Getting up to speed on this one – the previous post straddles the two beers so here they are.
Beer 3, a Witbier started off on the Sunday after my brew fail. I picked up the kit at the only homebrew store in Chicago (Brew and Grow), along with a new floating thermometer. Side note: after breaking the last one and doing some thinking – I plan on buying a digital thermometer so I can be lazy and set an alarm instead of worrying about breaking the thin glass bobber and potentially wrecking the beer. So word to the wise, don’t buy the glass thermometer if you can help it.
The Witbier went without a hitch, what with learning to leave the breakable glass objects out and getting ‘used’ to brewing, it was went well. It was a partial mash kit – meaning there was an ass load of grain (see: wheat) to steep in the first part of the brew. In the photo above you get an idea for how much grain there was – that’s two and a half gallons of water with a massive grain sock in it. That was the 20th of February, for a timeline reference. I racked it to secondary and then bottled it last weekend.
This time I wanted to add labels because everyone had been asking if there were labels to be had. Initially, no, there weren’t going to be labels – ever – because you take labels off ‘store-bought’ beer once and thats pretty much it. I remembered there was a post I had read showing labels topping the crowns (or tops) that would work in conjuncture of my laziness and save on waste. Thus labels were made for Wampa Slayer. Eventually, OG and some color will be added, but the trail run was awful so I didn’t want to push my luck with images/color/too much text.
A week passes and I need to make another beer. I had been eye balling a ‘limited edition’ Farmhouse beer from Northern Brewer for a while now, so I pulled the trigger and nabbed it. It was the easiest brew day I’ve ever had – I think I can attribute it to both the kit it self – one hopping @ 60min – and the fact that this is my 4th beer and experience is helping smooth the process. Specialty grains were steeped, yeast packet ‘smacked’, wort boiled, things sanitized – it was a breeze. This was the first Northern Brewer kit I’d done, and it seemed a lot more ‘together’ than the brewer’s best kits.
Only had one hiccup – as shown in the photo above, my blow off had a nice big crack in it – who knows for how long (hope Wampa Slayer isn’t wrecked) – so I just stuck the softer tubing I’ve got into the hole atop the primary fermenter, dropped the other end in some sanitizer solution and away we went. It’s still bubbling an awful lot two days in, which is always exciting. This one should be completely done and drinkable in four weeks including bottle conditioning – super quick.
Working on a couple other posts, and maybe I’ll do one catching up with my life instead of my life in beer.