I started this project the Saturday before the Marathon. Everyone was out of the house that day so I took my opportunity to boil a batch of wort. No one in my house likes the smell of hops and malt.
It took a little over a day before the yeast became active. Then it just took off and fermented vigorously. The little cap on the top of the bubbler kept getting blown off and I’d hear it bouncing across the basement tile.
This picture was taken as the fermentation was just taking off. Later that day the bubbler was full of wort and the cap to keep air out was bouncing across the floor!
This is a great project to have going while training for a marathon. After I spent a few hours making the wort and setting up the 5 gallon carboy, their wasn’t much to do except watch and take a whiff from the top of the bubbler!
My whole basement smelled like a glass of IPA for almost two weeks. I’d come home from work, sit down at the computer and almost instantly have a craving for an IPA. It was crazy.
Since I was in taper mode and needed my carbs, I did tend to have one IPA per day. When drinking a substantial ale, I usually find that one is enough. There are times when several beers or ales taste great, but for just kicking around the house it’s usually one for me.
While fermentation looks to be complete, it’s always a good idea to check the specific gravity of the wort. You want to make sure that most of the sugar has been fermented. This keeps your bottles from blowing up during the curing process. The yeast needs some sugar for conditioning, but too much can make a mess and can be dangerous.
In my old house I had a closet where I would put the bottles for conditioning. It was cool in the summer and kept them away from the kids. It’s not that they were interested in the ale, but kids are curious. I didn’t want them picking up a bottle to look at it and then dropping in the cement floor. Or worse, having them near a bottle when it exploded. Sometimes while I was watching TV upstairs I would hear a bottle explode!
When we moved out of our house I found a lot more glass in that closet than I had expected. I thought I had picked things up as they happened, but apparently not. Fortunately, no one was hurt.
For this batch, I’ve placed the bottles in a heavy cardboard box and put them in the garage. The temperature should be fairly constant, around 50-55F. I also put a 10lb bag of salt on top of the box in case something happens.
Run well my friends,
© anagelin 2014