Ladies and gentlemen, BeerCat Brewing is back and better than ever!
This weekend we kicked off the 2013-2014 brewing season by making a 5 gallon batch of The Heady Topper recipe from Brew Your Own magazine. And for once, our inaugural brew day went off without a hitch. Not one single snafu. It was amazing.
The only thing that was less than ideal was the 90 degree high for the day. (Damn you, Indian Summer!!!) DB and I were both so anxious to get brewing again we decided to actually (gasp!) lower the temperature in the house to 72 rather than our usual 80. And because the ground water was so warm, it took forever to chill the wort to pitching temperature.
One thing that we tried for the first time was doing a hop whirlpool after flame out. You put in the last hop addition, swirl them about a bit, put on the lid, and wait 30 minutes. Previously we only left the flame out hops in for a minute or two, so it will be interesting to see how this affects the bitterness and aroma. ((Although as I’m sure the other brewers will point out, hops added at flame out are only aroma hops and not bittering hops at all.))
We were pretty much spot on with our O.G. (1.074) and pitched 3 smackpacks of Wyeast London Ale. We did get a little worried when it took nearly 24 hours for fermentation to really take off, as we’re used to the vigorous (and nearly instantaneous) fermentation of Wyeast 1056 American Ale. But it’s chugging along now and I have high hopes for this beer.
Here are some snapshots from the day: