Two New Additions to the Homebrew Family!
Hooray for new homebrews!
You’ve already read my other post on Fecky the Ninth, but after I tried it I realized it didn’t carbonate very well. Looking back, I would attribute that to not boiling the sugar before adding it, and instead just siphoning the beer on top of the sugar. Don’t do that. I popped all the tops, added 2tsp of priming solution (3.5oz priming/corn sugar :: 2c water) to each bottle, and re-capped. It should be ready for Friday or Saturday, since I put it on top of my warm heating grate.
The Hamilton Hard Cider was a simple one-off that was literally the simplest thing I could have made EVER. After Alumni Weekend at UMass, I bought 3 gallons of pasteurized, fresh-pressed apple cider from Hamilton Orchards in New Salem, MA. This was a karmic move, since I had JUST come off of a pretty crazy weekend sailing in a Pirate Ship winnebago, drinking like a baby bird and popping champagne for UMass Football… and just got off a speeding ticket (received only a warning) on my way back home. With all the stars aligning in my favor, what better time to hand-pick your homebrew ingredients?
Once home from these shenanigans, I picked up a pack of dried Nottingham Ale Yeast, rehydrated it in 1c of warm water, poured the cider into my sanitized carboy, pitched the yeast, and let it ride. The start of this batch was in late November, and I’m just bottling it now – cider takes a little longer to ferment because all the sugars aren’t so broken down as in beer wort – and after a taste from the bottling session it’s DERICOUS. Cleared beautifully, and it’s fruity, dry, and tart: just how I like my ciders. This will also be carbonated for the weekend.
So it looks like between my Irish Red and Hard Cider, I’ve inadvertently set myself up for a hell of a homebrewed St. Patty’s Day. I’m also pushing in my first all-grain batch, utilizing the Brew In A Bag (BIAB) technique, on St. Patty’s Dar morn’ – a recreation of my very popular Celebration IPA, which imbibed me on my last St. Patty’s day from my Crap Tap (the old, drafty fridge with the thru-door shank). All these beers will go to competition, which will be in May… Ho man, I’ve caught the bug all over again.