Friday, December 30, 2011
Coffin Varnish (Batch #4)
It feels like the days of prohibition here in the Homegrown household...... Dumping beers down the drain, getting a case of bootlegged Pliny the Elder.... Chaos and Order, like these warm nights in Winter, and instead of snow, we get a crazy thunderstorm!!
I have my first spoiled batch.... almost inevitable for every home-brewer. I am pretty sure where I went wrong, at least i hope so, or I will have a much larger problem with the two batches fermenting as we speak. It has been heartbreaking dumping all my precious Giggle Water down the sink. I hope I never have this happen again. It's many hours of work, waiting, enjoyment and wonderment, all down the drain. Oh yeah, and the greenbacks from my wallet. Sad for sure, but it has taught me a lesson, and made me a bit more aware and thoughtful of my process.
As I have stated before, I LOVE HOPS, I love the bitterness, I love the flavor, I love the Aroma. So with each of my batches, I add a little extra hops here and there, I dry hop every batch, and I also make a Hop Tea, that I add post boil, before primary fermentation.... and with this last batch I added hop tea at bottling time, thus my infected beer.(I hope that's where it came from).
When I had made my previous Hop Teas, I use boiling wort and Hops in a sanitized French Press, and let them sit about 5-10 minutes, press and add into carboy. I have had successful results, or at least I was yet to have an infection in my beer. Well this last batch I decided that the hop tea would be better noticed when adding at bottling time. It was a blunder for sure. I used the priming sugar/water pint to use in the french press with my hops, I didnt add it to the press at boiling temp and I made a mess when pressing it out, spillage, spray and a fumbling pour. After all of this, I am going to stay away from the tea for a bit.
So what does this spoiled beer taste like?? Sour apple warheads, (just the sour part), alcohol burn, and whatever a bitter-asshole would taste like ;]
On a lighter note, I just got hooked up with a case of Pliny the Elder...oh man, yes a case!....24 500ml bottles of Hop Heaven. It was a special delivery, straight from Santa Rosa, brewery fresh, bottled 10 days prior and 10 hours in the car! Thanks Calvin and Lauren!!!!
Stay tuned for a post on the great "Pliny the Elder" from Russian River Brewing