Saturday, September 23, 2006

#36 and #37: An update

The specific gravity (SG) of the Christmas beer is down to 1.024. It has still got another 0.007 to go, so I can't keg it today. In any case I could't have done that as I haven't done a diacetyl rest[1] yet. I'm travelling the next week [to Edinburgh, Scotland], so I cannot do anything about it until I'm back. Sunday next week is the most likely option for kegging this beer.

The witbier is down to 1.012 and has reached its final gravity (FG). So this beer is done, but I didn't bother to actually keg it today, so it will have to wait another week. I don't think that will make much of a difference. I have had beers in the primary for more than three weeks before and that did not hurt them at all. People seem very afraid of yeast autolysis, but I believe that it is way exaggerated.

I tasted the samples from both. The wit seems really nice, mellow and well-balanced. The Christmas ale still have quite a bit of yeast in suspension and have a sulphur-like, perhaps it is diacetyl, aroma and flavour. I guess that will mellow out with the diacetyl rest and the lagering. This is my first lager, so I don't have much experience with how lagers behave throughout fermentation and lagering. So far things seem just fine.

[1] A diacetyl rest is to let the beer ferment at a warmer temperature so that the diacetyl build-up in the beer can be purged from the fermentation vessel. This usually take a day or so. It is only done with lagers as they are fermented at lower temperatures.

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