It’s that season where the weather is neither one thing nor the other. One minute it’s thin watery sunshine and then next it’s stinging cold rain. But I’m still hesitating about bringing out the heaters and wondering whether it’s time to start wrapping the fermenters in their winter jackets. I picked the hops back in September but it was a little cooler in the Shed so this took a little longer than I’d expected to stop fermenting and it also fermented a bit more than planned. A beer that has consistently been around its labelled 4.2% ABV has turned out to be 5.4%.
That’s not much of an issue – the new labels mean I can now print the ABV for each batch of each brew. The blank labels let me print anything on them. But it does muck up my plan for side-by-side comparison of the normal version and the green-hopped version a little. The additional alcoholic strength means it’s not really a like-for-like comparison. But I’ll still get a sense of whether, in flavour terms, it’s been worth the hours spent picking all those hops.
Unfortunately, the cooler weather means it’s also being a little slow to carbonate. It’s only lightly sparkling at the moment but the hops really shine, although it’s impossible to tell whether that’s because they were fresh hops. Maybe they were higher alpha than my usual East Kent Goldings. Maybe the estimate that you should use five times the weight of dried hops was a bit high.
Whatever, give it a couple of weeks and I’ll have it at Woodlea Stables. Unless I decide to keep it all for myself.