Monday, March 31, 2008

Beer: Update on The Grand Caw

It took much longer than I thought -- 16 days to be exact -- but the tripel we're brewing finally hit the 2-3 minute bubbling range in the middle of last week. According to the directions, that's when the beer was supposed to be racked. Of course, I was sick at the time and didn't want to risk contaminating the beer, so it had to wait a little longer. Throw in a little procrastination and I didn't end up racking it until last night when the bubbling rate was all the way up to 6 minutes and it had been fermenting for 20 days! At that point, I probably could have just bottled it. My bottles and bottling equipment weren't cleaned or sanitized, though, so I just went ahead with the racking.

In the middle of the racking, I pulled a little sample off to take a gravity reading. The OG was 1.082 and it's at 1.012 right now. The directions indicate a final gravity of 1.010 to 1.015 so I definitely could have just bottled last night. Using those numbers, you can make an estimate of the alcohol content of your beer. To get alcohol by weight, you multiple the difference in gravity (0.07) by 105, which gives you 7.35%. Alcohol has a different weight than water, so to convert alcohol by weight to alcohol by volume (abv, the % alcohol measurement you see on retail bottles), you multiply by 1.25. That means The Grand Caw is sitting at a healthy 9.2% abv already. Woah.

After taking the gravity reading, naturally I took a sip (we don't waste no beer 'round here). Dios mio, man, this is going to be one tasty beer! The room-temperature, uncarbonated samples I tasted from my other beers honestly didn't taste all that great, though they did hint at the final taste. The fact that the beer tastes this good and isn't even remotely in its finished form has put my expectations through the roof. Here's hoping those expectations are met.


Jessica said...

We've started the chili cerveza, we'll post an update on the brewing process soon.

Erik Huntoon said...

If I remember right you said that is GFI's Trippel kit right? I am really leaning towards brewing that soon and am looking forward to hearing how your final thoughts on it are. I would point out that by racking before bottling, you will help avoid alot of the trub in the bottom of your primary making it's way into your bottles. The less that makes it to the bottle, the less you have to leave behind when you pour to avoid a real cloudy beer. (Generally I drink the last half inch of my homebrew straight from the bottle to preserve a clean look in the glass)

CorrND said...

Yeah, it's one of their house kits. About half the ingredients come from LD Carlson, the makers of the Brewers Best kits, and the rest is house ingredients. In particular, there's a special mix of crushed malt in there.

There was a TON of trub at the bottom of the primary! I'm pretty glad most of that won't be going to my bottles now. Thanks for continuing to share your tips.

Jess -- I look forward to the spicy update!