11.16.2007

Thanksgiving Beer is fermenting!

Whoohoo! I had to slosh it around every couple hours, but, it seems to be working :-) I saw the airlock blurp a few times. I hear a slow start is typical for the WLP002 English Ale yeast. I guess I was hoping to get a good starter going so that wasn't a problem. Oh well. Here is something from the FAQ section of the White Labs website.

Question: I have used White Labs Liquid yeast on two separate occasions. WLP002 for a brown ale and WLP004 for an Irish stout. Using one vial in 5 gallons of wort, the wort showed no signs of fermentation after 2-3 days. Then I added one packet of dry yeast, and within a few hours, fermentation began. I am wondering why the beer doesn't ferment with only the liquid yeast? I purchase it from homebrew store, and it is kept refrigerated until it is used. Also, to my knowledge, neither had expired.

Answer: Sometimes they just need some agitation, which is sort of what happened when the dry yeast was added. It gave nucleation sites for gas to escape and signs of fermentation to be evident. That happens a lot when fermentations don't start; you add another yeast, and soon you see fermentation. It isn't actually what was just added but the kick-start into the yeast. Both WLP002 and 004 are flocculent, and they can settle to the bottom after pitching. With flocculent strains it is even more important to stir the fermenter in the beginning. Either leaving a fish-pump type device with an air filter on for 1 hour post-pitching or stirring the fermenter a few times a day will keep the yeast in suspension and drive out CO2.


This is an extract recipe with Light Liquid Malt Extract, Briess Caramel 60L steeping grains , East Kent Goldings & Fuggles Hops and fermented with the WLP002 English Ale Yeast. The original gravity is around 1.041. I think the final abv. should be around 3.6 or so. I'm shooting for something low in alcohol with apparent malty sweetness and the characteristic hop aroma & taste of many English Ales. Not to mention something that brews quickly. We'll see how it turns out.

I'm crossing my fingers :-)

Cheers!

6 comments:

Ted Danyluk said...

This beer seems like a lot of fun to brew. Down to the last moment. A good simple beer that should pair well with most everything at the Thanksgiving dinner table.

Hope it finishes in time, and tastes great. Are you bottling or kegging?

Adam said...

I hope I can say it was a lot of fun when it is all over. Simple is good. You know start simple and build. I've been brewing on and off for 15 years and some of the simple beers are my favorites. Of course that is probably because they have more predictable results. Although I have to say the 2006 barleywine is def my favorite of all time.

I'll be kegging this one.

You know your profile picture makes me want a pint ever time I see it. Esp..on a Friday afternoon!

Ted Danyluk said...

Then by all means...have a pint! While your at it, have one for me too!

That's an Irish Red Ale with Nitrogen at 21st Amendment in San Fransisco. A very good beer...super smooth!

You've been brewing a long time! I totally agree with ya...the simpler batches usually come out the best.

Adam said...

21st Amendment...cool. Someday maybe I'll get there. I heard so much about it.

Yeah...I've been brewing a long time, but, I have a bad memory. Kinda like the movie Ground Hog Day or Memento. I keep experiencing the same mistakes over and over :-)

Bryan said...

21A, you lucky dog. That's all I can say :)

I'm anxious to taste this one, hopefully Adam doesn't kick the whole keg while away for Thanksgiving ;-)

Adam said...

If other years are any indication, there won't be any left :-) Thanksgiving and Hunting Season put a stress on the reserves.

Of course we don't know how it tastes yet!