Homebrew Tasting

First Taste – Rusty Coil IPA

2 Comments By Blake November 26, 2009

First Taste – Rusty Coil IPA

I hosted a homebrew session a while back to show some friends the process and we got to sample the fruit of our labor on Sunday.  We set out to make an IPA based loosely on a Victory Hop Devil recipe I gleaned from the Beer Captured book. We overloaded the malt extract by about a pound during the boil and overshot the target OG by .008 at 1.074.  It had an adventurous fermentation to say the least.

I didn’t think about the consequences of overshooting the OG and put a bubbler in the carboy cap instead of a blowoff tube, an oversight undoubtedly related to the number of beers we put away during the brew session. The next morning, half asleep, I found the carboy cap in a laundry basket and looked up to see wort all over the ceiling.  Yeah, you heard right, I am teaching friends how to homebrew.

What can you do? I put the cap back on, set up a blowoff tube and said a little prayer to the beer gods to stave off bacteria. When I transferred to secondary a week later, I was relieved to discover there were no off odors. I thought I had gotten lucky, but the fun was just starting. One of the troubles of brewing in Florida is maintaining the wort in an optimal temperature range so that the yeasties can do their work.  Most ale yeast ferments in the mid 70s and it was still 90 outside in late September.

So, yeah, our AC went out. The stupid thing is less than 3 years old and apparently the coils had rusted and were leaking. My carboy thermometer doesn’t register above 80 so I don’t know exactly how hot the wort got,  but I think its safe to assume it was well above 80 for the better part of 4 days. I’m pretty sure the fermentation stalled at some point as the final gravity is  a little high.

To add to the adventure, and because I needed to easily share this batch with Paul and Jay, I had decided that this would be the first batch that I would bottle.  I’ve always kegged homebrew before and never really had to worry about priming the beer. However, after weighing the options, I decided on using Munton’s tablets. We had to put 8 of them in each bottle. They’ve been in there for three weeks and look to be mostly dissolved.

We decided to name the adventurous little beer Rusty Coil IPA to commemorate its crazy fermentation. We poured it from the bomber for the first taste and I have to say, I’m not happy with it. Its not ruined by any means, but its a little too malty (which I expected) and my main complaint is that its unbelievably cloudy. Like I said, I have never bottled before so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but the amount of sediment floating in the beer is downright unappetizing. Three weeks in the keg would have produced a much better beer.

I’m not giving up on Rusty Coil by any means. I’m going to try it again this weekend and the week after, but it needs to get better or I am going to figure out another means of carbonating the Christmas porter I brewed last week.

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Your Comments

2 Comments so far

  1. John Linn says:

    Yeah, you can get a lot of sediment when bottling, but it tends to settle over time. It's not so much an issue either if you're letting your bottles mellow for a few weeks time, anyhow. Then you just have to make sure to pour easy and you'll be sediment free. :-D

  2. Cooper's carbonation drops have worked well for me. I think they put something in there that locks all the sediment at the bottom even during pours. Plus the look like lemon drops. Mmm.

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