- Nov 13, 2018
- Reaction score
- Graz, Austria
Thanks for the reminder! We became so focused on what was going on, that I did forget to update the thread.Really interesting. Have you any updates on the beer fermentation?
Unfortunately, it's sad and frustrating news. Our next batch went sour. How? We don't know. Instead of a nice Hefeweizen, we have something more resembling a Berliner Weiss.
Just for interest, here's a picture of the fermented batch. Looks can obviously be deceiving:
After all the cleaning efforts and care we took, it really was a depressing event to taste the fermented brew to find that something had gone wrong. Still, after drinking a few beers (not ours in this case!), we came up with a plan to move forward.
In the mean time, the brewery owner has successfully brewed two batches - a honey beer and a type of lager/pilsner (actually more of a Kölsch). Both of these turned out fine and tasted pretty good. What can we learn from this? Firstly, he seems to ferment pretty cold, with the room temperature set to between 10-12C, but uses a top fermenting yeast. Here's how his honey beer looked after seven days in the fermenter:
He also leaves the finished wort in the mash tun overnight, before transferring to the fermenter, allowing it to naturally cool. Given that neither of his beers are particularly hoppy, we guess the long, slow cooling is probably fine and maybe the honey also acts as some kind of antibacterial agent. On the other hand, we were transferring our hot wort directly through the plate cooler, immediately after the boil was finished, and into the fermenter. Even though we cleaned it, and we thought thoroughly, perhaps there's some ugly bacteria lurking in the plate cooler. We will take the whole thing apart in the coming weeks for a "manual" clean.
After thinking long and hard, we've decided to somehow mimic what the brewer is already doing with success. We'll brew a "honey beer", we'll leave it in the tun to cool overnight and we'll top ferment but at lower temperatures. We haven't given up on the hefeweizen, but for our own morale and financial satisfaction, we need to produce something that's drinkable first. Only later will we return to our hefeweizen plan. We have an agreement to supply beer for a private party on August 26th, so need something ready for that date! Our "first" customer, the Hops bar mentioned earlier in the thread, also confirmed that they'd be more than happy to take a honey beer first.
We also took some additional steps, buying an ozone generating machine and a UV light. Already last weekend we gave the cool/fermenting room a good blast with ozone and UV, to try and kill any nasties hanging around in there. We'll do the same again this Thursday evening, as our next brew day is scheduled for Friday, 16th.
Wish us luck. We might need it.