Sunday morning I awoke bright and early to brew Batch 0006, an Imperial Amber Ale. The base for this recipe was a Grape and Granary Amber Ale kit, to which I added 3 more lbs of Extra Light DME and a couple extra ounces of Cascade hops.
Once again, Dave assisted me with the recipe. His print out called for 5 different hop additions during the brew, as well as a dryhop, with a single varietal for each stage. However, the way the hops are packaged in the kit, the hops are not separated by type but rather by step, so I ended up adding a half oz of Cascade and a half oz of Simcoe twice, rather than an oz of each independently. That may mess up the IBU calculation, I'm not sure. Hope that made sense.
Brewing went well, all the grain stayed in the bags, I did split the grains between the two provided this time. While I was heating the initial water to boil to release the chlorine (8:30 am), I transfered the Alpha King Clone to secondary. It's looking and smelling great. The recipe for that one called for a dryhop as well, so I just dumped in my pellets and transfered on top of them. They were floating still this morning, but I'm guessing they will become a little more beer-logged and sink eventually.
Pretty uneventful brew session, which I'd say is a good thing. I almost had a boilover when I was reading a book to the kids but I caught it in time. Nice rolling boil after that and a quick cool as well. I did a four gallon boil and to help speed the cooling, I poured a gallon of my refrigerated spring water into the wort while it was in the icebath. That dropped the temperature nicely. A little more liquid to transfer, but I was afraid it I poured to 100 or so degree F wort onto the yeast cake, I'd shock it, defeating the point of reusing.
Ah, the yeast cake! I've had such success dumping new batches on top of yeast from freshly transfered batches. This batch took off! I was finished pouring and aerated around 1:30 and the wort was bubbling constantly well before 5:00pm. Its in a bucket so no blowoff, but I did notice one odd thing.
I added enough water to ferment 5 gallons, but with the fermentation going along so rapidly, it appears the level of liquid has dropped!?!? No idea why this happened, other than it maybe being suspended in the krausen? Anyone else ever see that before?