I had very high hopes for this beer, a clone partial grain recipe. It looked, smelled and tasted great racking from the primary to the secondary carboy. No hint of problems when bottling the batch. I was patient and let it sit for nearly 5 weeks. Ahhh, the reward, or so I thought. Somewhere along the process my ale became infected, infected so severely that I had to pronounce the batch as terminal. I have blamed the cats in the past but I think I may have to admit that I might not have taken the sanitation to the nth degree. I have been very successful in the past……
For the future, my preparation will include scrubbing down the entire work area, strong cleaning measures for the equipment & bottles and keeping the air still – no cat dander or whatever it may be. I like my beer far too much to let myself become subject to beer-brewing malpractice! I received significant coaching from my better half two weeks ago as I bottled the Double Belgian Wit. She made valid comments and I was reduced to the simple and only right answer a man can give at that point – “Yes Dear”!!!! She likes her Belgian Wit and does not want it to not die a tragic death due to my controllable actions!
In the near future I may consider a conical fermenter and eliminate the racking to the secondary all together. Maybe I should size up to the next size, this would allow me to make 10 gallons at a time and brew a little less frequently. Hmmmmmm – Not a big cost difference in equipment – I should also add a bigger boil pot too! I will write-up the AFE and see if I have adequate justification with the CFO to proceed with the capital investment.
Better news in the next post…….. I hope!