Brew Day Complete

Another Brew Day happened last Saturday. I had planned to do one of my "main" brews, then an 'experimental' one. As it turned out, one of my brew buddies came over, and we brewed one for him rather than the experimental brew. No harm, no foul--two brews were planned, and two completed.

My brew was an English Pale or Best Bitter (they're the same style). It went well--I hit all of my temps, the mash proceeded without incidence, and (aside from a slightly lower starting volume than I would have liked) the boil was fine. Since I ended up with a lower post-boil volume, I had to top up with water, but as things went, the final gravity ended up basically where it should have been. I'm using the English Ale yeast from White Labs (WLP-002); I used my heating pad under the fermenter (the basement is a bit chilly), and primary fermentation seems to be pretty well done. I'm hopeful for this batch--it seems to be going quite well.

The second batch of the day was a Helles Bock. Again, the brewing went well; I think it'll end up basically where it's supposed to. We used a Kolsch yeast, which may dry it out a little more than is true to style, but in the end, that's the target. Not too hoppy; nice and malty, with a good crispness. I'm looking forward to trying it in a couple of months.

On a side note, I'm trying to finish up some partially-finished kegs; I'm working on my "SMaSH" French Wheat Ale, which isn't really a SMaSH--there were two malts. In the months since I first tapped it, it has mellowed quite nicely, and is displaying some lovely honey notes. Quite malty, and very pleasant. I might bump up the hop complexity in the future--it *was* single hop--but I'd have to leave it for quite a few months for the mellowing to work out. It's a good one.

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