I have brewed three more batches of beer since my brewing Hank’s Hefeweisen and hopefully got a little smarter. In keeping with the summer temperatures the first brew was California Steam, the second was Autumn Amber Ale, and the final one was a request for Pumpkin Ale.
- Don’t worry too much about the mistakes! The first lesson I learned is that it is hard to screw up beer. I didn’t take any specific gravities on my first batch and it turned out fine. Even when I screwed up my second batch by not putting enough water in to reach the 5 gallon mark, it came out fine, too.
- Make sure you get to the 5 gallon mark or you will not hit your starting specific gravity. On my second batch I started measuring specific gravity and I thought I was measuring it wrong until I bottled the 45 bottles rather than 50. I realized that my problem could be solved by turning on the lights and paying close attention to the liquid level. It is a little extra work but I put my batch on a table so I can get a eye level view of the liquid. For my last three batches I hit the starting gravity every time.
- Do not skip the secondary fermentation with the California Steam. I went out of town the weekend I should of been transferring the beer from the primary to the secondary fermenter so I went directly to bottles after two weeks in the primary fermenter. The California Steam turned out very nice but it has a little sediment on the bottom of bottle.
- I buy my two beers at a time to save shipping costs. The shipping costs for one and two beers is about the same.