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Test Batch Update ["Best-Laid Plans" Edition]

Was all set today to brew a test batch of the 6ixth Sense Ale (Belgian-style golden ale, formerly known as "Suckerpunch Belgian-Style Strong Golden Ale"), when I discovered that a crucial burner is malfunctioning. While the burners under the brew and mash kettles are operating fine, the burner under the kettle that is used to prepare the water for mashing and sparging is acting oddly. Oddly enough to cause safety concerns, and not just reduce efficiency or effectiveness.

My amateurish plumbing attempts were to no avail, so I'll be calling in the services of a licensed plumber who knows what he (or she) is doing. However, no test batch today. :(

No brewing didn't mean I didn't get to have some fun, I did the next best thing -- another round of cleaning and sanitation, just to keep things flowing along in the ol' SABCO.

Meanwhile...The yeast in the test batch of the Old Walt Smoked Wit brewed two weeks ago are still happily working away. Am looking forward to keg and bottling it up soon.

On Target (Test Batch B)

Kegged up Test Batch B of the Harborfields HefeWeizen tonight.

Harborfields Hefeweizen Label image image of a hydrometer
The hydrometer reading showed a a Final Gravity of 1.018. , so, with an Original Gravity of 1.053, this batch is at the target 4.5% Alcohol by Volume.

Father's Day Test Batch

Brewed a test batch of the Old Walt Smoked Wit Beer, came in on target with an Original Gravity of 1.052. I smoked some of the wheat for this beer briefly over some mesquite.

This was a beer my Dad (who passed away three months ago) liked, so it was a different kind of brew day for me today. Raising a glass to Dad! He was otherwise a Coors drinker, but he liked the wheat beers (particularly the Hefeweizen), having developed a taste for them when he got them fresh in Germany many years ago during his Army days.

Test Batch A [Harborfields HefeWeizen]

I was aiming for 4.5% Alcohol by Volume for the Harborfields HefeWeizen, but the Original Gravity (OG) of the first test batch was higher than I was shooting for (1.058, vs. the target of 1.052).

The Final Gravity (FG) was 1.020, bringing Test Batch A of the Harborfields HefeWeizen at 4.9% Alcohol by Volume. Higher than the target, but not too bad for the first brewing session in almost a year. (Once I filed for the licenses, I was not permitted to brew until the licenses were granted. Welcome to Brewer Hell.)

Kegged up this first batch today -- it's going to be bottled from the keg after it reaches the proper carbonation level.

Test Batch B of the Harborfields HefeWeizen had an OG of 1.053, much closer to the target 1.052. We'll soon see how that one turns out, as it is just a week behind Test Batch A.

Happy Yeast

5:40 AM
The Weihenstephan Weizen yeast is happily working away at Test Batch B. (I'm always a little bit anxious until the yeast starts its work, the little buggers seem to have a mind of their own).

Getting Back on the Hefe Horse...

Brewed Beta-Phase Test Batch B today, another go at the Harborfields HefeWeizen.
Hit closer to the target Original Gravity this time: While Batch A's OG was 1.058, Batch B's OG is 1.053.
Not quite the 1.052 I was shooting for, but getting closer.

6:56 PM
The yeast are happily working away, turning wort into beer. The spent grains are now mixed in with the rest of the compost in the garden.

Clean up of the brewery equipment is done, now to clean up the brewer, and think about "what's for dinner?"
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