(original post: August 25, 2013) I started the ‘Fade to Black IPA’ brewing last week (15th of August). A recipe from the Wine & Hop Shop in Madison, Wisconsin. A bit struggling with the cooking, or steeping as I could only use the medium burner in my gas range!! Well, I was happily following directions from the instruction that came with the recipe. I was happy when I poured the two plastic bottles of dark malt extract into the water, knowing now that for another hour, I would be watching the bubbles rising from the bucket of wort!! Yeah! The cold break took a bit effort as ice did not come easy. I can’t jump into the car, speed down to the neighbourhood Smith’s grocery store and come back with a bag or two ice. No, siree. Not here in Hong Kong. So, I filled my water bottles with tap water and made a few ‘ice bottle cubes!’ the cold break went slowly with the help of running tap water. The wort finally reached the desired temperature without killing the yeast that was about to jump in and kick into action fermenting… In the wort, there were two packages of Columbus hop and one Centennial hop. I do like the smell of hops. Will find other ways to use the hop later. So, into the bucket with the wort and some cold water; dumped the package of dry yeast in, snapped on the lid, tightened the fermentation lock, and stored the bucket into the air-conditioned room. Happy. Day one, the bubbling was going up here and there; felt a bit curious as it was not as rigorous as the one gallon brew I did last time (the very first time after the lesson from HK Brew). Well into the 7 days, the bubbling subsided too early; no head that I could see through the ‘clear’ white plastic bucket!!
Anyway, I opened the bucket on the 8th day and racked the content into a carboy (with a package of Columbus and a package of Centennial inside already). Color looked ok, smell was ok and the taste a bit bitter; ok for me. Not crisp. Not clear. No worry. Capped the carboy with the air lock. Then I went back to the recipe for a checkup – because when I got those two packages of hops for the second stage of fermentation, I found two remaining packages in my recipe pack!! One is glucose (for bottling), and one pound bag of brown sugar. Yes, I checked the recipe, there was that one pound. Scanning down the instruction, and there it was – add malt extract AND brown sugar!! Oh no. I skipped completely – smart alley not looking at the recipe when doing the wort!! No wonder the yeast was not happy. They were not fed right with the sugar, seriously reducing their fermenting behaviour.
Ok, to save myself, I panically dumped the whole pound into the carboy and wish myself luck. To be continued.
Back to Title of this post – that would be my first try to a name of the bar that I am trying to start. Good luck to me. More on this later.