Capn's Blog

Thursday, October 21, 2010

My beer audit

Recently I organised to show the folks at my hackerspace how to brew beer:

  Discussion: Brewing beer at the 'space

We started it off on the 19th of October, and we plan to bottle it on the 30th.

Some people bottle their beer in glass bottles.  But if a glass bottle explodes, its neighbor might explode too, and it's common to lose several dozen bottles.  Imagine the mess of glass and beer on the floor!
Instead of glass, I bottle my beer in plastic bottles.  Plastic bottles are good in that they can't explode like glass bottles can.  But one problem is that over time (more than six months), the CO2 of the beer escapes and the beer goes flat.  No bubbles.

I just did an audit of the beer I have at my place, as I want to start brewing again straight after the 30th, something I've only done once since 2007.

I have four crates, and a crate can hold 16 bottles.  It seems I have two crates each of two brews.  I opened one of each brew to do a taste test.

I tried the first brew.  Nice darker beer, with no obvious bad smell, and no obvious bad taste.  Only a small amount of fizz.  While not so strong on mouth feel, it was very flavourful and tasted ok, giving me a hopeful feeling.

I tried the second brew.  A lighter beer, with no obvious bad smell, and no obvious bad taste.  Almost no fizz.  A great mouth feel, and while I couldn't taste "cardboard", "vegetable flavours", "fruit flavours" or "skunkiness", I just couldn't reasonable say that it tasted like beer.  In other words, not possible to taste it and say "oh, there's the malt, and there's the hops".

The upshot is that I think I will throw away the second brew, and keep the first brew.  But the first brew doesn't have any bubbles?  What to do?

I will open each bottle, and put in some carbonation drops.  The yeast that's still in the beer will consume the sugar in the drops, produce gas, and make the beer fizzy again.

Oh and yes, after having drunk 2 bottles (1.5l) of the first brew, I'm now feeling very relaxed :-)


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