.

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Day 117 Brief Update, Tepache & American Wheat RyePA

Just a quick update today. I just spotted a bubble in the airlock on the American Wheat RyePA, so it’s still fermenting. I know that I can’t trust airlock activity 100%, but it’s usually a good indicator to leave things alone for awhile longer. I’ll take a hydrometer reading this weekend.

It’s been 72 hours for the current tepache batch and it appears to be picking up on fermentation…fair amount of bubbles on the surface. I snapped down the lid on the fermentation bucket and I’ll let it keep doing it’s thing for a few more days.

Tepache at 72 hours.

Tepache at 72 hours.

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Day 116 Opening a Pineapple Tinker, Updates

Pineapple Tinker

Pineapple Tinker

On the evening of December 10, 2013, I began a little experiment with a pineapple, some honey, sugar and brown sugar. It was kind of a melomel, a fruit mead, but it wasn’t sweetened entirely with honey. As my little experiment progressed, I included some vanilla bean and some untoasted American oak chips. I called it Pineapple Tinker. As the pineapple was fermenting, I was discouraged, because it smelled AWFUL. I was sure that it was going to have to be thrown out. With a little research, I found others  that had similar feelings about their fermenting pineapple, but had waited and were amazed at how good it turned out to be. So, I decided to stick it out.

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According to my notes, the OG was 1.112 and the FG was 1.000. That would make a 14.70% ABV final product. Is that even possible with S-04 yeast?! I would have thought the yeast would have died off before that. If there’s that much alcohol in this Tinker, that’s dangerous! There’s no burn…maybe a little warmth lingering in the throat. Anyway, bottled this small batch on January, 20, 2014. What I have now, is a beautiful pale yellow crystal clear color with a definite pineapple aroma. It is very well carbonated with fine, Champagne-like bubbles, a dry, but not bone dry, clean pineapple flavor. A little more sweetness in this would be nice, but I’m pretty impressed! All honey for sweetening would have been nice. And maybe back sweetening with a little something non-fermentable would have been a good addition, but for a first “Tinker”, I’m happy!

Still no real sign of life in the pineapple tepache. Pineapple-mango melomel should be an interesting contrast to the Tinker…it continues to carboy condition. And the American Wheat RyePA is at a crawl in primary fermentation. I did get some vodka today and zested two lemons and two oranges…combined in a covered storage container in the fridge until ready to go to secondary with the RyePA. That should happen over the weekend, sometime.

Ready to cover and refrigerate.

Ready to cover and refrigerate.

Citrus to be zested and vodka for soaking, sanitizing and extracting flavors.

Citrus to be zested and vodka for soaking, sanitizing and extracting flavors.

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