Yesterday my buddy John dropped by as he often does for a cold beer. We alternate patio sitting so yesterday was my turn. I knew he would like a nice pour of my Simcoe SMaSH IPA……
I pulled two 20 ounce glasses out of the freezer, set one under tap number one featuring my “outstanding” Simcoe SMaSH IPA….there I go again with self congratulation! Mini lesson here, when pouring beer, always pull the tap handle into the fully open position. Why, a partially open valve creates a larger pressure drop at the tap and causes much more foaming of the beer than necessary. I sat the big glass under the tap, pulled it full open and dang it, just short of 14-16 ounces the keg ran dry. No problem, I give John the good beer and I will take a pour of the Session Ale. At about 2 ounces poured the Session Ale keg blew empty……dang it. Sorry John……no full beer for you. I took a portion of his and we had even amounts……sadly.
Well, now my brewing plans need revision! My kegerator is empty. Life is not good….I do have some options! When I built my kegerator system I bought a Sankey valve connector and added hardware to connect it with ball lock fittings. In simple terms it means I can pick up a commercial keg requiring a Sankey valve and hook it right up!!!!!!I have a special keg ordered from my favorite local brewery, DECA Beer Company, the Mosaic SMaSH…..cant wait till it is ready.
I need to shift gears and put a succession plan together for my empty kegerator. IPA’s are at the top of my list, my wife has slowed down on her beer drinking so I will likely focus on my tastes, my buddy John’s tastes, he is a fan of IPA’s and also some of the good lighter versions, and my beer drinking sons. My son Ben likes the Dank West Coast style IPA’s as do I. At my age, 72 and counting, I could probably benefit by having some lower calorie and less potent beers on tap. So, IPA’s of some sort soon to be brewed.
As for my Russian Imperial Stout, bottling day is on the calendar for April 23rd or thereabouts. Almost all will be bottled in 22 ounce bombers but 4 or so will be in 12 ounce glasses to help judge the aging process every 3 months. Progress notes will be coming…..I promise no more long hiatuses.
I have this beer on tap in my kegerator now and everyday that I walk into the garage it whispers to me……”Bishop, come closer and grab a frozen mug! Pour a pint and enjoy it!” It takes all of my willpower to resist…..not that I have a lot of willpower when it comes to very good beer……Yes, I am patting myself on the back. So, on or around February 8th or so….It really isn’t a memory problem, it is about me not adding the proper notes to my brew sheet!
I did make a note that original specific gravity was 1.061, alas no date. Yeast was pitched on 1/22/23, WLP001 California Ale yeast. Pat myself on the back for that. I will now have to trust my memory on the next important part, final specific gravity, my memory has it at 1.012, which calculates out to about 6.4% ABV……several tastings of multiple pints seems to confirm the ABV….LOL. My previous blog post pegs the transfer to the secondary fermenter on January 29, 2023……So kegging was around February 7-8. First photo of a pint+ sized was February 11th……so…… relatively close on my time line….I will add those notes to the brew sheet and ask for your support and not calling me a liar.
Tasting, although my good buddy John does stoke (wasn’t sure if I wanted to use the word stroke here so I opted for stoke so as to not hear some of your giggles) my ego once in awhile, he pronounced this beer in the top 3 or so of my beers brewed…..he has liked a lot of my previous beers so I will accept his compliment. It was slightly over carbonated, but after relocating my CO2 bottle outside of the kegerator the low pressure gauge seems to respond better and hold the set pressures better. It now pours with a beautiful head!!!!!!
Now on to bigger and better things……a very big beer that nearly overwhelmed the capacity of my Grainfather System. I is rated at 20 pounds of grain and I managed 20.5 pounds……so, it was a struggle. It is a Russian Imperial Stout with dark toasted oak spirals soaked in good bourbon. The beer is in the secondary now, this will allow the spirals to sit for 8 weeks and impart magical flavors and mellowness to the beer and then bottle it in 22 ounce bombers. I am not kegging this beer. It looks like it will be between 10% and 11% ABV. The story on this beer soon!!!!!!!