Thursday, February 19, 2015

Batch 7 - Belgian Quad Version 2

Our seventh brew is going to be a second run at the Double/Quad we made as our second batch.

A few things we're doing differently and hopefully better this time out:

1. We'll be using more yeast.  Last time out we had a ton of fermentable sugar at the start of fermentation.  That never seemed to get fully broken down.  This time we're using two vials of yeast.  Hopefully this gives us some more horsepower in the fermenter.
2. We're going to try a different yeast strain.  First time out we used White Labs Monastery Ale Yeast (WLP500).  This time out we're using their Flemish Ale Yeast (WLP 665), which is supposed to bring some more stone fruit flavors along with it.
3. Better mixing of our dextrose during our bottling process.  Last time out we didn't mix things too well, which resulted in some inconsistency in fermentation.
4. Longer bottle conditioning.  Something closer to 5 weeks this time out, versus the 2 to 3 we observed the first time.

As a progress update, here's the fermenter from the evening of day 2:

This is a much less aggressive yeast for sure.  In previous brews we've had some very aggressive fermentations.  To the point that we blew the airlock off the top of one of them (that's why we've gone to the simplicity of a stopper, tube, and growler of sanitized water of late).   Typically we've been doing some aggressive aeration before pitching our yeast and that's been more than enough to get the yeast to explode in to action.  This time out, fermentation was very slow to start.  I took the extra steps of giving the wort a round of aggressive swirling each morning and evening, that seemed to help, but still didn't kick things off.  It was only after a strong swirl on the evening of day 2, that we finally saw the sort of aggressiveness that we are beginning to see.

We're starting with an original gravity of 1.092 on this one, so we've got a long way to go.

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