Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Kegging the German Altbier
One of the first kits I ever used was a Brewer's Best German Altbier from L.D. Carlson. I have since brewed with this same kit many times and it has become one of my favorites. Using a kit gets me back in the swing of things, because it is easier. So that is just what I did about a week ago. The fermentation has been quiet for about 5 days now, but, I haven't had the chance to keg it. As usual I'm hoping things went well. The wort was a little warm when I threw in the yeast and the temp fluctuated a bit during the fermentation. The summer heat here in Southestern Pennsylvania was sporatic over the last few weeks and our airconditioner was on and off several times. Before I can start I need to clean the Cornelius Kegs (soda kegs). This is one of the most important parts of brewing, cleanliness. Leeners has a reprint from Brewing Techniques' Jan/Feb 1997 on keg cleaning. This is the way I was told to do it by the owner of Brew by You (no longer in business). It seems to do the trick. Of course as I was looking around the web I found an article about brewing in hot weather at Brew Your Own via the RealBeer.com search engine. It made me a little wary about how my beer is going to taste. Urghhh. Oh well nothing to do now, but, finish the process. After a couple of hours cleaning and remembering what to do I'm done. Warm flat beer anyone? What are my impressions? Well here goes. Appearance It's flat so there's no head to speak of. The color is a nice deep copper. Clarity is already good. I didn't even rack it off for a second fermentation so that is impressive. Smell Kinda hard to tell. It isn't offensive, but, there's no carbonation so you get less of a scent from it. Taste Clean, sharp bitterness on the back of the tongue. I'm thinking something like St. Pauli Girl Dark. Mouthfeel Too warm and no carbonation for me to tell. Drinkability This has proven to be a very drinkable beer. So far things are looking good. Overall I think it will be a good beer. Whew I was worried about the warmness of the fermentation. I'll have to revisit this when it is cold and carbonated. That poses a whole new problem. Summer...it's a pain. Can't just put it in the garage to get cold.