Single Hop IPA, 2015 Hop Experiment Brewery – Homebrew Wednesday 4/22/2015

Last week, you got to see a bit of the beer fermenting, this week is footage of the brewday for the single-hop IPA I made for an experiment. For more information, check out Pooka NC’s Youtube channel. He is coordinating the experiment with 10 brewers, 10 hops, 1 IPA recipe.

This experiment is going to be phenomenal.

Saving Wine

Kickstarting YeastBy now, I’ve talked about my oak leaf wine a few times. It’s been fermenting for close to 9 months, and it is still horribly sweet. OK, it’s not really horrible, but it’s way too sweet. I’m guess in the Montrachet yeast is pretty much finished.

After talking to some other brewers, I came up with a plan to try to kick the fermentation into high gear again. Pitching dry yeast right into the carboy isn’t going to do much, since there isn’t enough oxygen to allow the yeast to reproduce and the alcohol will kill the yeast before it can get going.

In order to overcome those challenges, you need the yeast to be super active and chowing down when it goes into that high-sugar/high-alcohol environment.

I sanitized this half-gallon jar,added a cup of water and the champagne yeast to start the re-hydration process.

After that, I got the starter solution going. I mixed 13 ounces of sugar with 3 pints of water and brought it up to a boil. Once it boiled for a couple minutes, I took it off the heat and added a teaspoon of yeast nutrient.

I put a cover on the pan and cooled it down in a cold water bath. Once it got down into the mid-80s Fahrenheit, I added the liquid to the jar and shook it up. Once it get going (tonight or tomorrow morning), I’m going to pitch it into the the carboy of wine and hope for the best.

Stay tuned, and I’ll let you know what happens in a few months.

Unexpected Results

Pint Jar Containing Sanitized ExtractSometimes, you just want things to move more smoothly. On bottling day, I wish there was something I could do to make the process more efficient.

Brewing 12 gallons at a time, and bottle-conditioning, the day I fill bottles is the day that never passes as efficiently as I wish. Based on that frustration, I decided to create pints of priming solution.

I placed 1 and 1/4 cup of dry malt extract(DME) in each pint jar, since that is what I use for priming 5 gallons. I progressed to add enough water to fill the pint jar, shook until it was as dissolved as possible. Then I added water to fill up to a full pint.

After mixing, I placed the pints into my pressure cooker and processed at 15 pounds for 30 minutes.

There were several differences in creating the solution that caused some problems, and now I have four pints of over-dark priming solution with chunks in it.

My normal procedure is to dissolve 1 and 1/4 cup DME in two cups of water. Looking back, I realize there was probably one cup of water in this solution. The resulting solution is the consistency of maple syrup, not quite the thickness of liquid malt extract. I had concerns before the processing in the pressure cooker, but thought it would be OK.

The increased temperature from the extra 15 pounds of pressure, increased the darkening reactions to the point where it appears to be stout colored. Dilution will lighten the color, but the clumps of DME prevent me from using it for bottling. Bottle-to-bottle variation would just be too great.

I will probably use these to add gravity during fermentation in stages. Hopefully these extracts will be good for staged additions.

Have you had experiences that don’t turn out as expected? Please comment below and let me know whether you were able to put the surprise(s) to use.